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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Herposiphonia filipendula (Harvey ex J. Agardh)Falkenberg ex De Toni 1903: 1058.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Herposiphonieae

Selected citations: Falkenberg 1901: 317. Lucas 1909: 45. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 294. Silva et al. 1996: 497.


Polysiphonia filipendula Harvey ex J. Agardh 1863: 920. Harvey 1863, synop.: xxi. Kützing 1864: 13, pl. 38a-e. Sonder 1880: 35. Tisdall 1898: 514.

Thallus (Fig. 129A) dark red-brown, with prostrate indeterminate axes bearing erect, assurgent branches (Fig. 129B) 1–2 cm high, with usually 3 determinate laterals between lateral indeterminate branches, the determinate laterals irregularly placed but tending to be on one side (Fig. 129C). Attachment by rhizoids; epilithic and occasionally epiphytic. Structure. Apex with recurved determinate laterals, apical cells hemispherical to dome-shaped, 12–15 µm in diameter. Pericentral cells 8–9 (–10), prostrate axes 100–220 µm in diameter, segments L/D 1–2, erect indeterminate axes 90–140 µm in diameter, segments L/D 1–2 (–3), determinate laterals 1–3 (–6) mm long, 45–80 µm in diameter, segments L/D 1–2 (–4). Trichoblasts on upper segments of determinate laterals, 0.5–1 mm long, basal cells 15–20 µm in diameter, short, then elongate. Rhizoids cut off from pericentral cells, unicellular with digitate haptera. Cells uninucleate, larger multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid.

Reproduction: Procarps not observed. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell and branched gonimoblast with clavate terminal carposporangia 30–55 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 129C) lateral on determinate laterals, subsessile, ovoid, 400–600 µm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, 2 cells thick, ecorticate, outer cells isodiametric, angular. Spermatangia unknown.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 129D) in series of 1–6 in determinate laterals, in fairly straight rows, one per segment, 60–80 µm in diameter, with 3 cover cells.

Type from Port Fairy, Vic.; lectotype Harvey, Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 193D, in Herb. Agardh, LD, 39142; isolectotype in MEL, 45810.

Selected specimens: Port Lincoln, S. Aust., 0.5–2 m deep on jetty piles (Womersley, 13.v.1968; AD, A32496). Off Troubridge I., S. Aust., on Chiracanthia arborea, 14 m deep (Shepherd, 4.ii.1969; AD, A33781). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., in shallow pools (Prud'homme van Reine, 26.ix.1988; AD, A59122). Sorrento, Vic., 5–6 m deep (Kraft & Drews, 8.vi.1992; MELU, K9023, AD, A69079). Crawfish Rock, Westernport Bay, Vic., 0 m deep (Watson, 28.v.1974; AD, A45363).

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

Distribution: Port Lincoln, S. Aust., to Westernport Bay, Victoria.

Taxonomic notes: H. filipendula is a little-known species, and further study of material from the type locality is needed.

The species combination is usually ascribed directly to Falkenberg (1901, p. 317), but he did not cite the original reference of J. Agardh and also stated that it doubtfully belonged to Herposiphonia. De Toni (1903, p. 1058) was the first author to correctly make the transfer, ascribing it to Falkenberg.

The specimen first designated as P. filipendula by Harvey, from W. Australia (Clifton), is distinct from that described by J. Agardh. It is probably a slender form of H. versicolor.


AGARDH, J.G. (1863). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 2, Part 3, pp. 787–1291. (Gleerup: Lund.)

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

KÜTZING, F.T. (1864). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 14. (Nordhausen.)

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.

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. 129.

Figure 129 image

Figure 129   enlarge

Fig. 129. Herposiphonia filipendula (A, B, AD, A59122; C, D, AD, A33781). A. Habit. B. Branches. C. Determinate laterals with cystocarps. D. Determinate laterals with tetrasporangia.

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