Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
Census of SA Plants, Algae & Fungi
Identification tools

Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Cladurus elatus (Sonder) Falkenberg in Schmitz & Falkenberg 1897: 435.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Chondrieae

Selected citations: De Toni 1903: 814. Falkenberg 1901: 223, pl. 22 fig. 1. Guiler 1952: 104. Kylin 1956: 549. Lucas 1909: 39; 1929b: 51. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 251, fig. 111. May 1965: 384. Reinbold 1898: 50; 1899: 48. Shepherd & Womersley 1971: 166; 1981: 368. Silva et al. 1996: 485. Womersley 1950: 186; 1966: 154.


Rhodomela elata Sonder 1853: 699. J. Agardh 1894: 76.

Rytiphlaea data (Sonder) Harvey 1855a: 538; 1862: p1. 236; 1863, synop.: xviii. J. Agardh 1863: 1088; 1885: 106. Sonder 1880: 33. Tate 1882a: 123. Tisdall 1898: 513. Wilson 1892: 166.

Halopithys elata (Sonder) Kützing 1865: 15, p1. 41.

Rytiphlaea umbellifera (-ata) J. Agardh 1894: 77. De Toni 1903: 1098. Tisdall 1898: 513. Wilson 1892: 166. Wilson & Kraft 2000: 330.

Thallus (Fig. 182A) dark brown-red, drying almost black, 20–40 cm high, much branched irregularly radially with stout, terete, main axes or branches 2–5 mm in diameter, tapering to lesser branchlets 250–700 µm in diameter. Older branches usually covered with various encrusting animals. Holdfast robust, discoid to conical and divided, (0.4–) 0.6–1.5 cm across; epilithic. Structure. Apices (Fig. 182C) surmounting broad subapical branches, 8–12 segments long with hemispherical apical cells 10–12 µm in diameter, axial cells cutting off 5 (–6) pericentral cells which enlarge rapidly to 100–350 µm in diameter, becoming thick-walled and remaining conspicuous throughout the thallus (Fig. 182D), with an outer cortex at first 1, later 2–3 cells thick, outer cells elongate lengthwise and 8–18 µm broad, L/D 3–5. Face view of branches shows clearly marked segments (Fig. 182B), L/D usually 0.3–0.5. Rhizoids are cut off from pericentral cells and surround the axial and pericentral cells, later forming a broad band between the pericentral cells and cortex. Trichoblasts usually profuse below the apices, 0.5–2 mm long, basal cells 25–40 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2 (–4). Cells probably multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid, elongate and chained in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Cystocarps formed on short, axillary branchlets. Procarps not observed. Carposporophytes with a prominent, erect, branched, fusion cell and branched gonimoblast with ovoid to clavate terminal carposporangia 50–90 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 182E) ovoid, stalked, 1–1.5 mm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, corticated, 4–5 cells thick. Spermatangial organs (Fig. 182F) on branches of trichoblasts at apices of longer lateral branches, terete, lanciform, 40–60 µm in diameter and 120–180nm long.

Tetrasporangial stichidia (Fig. 182G) in axils of lateral branches, usually clustered, 250–350 µm in diameter and 500–1000 µm long, tetrasporangia spirally arranged, cut off from pericentral cells, 80–200 µm in diameter.

Type from LeFevre Pen., S. Australia; holotype sheet (several specimens) in MEL, 612890, with Sonder's notes; lectotype MEL, 612891.

Selected specimens: Cliff Head, W. Aust., 5–6 m deep (Kirkman & Joll, 18.ix.1979; AD, A51212). Cowaramup Bay, W. Aust., 2–3 m deep (Clarke & Engler, 1.ix.1979; AD, A50657). "The Hotspot", W of Flinders I., S. Aust., 32 m deep (Brandoen, 21.vi.1988; AD, A59296). 4 km W of Waldegrave I., S. Aust., 30 m deep (Branden, 3.vii.1987; AD, A57603). Elliston, S. Aust., 7 m deep in bay (Shepherd, 20.x.1970; AD, A37630). Stenhouse Bay, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 9.iv.1950; AD, A13209). Investigator Strait, S. Aust., 11 m deep (Watson, 20.i.1971; AD, A38383). Outside Tapley Shoal, S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 2.ii.1969; AD, A33491). On "Norma" wreck, off Outer Harbor, S. Aust., 15 m deep (Mitchell, 15.iii.1959; AD, A22588). Glenelg, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 14.iv.1948; AD, A8359). Port Elliot, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 24.vii.1949; AD, A11100). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 2.i.1949; AD, A10692). E end D'Estrees Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust.; in deep pool (Womersley, 11.i.1950; AD, A12688). Stanley Beach, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 27.i.1957; AD, A20850). Penneshaw, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 7 m deep (Lavers, 27.i.2000; AD, A68856). Robe, S. Aust., 8 m deep (P. Womersley, 24.viii.1973; AD, A43963). Nora Creina, S. Aust., 12 m deep (Mitchell, 26.v.1963; AD, A26509). Dutton Bay, Portland, Vic., drift (Womersley, 13.iv.1959; AD, A22684). Walkerville, Vic., drift (Sinkora A2082, 26.ii.1975; AD, A48542). Pegleg Bay, Deal I., Bass Strait, 19 m deep (Houridis, 13.iii.1993; AD, A63327). Currie R., Tas. (G. & F. Perrin, Jan. 1937; AD, A8995).

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

Distribution: Cliff Head, W. Aust., to Walkerville, Vic., and the N coast of Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: Cladurus elatus is a common subtidal species on rough-water coasts of southern Australia, extending into moderate water movement.


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

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

AGARDH, J.G. (1894). Analecta Algologica. Cont. II. Acta Univ. lund. 30, 1–98, Plate 1.

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.)

GUILER, E.R. (1952). The marine algae of Tasmania. Checklist with localities. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasmania 86, 71–106.

HARVEY, W.H. (1855a). Some account of the marine botany of the colony of Western Australia. Trans. R. Jr. Acad. 22, 525–566.

HARVEY, W.H. (1863). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 5, Plates 241–300, synop., pp. i-lxxiii. (Reeve: London.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1865). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 15. (Nordhausen.)

KYLIN, H. (1956). Die Gattungen der Rhodophyceen. (Gleerups: Lund.)

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.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929b). A census of the marine algae of South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 53, 45–53.

MAY, V. (1965). A census and key to the species of Rhodophyceae (red algae) recorded from Australia. Contr. N.S. W. Natl Herb. 3, 349–429.

REINBOLD, T. (1898). Die Algen der Lacepede und Guichen Bay (Süd Australien) und deren näherer Umgebung, gesammelt von Dr. A. Engelhart-Kingston. II. Nuova Notarisia 9, 33–54.

REINBOLD, T. (1899). Meeresalgen von Investigator Street (Süd Australien), gesammelt von Miss Nellie Davey (Waltham, Honiton). Hedwigia 38, 39–51.

SCHMITZ, F. & FALKENBERG, P. (1897). Rhodomelaceae. In Engler, A. & Prantl, K., Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien. T.1. Abt. 2, pp. 421–480. (Englemann: Leipzig.)

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1971). Pearson Island Expedition 1969.-7. The subtidal ecology of benthic algae. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 95(3), 155–167.

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1981). The algal and seagrass ecology of Waterloo Bay, South Australia. Aquat. Bot. 11, 305–371.

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

SONDER, O.W. (1853). Plantae Muellerianae. Algae. Linnaea 25, 657–709.

SONDER, O.W. (1880). In Mueller, F., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae. Supplementum ad volumen undecinum: Algae Australianae hactenus cognitae, pp. 1–42, 105–107. (Melbourne.)

TATE, R. (1882a). A list of the charas, mosses, liverworts, lichens, fungs, and algals of extratropical South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 4, 5–24.

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

WILSON, S.M. & KRAFT, G.T. (2000). Morphological and taxonomic studies of selected genera from the Tribe Amansieae (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta). Aust. Syst. Bot. 13, 325–372.

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

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1950). The marine algae of Kangaroo Island. III. List of Species 1. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 73, 137–197.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1966). Port Phillip survey, 1957–1963: Algae. Mem. natl. Mus., Vict. No. 27, 133–156.

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. 182.

Figure 182 image

Figure 182   enlarge

Fig. 182. Cladurus elatus (A–D, AD, A68856; E, G, AD, A57603; F, AD, A20850). A. Habit. B. Branch showing young laterals with trichoblasts and regular segmentation. C. Branch apex. D. Transverse section of branch with 5 large pericentral cells. E. Section of cystocarp. F. Spermatangial organs. G. Cluster of branches with tetrasporangia.

Disclaimer Copyright Disclaimer Copyright Email Contact:
State Herbarium of South Australia
Government of South Australia Government of South Australia Government of South Australia Department for Environment and Water