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Chondria hieroglyphica Gordon-Mills & Womersley 1987: 521, figs 12B, C, 13A, B, 15A–E; 1984b: 226, figs 10–12.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Chondrieae

Thallus (Fig. 189A) medium to dark red-brown, 10–15 (–17) cm high, radially branched with divergent laterals for 3–4 orders, secondary and tertiary laterals mostly 0.5–1 cm apart, terete, lower branches or axes 1.5–2 mm in diameter, grading to lesser branchlets 300–500 µm in diameter, axillary branching absent. Holdfast unknown. Structure. Apices rounded or truncate, with or without a depression, mature epidermal cells 20–30 µm in diameter and L/D (2.5–) 3–8. Mid and lower axes have slight development of rhizoids between the pericentral cells (Fig. 189C), more so near the base; secondary cortex occurs near the base. Cell wall thickenings (Fig. 189B) occur in the pericentral cells, first forming semicircular to circular bands, subsequently further patches, bands and extensions occur, becoming highly lobed and almost reticulate. Cells with discoid rhodoplasts, chained in larger cells.

Reproduction: Procarps not observed. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell and branched gonimoblast with clavate terminal carposporangia 30–45 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 189D) ovoid, short-stalked, 1–1.5 mm in diameter, without a basal spur; pericarp broadly ostiolate, 3–4 cells thick, corticated. Spermatangia unknown.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 189E) in lesser branches, probably borne on 2 pericentrals per axial cell, 100–150 µm in diameter.

Type from Walkerville, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1866, 6.xii.1973); holotype in AD, A53712; isotype in MEL, 608547.

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

Distribution: Port Phillip Heads to Walkerville, Victoria.

Taxonomic notes: Chondria hieroglyphica is most closely related to C. capreolis and C. bulbosa, differing in the remarkable wall thickenings (after which the species is named) and also size of tetrasporangia. Further collections are highly desirable.


GORDON-MILLS, E.M. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1984b). Cell wall thickenings in the taxonomy of Chondria and Husseyella (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta) from southern Australia. Hydrobiologia 116/117, 224–226.

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.

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. 189.

Figure 189 image

Figure 189   enlarge

Fig. 189. Chondria hieroglyphica (A–D, AD, A53712; E, LD, 37786) A. Habit, holotype. B. Longitudinal view of branch with wall thickenings. C. Transverse section of branch. D. Cystocarp. E. Branches with tetrasporangia.

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