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Dipterosiphonia dendritica (C. Agardh) Schmitz in Schmitz & Falkenberg 1897: 464.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Herposiphonieae

Selected citations: Børgesen 1918: 292, figs 290, 291; 1924: 303. De Toni 1903: 1047. Falkenberg 1901: 324. Joly et al. 1965: 25, pls 1–6. Kylin 1956: 533. Lucas 1909: 44. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 291. May 1965: 380. Oliveira 1977: 138. Silva et al. 1996: 491.


Hutchinsia dendritica C. Agardh 1824: 146; 1828: 104.

Polysiphonia dendritica (C. Agardh) J. Agardh 1863: 916; 1885: 98. Harvey 1847: 47; 1863, synop.: xxi. Sonder 1880: 37. Tisdall 1898: 514.

Polysiphonia heteroclada J. Agardh 1885: 98.

Dipterosiphonia heteroclada (J. Agardh) Falkenberg 1901: 320, p1. 3 figs 1–3. Adams 1994: 313, pl. 106, lower. De Toni 1903: 1046. Millar 1990: 448, fig. 62A–C. Millar & Kraft 1993: 52. Schmitz & Falkenberg 1897: 464.

Thallus (Fig. 133A) dark red-brown, 2–10 mm long, prostrate on and adherent to the host, complanately branched with occasionally branched compressed axes, with paired determinate laterals from adjacent segments on alternate sides (Fig. 133B), the anterior of each pair 250–600 µm long, flexed forward from the axial cell and branched as in the axes but of limited development, the posterior one simple, emitted directly from the axial cell, and 100–200 µm long. Lateral branches of axes occur by continued growth of the anterior determinate lateral. Attachment by rhizoids; epiphytic on various algae. Structure. Apical cells hemispherical, 10–15 µm in diameter. Axes with 5–6 pericentral cells (3–4 in face view), terete determinate laterals with 5 (–6) pericentral cells, axial segments L/D 0.5–0.8. Trichoblasts occur on end segments of determinate laterals or their branches, 200–1000 µm long, much branched with basal cells 15–25 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2, upper cells longer and slenderer. Rhizoids cut off from lateral pericentral cells of axes, unicellular with multicellular haptera. Cells uninucleate; rhodoplasts discoid, chained in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes monoecious (AD, A15431, Fig. 133C), probably also dioecious. Procarps probably on basal cell of trichoblasts on determinate laterals, rapidly polysiphonous. Carposporophytes with a small basal fusion cell and short, branched, gonimoblast with clavate terminal carposporangia 10–18 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 133D) ovoid to slightly urceolate, 200–300 µm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, 2 cells thick, ecorticate, outer cells angular, L/D about 1 (–2). Spermatangial organs lanceoid, 80–180 µm long and 35–55 µm in diameter, with 1 (–2) basal sterile cells and 2–3 sterile apical cells.

Stichidia developed from determinate laterals, curved, free from host and more or less erect, with tetrasporangia (Fig. 133E) in a fairly straight row, 30–45 µm in diameter, with 2 cover cells.

Type from Brazil, on Vidalia obtusiloba; holotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 39124.

Selected specimens: Yanchep, W. Aust., on Erythroclonium muelleri, drift (Womersley, 22.ix.1979; AD, A51278). Point Drummond, S. Aust., on Laurencia filiformis, mid eulittoral pool (Womersley, 11.i.1951; AD, A15138). Yatala Harbour, N Spencer Gulf, S. Aust., on Posidonia sinuosa, 10 m deep (Johnson, 27.vi.1978; AD, A54933). Troubridge Point, S. Aust., on Haliptilon roseum, 2–5 m deep (Shepherd, 7.ii.1969; AD, A33835). D'Estrees Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., on Laurencia filiformis, sublittoral fringe pools (Womersley, 24.viii.1950; AD, A15431). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., on Chaetomorpha coliformis, upper sublittoral (Womersley, 26.i.1956; AD, A20118). Brighton, Port Phillip, Vic. (Harvey, Trav. Set 480; MEL, 45859). Phelans Bluff, Phillip I., Vic., on Metagoniolithon stelliferum, drift (Sinkora, A559, 15.vi.1970; AD, A62709, MEL, 2010413). Emu Bay, N Tas., on Botiyocladia obovata (1880; herb. Sonder; MEL, 45856).

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

Distribution: In southern Australia, from Yanchep, W. Aust., to Phillip I., Victoria and N Tasmania. N.S.W. (Millar & Kraft 1993: 52).

Widespread in the temperate southern hemisphere, extending into the northern hemisphere.

Taxonomic notes: J. Agardh (1885, p. 98) in describing P. heteroclada, based on New Zealand material, separated it from P. dendritica in having branches secundarily erect. The basic branching pattern in both is identical and the erect parts largely apply to the tetrasporic branches. There appears to be little difference between them, based on the description of Brazilian material by Joly et al. (1965), and P. heteroclada is here regarded as a synonym of P. dendritica.


ADAMS, N.M. (1994). Seaweeds of New Zealand. (Cant. Univ. Press: Christchurch.)

AGARDH, C.A. (1824). Systema Algarum. (Berling: Lund.)

AGARDH, C.A. (1828). Species Algarum. Vol. 2. (Mauritius: Greifswald.)

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.

BØRGESEN, F. (1918). The marine algae of the Danish West Indies. Part 3. Rhodophyceae. Dansk. Bot. Ark. 3, 241–304.

BØRGESEN, F. (1924). Marine algae from Easter Island. In Skottsberg, C. (Ed.) The Natural History of Juan Fernandez and Easter Island. Vol. 2, pp 247–309. (Uppsala: Sweden.)

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. (1847). Nereis Australis, pp. 1–69, Plates 1–25. (Reeve: London.)

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

JOLY, A.B., CORDEIRO, M., MENDOZA, M.L., YAMAGUISHI, N. & UGADIM, Y. (1965). The reproduction of Dipterosiphonia dendritica (C. Agardh)Schmitz. Rickia 2, 25–38.

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.

MILLAR, A.J.K. & KRAFT, G.T. (1993). Catalogue of marine and freshwater Red Algae (Rhodophyta) of New South Wales, including Lord Howe Island, South-western Pacific. Aust. Syst. Bot. 6, 1–90.

MILLAR, A.J.K. (1990). Marine Red Algae of the Coffs Harbour Region, northern New South Wales. Aust. Syst. Bot. 3, 293–593.

OLIVEIRA FILHO, E.C. de (1977). Algas Marinhas Bentônicas do Brasil. Univ. São Paulo, Instituto de Biociências. [Thesis.]

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

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.

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. 133.

Figure 133 image

Figure 133   enlarge

Fig. 133. Dipterosiphonia dendritica (AD, A15431). A. Prostrate axis showing branching. B. Branch apex with alternate pairs of anterior branched and posterior simple determinate laterals. C. Branch with a juvenile cystocarp (right) and juvenile spermatangial organs (left) on one plant. D. Mature cystocarps. E. Branches bearing trichoblasts and tetrasporangia.

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