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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Chondria foliifera (J. Agardh) Falkenberg 1901: 206.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Chondrieae

Selected citations: De Toni 1903: 839. Gordon-Mills & Womersley 1987: 547, figs 23G, H, 24C, 26. Lucas 1909: 40. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 260. Millar & Wynne 1992c: 428.


Chondriopsis foliifera J. Agardh 1885: 90, fig. 8s-u; 1892: 159. Tisdall 1898: 514. Wilson 1890: 491; 1892: 168.

Thallus (Fig. 199A) medium red, 5–15 cm high, irregularly but mostly alternately distichously branched for 3–4 orders from, or near to, the branch edges; most branches strongly compressed (Fig. 199B), with the base of the axes (Fig. 199C) becoming thickened and terete, 1–2 (–3) mm in diameter, possibly perennial; main branches 1–2.5 mm broad and 0.75–1 mm thick, lesser branchlets 0.8–1.5 mm broad and 70–100 µm thick. Holdfast discoid, 3–6 mm across; epilithic. Structure. Apices (Fig. 199C) tapering gradually, with a short apical filament, pericentral cells soon inconspicuous and separated by rhizoids, laterally with more and larger inner cortical cells, epidermal cells 20–30 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2 (–3), angular. Median and lower axes with rhizoids around the axial and pericentral cells, and a secondary cortex (Fig. 199C) develops near the base. Cell wall thickenings (Fig. 199D) occur as bands or patches on the upper ends and sides of pericentral cells. Cells with discoid rhodoplasts.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps not observed. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell and short, branched gonimoblast with shortly-clavate to ovoid terminal carposporangia 50–100 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 199E) usually on or near the edges of the branches, ovoid, 600–1400 µm in diameter, short-stalked, without a spur; pericarp ostiolate, 3–4 cells thick, corticated. Spermatangial plates (Fig. 199F) discoid to reniform, 250–400 µm across, with a single row of sterile marginal cells.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 199G) in lesser branchlets, probably on 2–3 pericentral cells per axial cell, 120–200 µm in diameter.

Type from Port Phillip Heads, Vic. (Wilson 57, Jan. 1882); lectotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 37947.

Selected specimens: Troubridge Light, S. Aust., 18 m deep (Shepherd, 4.ii.1969; AD, A33569). Gulf St Vincent, S. Aust., 40 m deep (AD, A1083). Whale Point, West I., S. Aust., 26 m deep (Shepherd, June 1966; AD, A30613). Port Phillip Heads, Vic. (Wilson, 31.xii.1889; AD, A18155 and 7.i.1890; MEL, 608606).

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

Distribution: Troubridge Light to West I., S. Aust., and Port Phillip Heads, Victoria.

Taxonomic notes: Chondria foinfera is known from only a few, mainly dried, collections. It appears to be a rare deep-water species.


AGARDH, J.G. (1885). Till algernes systematik. VII. Florideae. Acta Univ. lund. 21, 1–120, Plate 1.

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.)

FALKENBERG, P. (1901). Die Rhodomelaceen des Golfes von Neapel und der angrenzenden Meeres-abschnitte. Fauna und Flora des Golfes von Neapel. Monogr. 26. (Friedländer: Berlin.)

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.

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.

MILLAR, A.J.K. & WYNNE, M.J. (1992c). Chondria viticulosa sp. nov. (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta), a distinctly flattened species from south-eastern Queensland, Australia. Aust. Syst. Bot. 5, 421–429.

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

WILSON, J.B. (1890). Descriptions of new Victorian Algae. (Translated by J. Bracebridge Wilson, M.A., F.L.S., from Till Algernes Systematik nya bidrag of J.G. Agardh). Rep. Second Meet. Aust. Ass. Adv. Science, Melbourne, Vic., Jan. 1890, pp 488–491.

WILSON, J.B. (1892). Catalogue of algae collected at or near Port Phillip Heads and Western Port. Proc. R. Soc. Viet. 4, 157–190.

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. 199.

Figure 199 image

Figure 199   enlarge

Fig. 199. Chondria foliifera (A, D, AD, A1083; B, F, AD, A30613; C, G, LD, 37947). A. Habit. B. Transverse section of compressed branch. C. Transverse section of basal stipe. D. Longitudinal view of pericentral cells with wall thickenings. E. Cystocarps. F. Spermatangial plates. G. Branches with tetrasporangia.

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