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Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus CRASSILINGUA Papenfuss 1956: 160

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Delesseriaceae

Thallus much branched marginally and proliferously from within the margins, branches linear, margin smooth, all branches with a broad midrib but without lateral veins; holdfast fibrous, usually epilithic. Structure. Apical cells indistinct, segmenting to axial cells and lateral pericentral cells (transverse pericentral cells not recognisable) which produce second-order cell rows reaching the margin, the cells cutting off third-order cells and rows irregularly to form blades of compact, irregular cells. Transverse intercalary divisions frequent in axial and other cells. Cortication commencing early, with the blades polystromatic throughout and becoming (3–) 5 (–7) cells thick, with broad corticated midribs covering several primary cells, with anticlinal rows of cortical cells, and the blade margins thicker than other blade tissue.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps scattered between midribs and margins. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell and gonimoblast filaments with terminal chains of ovoid carposporangia. Cystocarps few per blade, ostiolate, swollen with a thick pericarp of anticlinal rows of cells. Spermatangial sori on both sides of blades, with the cortical cells functioning as initials which cut off elongate spermatangia.

Tetrasporangial sori elongate, between midrib and margin, thicker than adjacent sterile blade, with the cortical cells producing filaments of 4–7 cells surrounding short filaments bearing ovoid terminal tetrasporangia.

Type species: C. husseyana (J. Agardh) May 1965: 352, 400. [= C. marginifera (J. Agardh) Papenfuss 1958, p. 104.]

Taxonomic notes: There is probably only a single species of Crassilingua; names within the genus are discussed below. It is characterised by the habit, indistinct apical cell, transverse intercalary divisions of axial cells, broad midrib and polystromatic blades, with distinctive linear tetrasporangial sori.


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.

PAPENFUSS, G.F. (1956). On the nomenclature of some Delesseriaceae. Taxon 5, 158–162.

PAPENFUSS, G.F. (1958). Notes on algal nomenclature. IV. Taxon 7, 104–109.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIID complete list of references.

Author: H. B. S. Womersley

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.

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