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Cottoniella fusiformis Børgesen 1930: 144, figs 58, 59.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Sarcomeniaceae

Selected citations: Hollenberg 1967b: 120.


Cottoniella arcuata var. fusiformis (Børgesen) Schotter 1951: 292.

Cottoniella filamentosa var. jusiformis (Børgesen) Cormaci et al. 1978: 256. Cormaci & Furnari 1987: 756. Huisman 1997: 201. Silva et al. 1996: 454.

Thallus (Fig. 70F) medium to dark red-brown, erect, 1–6 cm high, with numerous slender branches for 3–4 orders from one to several slightly corticated, compressed, main branches 0.5–1 mm broad, branch apices curved with monosiphonous filaments on the concave (adaxial) side. Attachment by multicellular rhizoids with branched, digitate ends, arising from the flanking cells of basal or decumbent branches; epiphytic and epilithic? Structure. Apical cells domed to elongate, cutting off 4 pericentral cells, the abaxial transverse one first, followed by 2 lateral cells and lastly the adaxial transverse pericentral cells, with the lateral cells each producing 2 flanking cells within 12–15 cells of the apices. Young branches (Fig. 70G) 30–50 µm broad, mature lateral branches slightly fusiform and compressed with the basal 2 segments without flanking cells and hence constricted, 250–500 µm broad. Monosiphonous filaments (Fig. 70G, H) rhodoplastic, unbranched, formed endogenously anterior to the adaxial transverse pericentral cell, at first singly per axial cell but soon, and usually, in pairs; filaments 0.5–1.5 mm long, tapering only slightly, 12–25 µm in diameter, cells L/D mostly 2–5. Cortication (Fig. 70H) by cells cut off the lower ends of transverse pericentral cells, producing descending rhizoidal filaments lying between the pericentral cells, later spreading to form a slight overall cortex. Lateral branches adaxial, arising endogenously from axial cells. Cells uninucleate with 2 iridescent bodies; rhodoplasts discoid to elongate, becoming chained in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes unknown.

Tetrasporangial stichidia (Fig. 70I) lateral on lesser branches, 0.5–1 mm long with 5–10 fertile segments, 90–150 µm broad; tetrasporangia 30–40 µm in diameter, in 2 longitudinal rows, cut off from lateral pericentral cells with a short cover cell on the abaxial side and a longer one adaxially; the flanking cells each divide, with the lower cell becoming curved around the edge of the stichidium.

Type from Playa de Santa Catalina (Las Palmas), Gran Canaria, Canary Is; presumably in C.

Selected specimens: Off Grange, S. Aust., on artificial tyre reef, 20 m deep (Branden, 7.iii.1985; AD, A56422). Seacliff, S. Aust., 12 m deep (Rowland, 2.ii.1986; AD, A57029). Port Stanvac, S. Aust., 13 m deep (Rowland, 6.iii.1988; AD, A58633). Port Noarlunga, S. Aust., on Sargassum, 8 m deep (Gordon-Mills, 26.iii.1987; AD, A56845).

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

Distribution: Canary Islands, Pakistan.

In southern Australia, known only from eastern Gulf St Vincent, S. Australia.

Taxonomic notes: These records, all from the coast adjacent to Adelaide, are spread over some 30 km of coast and from summer months of 4 years. They probably represent an adventive occurrence, but it is not known whether it has persisted.


BØRGESEN, F. (1930). Marine algae from the Canary Islands. III. Rhodophyceae. Part III. Ceramiales. K. Dan. Vidensk. Selskab. Biol. Medd. 9, 1–159.

CORMACI, M. & FURNARI, G. (1987). Nomenclatural notes on some Mediterranean algae. Taxon 36, 755–758.

CORMACI, M., FURNARI, G. & SCAMMACCA, B. (1978). On the tetrasporic phase of Cottoniella Boergesen (Ceramiales, Rhodomelaceae, Sarcomenioideae). Phycologia 17, 251–256.

HOLLENBERG, G.J. (1967b). New marine algae from the central tropical Pacific Ocean. Amer. J. Bot. 54, 1198–1203.

HUISMAN, J.M. (1997). Marine Benthic Algae of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. In Wells, F.E. (Ed.) The Marine Flora and Fauna of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, pp. 177–237. (W. Aust. Museum: Perth.)

SCHOTTER, G. (1951). Le genre Cottoniella Boergesen (Delessériacées). Rev. Gén. Botanique 58, 279–298.

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

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. 70 E–I.

Figure 70 image

Figure 70   enlarge

Fig. 70. A–E. Malaconema roeanum (A, B, E, AD, A30828; C, D, AD, A68849). A. Habit. B. Corticated branch with rhizoids. C. Branch with a carpogonial branch and associated flanking cells. D. A mature cystocarp. E. A stichidium. F–I. Cottoniella fusiformis (F, AD, A56845; G–I, AD, A58633). F. Habit. G. Branches with curved apices and paired monosiphonous filaments. H. Corticated branch with paired monosiphonous filaments. I. Tetrasporangial branches.

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