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Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus ERYTHROSTACHYS White in Ewart et al. 1912: 257

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Lophothalieae

Thallus erect, with robust, corticated, cartilaginous axes bearing lateral, branched, tufts with lightly corticated branches, probably proliferous; holdfast divided, with thick branches. Structure monopodial, trichoblasts and pericentral cells cut off close to apices. Pericentral cells 7, remaining clear in transverse section around the axial cell and within the smaller celled cortex. Trichoblasts rigid, basally furcate once (rarely twice), with adherent basal walls at the furcations, cells rhodoplastic, more or less isodiametric, terminal cells acute; adventitious filaments absent. Cells uninucleate.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps borne on a lower cell of trichoblasts at a furcation. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell, short, slender gonimoblast filaments and large terminal carposporangia. Cystocarps ovoid, without a neck; pericarp ostiolate, corticated. Spermatangial organs developed on branches of trichoblasts.

Tetrasporangia produced in lateral, corticated, branches bearing trichoblasts, spirally arranged, one per segment.

Type species: E. prolifera White [= E. strobilifera (J. Agardh) Womersley & Parsons, comb. nov.]

Taxonomic notes: Erythrostachys was described as E. prolifera White in Ewart et al. (1912) in a rather obscure publication on the basis of a specimen seen and named by J. Agardh, who had (unknown to White) described it (1890, p. 60) as Lophothalia strobilifera. Kylin (1956, p. 510) erected the genus Rhodolphia for it, being unaware of the earlier Erythrostachys.

Erythrostachys is a distinctive genus, with 7 pericentral cells, heavily corticated axes, short, rigid trichoblasts which are basally furcate, and spirally arranged tetrasporangia.


EWART, A.J., WHITE, J., REES, B. & WOOD, B. (1912). Contribution to the Flora of Australia, No. 18. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. 24(N.S.), 255–269, pls 52–56.

KYLIN, H. (1956). Die Gattungen der Rhodophyceen. (Gleerups: Lund.)

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

Author: H.B.S. Womersley & M.J. Parsons

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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