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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Chondria curdieana (Harvey ex J. Agardh)De Toni 1903: 844.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Chondrieae

Selected citations: Gordon-Mills & Womersley 1987: 497, figs IC, D, 5–7. Huisman 1997: 203. Huisman & Walker 1990: 432. Lucas 1909: 40. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 260. Tisdall 1898: 512. Silva et al. 1996: 481. [NON Lucas 1913: 57 = C. succulenta.]


Chondriopsis curdieana Harvey ex J. Agardh 1892: 152.

Chondria dasyphylla var. pyrifera J. Agardh 1863: 810 (in part).

Chondriopsis dasyphylla sensu Tisdall 1898: 513.

Thallus (Fig. 195A) red-brown, fading to yellow-brown, (2–) 5–12 (–17) cm high, much-branched irregularly radially for 3–4 orders, branches terete, often axillary in robust forms, lower branches 0.4–1 mm in diameter, ultimate branchlets 300–500 (–900) µm in diameter, basally constricted. Holdfast discoid, attachment often by small haptera 0.3–1 mm across on prostrate branches; epilithic or epiphytic on Posidonia or larger algae. Structure. Apices rounded or usually slightly depressed, with an apical filament cutting off 5 pericentral cells and trichoblasts, the pericentral cells rapidly producing usually 3 series of quadrichotomous cortical cells, epidermal cells becoming (15–) 20–25 (–30) µm in diameter and L/D (2–) 3–5 (–7). Mature axes with large cortical cells and rhizoids outside the pericentral cells. Cell wall thickenings (Fig. 195B, C) usually present in pericentral and inner cortical cells, on the inner walls or band-like around the cell and becoming hooked and lobed. Trichoblasts profuse at branch apices, 1–1.5 mm long. Cells multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid to elongate, becoming chained in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps on the suprabasal cell of trichoblasts, with a 4-celled carpogonial branch and lateral and basal multicellular sterile groups. Carposporophyte with a branched basal fusion cell and short branched gonimoblast bearing lachrimiform to clavate terminal carposporangia 70–100 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 195D) ovoid, subsessile, 1–2 mm in diameter, without a spur; pericarp ostiolate, with 10–12 erect filaments, 3–4 cells thick with slight cortication. Spermatangial (Fig. 195E) plates as a lower branch of a trichoblast, discoid, 400–600 µm across, margin smooth and 2 (–3) cells broad.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 195F) occur in lesser branches, borne adaxially near the distal end of 1 (–2) pericentral cells per axial cell, 120–200 µm in diameter.

Type from "S. Australia" (Curdie), probably SE S. Australia; lectotype in LD, 377510.

Selected specimens: Nancy Cove, Rottnest I., W. Aust., on Posidonia, 1–2 m deep (Gordon-Mills, 7.xii.1985; AD, A55694). Point Peron, W. Aust., on Posidonia, drift (Womersley, 18.viii.1979; AD, A51016). Elliston, S. Aust., epiphytic, 7 m deep (Shepherd, 20.x.1970; AD, A37615). Pearson Is, S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Specht, 17.ii.1960; AD, A24544). Wanna, S. Aust., on Spyridia dasyoides in pools (Womersley, 19.ii.1959; AD, A22460). Chiton Rocks, Victor Harbor, S. Aust., 7–10 m deep (Edyvane, 8.viii.1982; AD, A52939). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 1–5 m deep on jetty pylon (Kraft, 19.i.1974; AD, A45046). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., on Hormosira, reef edge (Womersley, 19.i.1965; AD, A28937). Robe, S. Aust., on Posidonia, drift (M. Robertson, 12.ii.1978; AD, A49751) and (Womersley, 9.ii.1982; AD, A52071) and on Amphibolis, 1–2 m deep (Womersley, 12.ix.1983; AD, A53718). Cape Lannes, S. Aust., on Sargassum decipiens, low eulittoral (Womersley, 31.xii.1981; AD, A52065). Port MacDonnell, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 20.viii.1984; AD, A55713). Double Corner Beach, Portland, Vic., drift (Beauglehole 473G. 22.vii.1951; AD, A21538). Shorham, Western Port, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1258, 29.x.1971; AD, A55316). Bridport, Tas., drift (Parsons & Womersley, 6.xi.1982; AD, A53758). Edystone, Tas. (Perrin, Nov. 1944; AD, A55301; HO, 66016).

Distribution map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of SA

Distribution: Houtmann Abrolhos, W. Aust., to Waratah Bay; Vic., and northern Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: Chondria curdieana is common on rough-water coasts of south-eastern Australia, epiphytic on seagrasses and various algae, usually in shallow water; stouter plants occur under rougher water.

C. curdieana is related to the British C. dasyphylla, differing in the cell wall thickenings, in having larger tetrasporangia and in the margin of sterile cells in the spermatangial plates (see Gordon-Mills 1987 and Gordon-Mills & Womersley 1987, p. 505).


AGARDH, J.G. (1863). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 2, Part 3, pp. 787–1291. (Gleerup: Lund.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1892). Analecta Algologica. Acta Univ. lund. 28, 1–182, Plates 1–3.

DE TONI, G.B. (1903). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 3. pp. 775–1521 + 1523–1525. (Padua.)

GORDON-MILLS, E.M. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1987). The genus Chondria C. Agardh (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta) in southern Australia. Aust. J. Bot. 35, 477–565.

HUISMAN, J.M. & WALKER, D.I. (1990). A catalogue of the marine plants of Rottnest Island, Western Australia, with notes on their distribution and biogeography. Kingia 1, 349–459.

HUISMAN, J.M. (1997). Marine Benthic Algae of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. In Wells, F.E. (Ed.) The Marine Flora and Fauna of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, pp. 177–237. (W. Aust. Museum: Perth.)

LUCAS, A.H.S. & PERRIN, F. (1947). The Seaweeds of South Australia. Part 2. The Red Seaweeds. (Govt Printer: Adelaide.)

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1909). Revised list of the Fucoideae and Florideae of Australia. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 34, 9–60.

SILVA, P.C., BASSON, P.W. & MOE, R.L. (1996). Catalogue of the Benthic Marine Algae of the Indian Ocean. (Univ. California Press: Berkeley.)

TISDALL, H.T. (1898). The algae of Victoria. Rep. 7th Meet. Aust. Ass. Adv. Sci., Sydney, 1898, pp. 493–516.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIID complete list of references.

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (24 February, 2003)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIID. Ceramiales – Delesseriaceae, Sarcomeniaceae, Rhodomelaceae
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIID 2003, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 2003: FIG. 195.

Figure 195 image

Figure 195   enlarge

Fig. 195. Chondria curdieana (A, AD, A49751; B, C, E, AD, A52071; D, F, AD, A52065). A. Habit, on Posidonia. B. Longitudinal view of centre of branch with cell wall thickenings. C. Transverse section of branch with cell wall thickenings. D. Cystocarp with extruded carposporophyte. E. Spermatangial plates. F. Branches with tetrasporangia.

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