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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Cliftonaea pectinata Harvey 1859a: pl. 100; 1863, synop.: xv.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Polyzonieae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1863: 1160; 1879: pl. 32 fig. 22; 1897: 86, pl. 2 figs 8–18. De Toni 1903: 1039. Falkenberg 1901: 375, pl. 5 figs 17–25, pl. 10 figs 1–4, pl. 24 fig. 3. Huisman 2000: 160. Huisman & Walker 1990: 432. Kylin 1956: 536, figs 381A, C, 426B, 429F, 430G. Lucas 1909: 44. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 289, fig. 135. May 1965: 395. Oltmanns 1922: 331, figs 540 (1–3), 597 (4). Scagel 1953: 50. Schmitz & Falkenberg 1897: 460, fig. 258B. Shepherd 1983: 83. Shepherd & Womersley 1971: 166; 1976: 191. Silva et al. 1996: 486. Sonder 1880: 31. Tisdall 1898: 512. Wilson 1890: 491; 1892: 166. Womersley 1950: 188.

Thallus (Fig. 142A) medium to dark red-brown, 10–20 cm high, much branched irregularly, branches with revolute apices (Fig. 142B) and below a membranous axial keel 0.5–2 mm broad and bearing terete, pectinate, determinate laterals 2–4 mm long, closely arranged in 2 slightly divergent rows, alternating from successive segments. Holdfast discoid, bearing several axes; epilithic. Structure. Apices revolute ventrally (on the side of the determinate laterals), apical cells dome-shaped, 15–20 µm in diameter, axial cells cutting off 6 pericentral cells (Fig. 142D) with dorsal and ventral cells and 2 lateral ones on each side, the dorsal cells dividing longitudinally to form the keel and the 2 ventral lateral cells forming the determinate laterals from alternate segments. The keel is 1 cell thick and 6–12 cells broad, cells 30–60 µm in diameter and L/D 3–4. The determinate laterals are 120–180 µm in diameter with 3 pericentral cells, segments L/D 0.6–1.3. Small corticating cells may be cut off from the pericentral cells. Branching is endogenous from the axial cells, emitted laterally from near the keel. Trichoblasts (Fig. 142C) adaxial on each segment of the determinate laterals, 1–2 mm long, branched, basal cells 15–20 µm in diameter, L/D 2–3. Cells multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid to elongate, chained in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes probably dioecious. Procarps in extensive series (Fig. 142E) on the second cell of the trichoblast on the next to basal segment of determinate laterals, with 4-celled carpogonial branches. Carposporophytes with a basal, branched, fusion cell and branched gonimoblast with ovoid terminal carposporangia 90–180 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 142F) ovoid to slightly urceolate, 1.3–2 mm in diameter, short stalked; pericarp (Fig. 143A) ostiolate, corticated and 4–5 cells thick. Spermatangial organs (Falkenberg 1901, pl. 24 fig. 3) replacing trichoblasts, flat to tri-radiate, shown with sterile marginal cells.

Tetrasporangia in long rows (Fig. 143B) in the axes or in small, proliferous, branch clusters arising endogenously from the axes, cut off alternately (Fig. 143C) from the lateral pericentral cells opposite to those bearing a determinate lateral and hence in 2 slightly displaced rows, 150–450 µm in diameter, becoming covered by corticating cells (Fig. 143D) cut off the adjacent pericentral cells.

Type from Garden I., W. Aust., (Clifton); lectotype in Herb. Harvey, TCD.

Selected specimens: Geelvink Ch., 21 km W of Geraldton, W. Aust., 5 m deep (France, Feb. 1979; AD, A51707). Point Clune, Rottnest I., W. Aust., 13–15 m deep (Kraft 7173 & Ricker, 5.xii.1980; AD, A68359). Eyre, W. Aust., drift (Woelkerling, 22.xi.1968; AD, A34241). Point Fowler, S. Aust., 18 m deep (Shepherd, 28.iii.1980; AD, A52242). Masillon I., Isles of St Francis, S. Aust., 13–18 m deep (Shepherd, 5.i.1971; AD, A38005). Waldegrave I., S. Aust., 22 m deep (Shepherd, 23.x.1970; AD, A37397). Pearson I., S. Aust.. 36 m deep (Shepherd, 10.i.1969; AD, A34111). Hopkins I., S. Aust., 33 m deep (Branden, 8.i.1989; AD, A59995). Wedge I., S. Aust., 8–10 m deep (Baldock, 29.xii.1963; AD, A27248). N Spencer Gulf, S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 5.ix.1973; AD, A44216). Point Turton, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 16.x.1988; AD, A59131 - "Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 131a). Off Troubridge Light, Gulf St Vincent, S. Aust., 18 m deep (Shepherd, 4.ii.1969; AD, A33566-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 131). Investigator Strait, S. Aust., 34 m deep (Watson, 20.i.1971; AD, A39221). Off Grange, S. Aust., 18 m deep (Shepherd, 7.xii.1968; AD, A33300). Port Elliot, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 20.i.1960; AD, A23992). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 14.i.1948; AD, A6852). Ironstone Point, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 15 m deep (Lavers, 20.xi.1997; AD, A68245) and 14 m deep (Lavers, 11.vii.1999; AD, A68877). Cable Hut reef, Penneshaw, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 22 m deep (Lavers, 1.ii.2000; AD, A68880). Outside Port Phillip Heads, Vic., 22 m deep (Watson, 29.iii.1985; AD, A57047).

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

Distribution: Geelvink Channel, W. Aust., to Port Phillip Heads, Victoria.

Taxonomic notes: Cliftonaea pectinata is a deep-water species, common on the western coasts of South Australia.


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

AGARDH, J.G. (1879). Florideernes morphologi. K. Svenska Vetensk. Akad. Handl. 15(6), 1–199, Plates 1–33.

AGARDH, J.G. (1897). Analecta Algologica. Cont. IV. Acta Univ. lund. 33, 1–106, Plates 1, 2.

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.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1859a). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 2, Plates 61–120. (Reeve: London.)

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

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. (2000). Marine Plants of Australia. (Univ. W. Aust. Press, Nedlands, W. Aust. & ABRS, Canberra, A.C.T.)

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.

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.

OLTMANNS, F. (1922). Morphologie und Biologie der algen. Zweite, umgearbeitete auflage Zipeiter Bd. Phaeophyceae-Rhodophyceae. (Jena.)

SCAGEL, R.F. (1953). A morphological study of some dorsiventral Rhodomelaceae. Univ. Calif. Pubis Bot. 27, 1–108.

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. (1976). The subtidal algal and seagrass ecology of St Francis Island, South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 100, 177–191.

SHEPHERD, S.A. (1983). Benthic communities of upper Spencer Gulf, South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 107, 69–85.

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

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.

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

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.

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 2003: FIGS 142, 143.

Figure 142 image

Figure 142   enlarge

Fig. 142. Clijionaea pectinata (A–C, E, AD, A34111; D, AD, A68245; F, AD, A59995). A. Habit. B. Revolute branch apex with membranous keel and pectinate laterals. C. Terete determinate laterals on keel, with procarps on their bases and bearing trichoblasts. D. Transverse section of axis with keel (left) and 2 determinate laterals (right). E. Determinate laterals on keel, with procarps on their second segment. F. Cystocarps.

Figure 143 image

Figure 143   enlarge

Fig. 143. Cliftonaea pectinata (A, AD, A68880; B, D, AD, A68877; C, AD, A59995). A. Section of cystocarp. B. Branch bearing tetrasporangia. C. Tetrasporangia cut of alternately from lateral pericentral cells (view from keel). D. Corticating cells covering alternate tetrasporangia.

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