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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Coeloclonium umbellula (Harvey) J. Agardh 1876: 640 (as "umbellata").

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Chondrieae

Selected citations: De Toni 1903: 824. Ducker et al. 1977: 87. Falkenberg 1901: 214. Huisman & Walker 1990: 433. Huisman et al. 1990: 97. Kendrick et al. 1988: 204; 1990: 52. Lucas 1909: 39; 1929b: 51. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 256, fig. 114. May 1965: 383 (as "umbellatum"). Reinbold 1898: 49; 1899: 48. Shepherd & Womersley 1981: 368. Silva et al. 1996: 486. Sonder 1880: 29.


Chondria umbellula Harvey 1855a: 539; 1860, pl. 147; 1863, synop.: xix.

Thallus (Fig. 180A) medium red-brown, 1–3 cm high, with 2–3 successive umbels (Fig. 180D) of 5–10 elongate segments, synchronously developed to give the thallus a rounded outline; basal segments 5–8 (–12) mm long and 2–3 mm in diameter, upper segments mostly 2–4 mm long and 1.5–3 mm in diameter, with trichoblasts at the apices. Holdfast discoid, 1–2 (–3) mm across; epiphytic on leaves of Posidonia and Amphibolis. Structure. Apical filaments short, cutting off 5 pericentral cells which expand rapidly to form a broad summit to the upper segments, becoming elongate at right angles to the axial cells, 20–30 µm in diameter and very long, and bearing 2–3 clusters of derivative segments, all with an outer cortex of smaller cells 12–25 µm in diameter and L/D mostly 2–3. Trichoblasts 1–2 mm long, basal cells 20–40 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2 (–3). Cells uninucleate; rhodoplasts discoid, chained in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps not observed. Carposporophytes without a basal fusion cell, gonimoblast filaments basally branched with carposporangia supported on long slender strands, carposporangia clavate, 50–120 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (180B) sessile, ovoid, 1–1.5 mm in diameter; pericarp with a broad ostiole, ecorticate, 2 (–3) cells thick. Spermatangial plates (Fig. 180C) on ends of upper segments, replacing whole trichoblast, with a branched vein system, ovate, 1–2 mm across, with a sterile margin 3–4 cells broad.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 180D, E) in upper segments, borne on pericentral or derivative cells, usually one to a few per whorl, 120–220 µm in diameter.

Lectotype from Garden I., W. Aust.; Harvey, Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 161a, in Herb. Harvey, TCD.

Selected specimens: Yanerbie Bay, Sceale Bay, S. Aust., on Posidonia, 3–4 m deep (Edyvane, 30.ix.1982; AD, A60609). Elliston, S. Aust., on Posidonia, drift (Parsons, 23.viii.1967; AD, A31929). Coffin Bay, S. Aust., on Posidonia, 2.5 m deep (Womersley, 4.xii.1975; AD, A46941). Tiparra Reef, S. Aust., on Posidonia sinuosa, 5 m deep (Shepherd, 30.ix.1970; AD, A37309). Pondalowie Bay, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 15.x.1988; AD, A59149). Stenhouse Bay, S. Aust., 3–7 m deep (Kraft, 18.ix.1973; AD, A44567). Aldinga, S. Aust., on Posidonia, 7 m deep (Johnson, 7.vii.1973; AD, A43833). Victor Harbor, S. Aust., on Amphibolis, drift (Womersley, 2.xi.1965; AD, A29631). Gardens Beach, Portland, Vic., drift (Beauglehole, 11.viii.1951; AD, A21582).

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

Distribution: Rottnest I., W. Aust., to Portland, Victoria. Kendrick et al. (1988, p. 204) record it from Shark Bay, W. Australia.

Taxonomic notes: Coeloclonium umbellula is distinctive in habit and occurs mainly on the sea-grasses Posidonia and Amphibolis, though Harvey (1860, pl. 147) reported it on "smaller algae" at Garden Island.


AGARDH, J.G. (1876). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 1 - Epicrisis systematis Floridearum, pp. i-vii, 1–724. (Weigel: Leipzig.)

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

DUCKER, S.C., FOORD, N.J. & KNOX, R.B. (1977). Biology of Australian Seagrasses: the genus Amphibolis C. Agardh (Cymodoceaceae). Aust. J. Bot. 25, 67–95.

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

HARVEY, W.H. (1860). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 3, Plates 121–180. (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., KENDRICK, G.A., WALKER, D.I. & COUTÉ, A. (1990). The Marine Algae of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Research in Shark Bay. Report of the France-Australe Bicentenary Expedition Committee, pp. 89–100.

KENDRICK, G.A., WALKER, D.I. & McCOMB, A.J. (1988). Changes in the distribution of macro-algal epiphytes on stems of the seagrass Amphibolis antarctica along a salinity gradient in Shark Bay, Western Australia. Phycologia 27, 201–208.

KENDRICK, G.A., HUISMAN, J.M. & WALKER, D.I. (1990). Benthic macroalgae of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Bot. Mar. 33, 47–54.

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.

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

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. 180.

Figure 180 image

Figure 180   enlarge

Fig. 180. Coeloclonium umbellula (A, AD, A44567; B–E, AD, A37309). A. Habit. B. Cystocarp. C. Spermatangial plates. D. Umbel of branches with tetrasporangia. E. Branch with tetrasporangia.

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