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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Herposiphonia pectinella (Harvey) Falkenberg 1901: 315.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Herposiphonieae

Selected citations: De Toni 1903: 1055. Huisman & Walker 1990: 434. Lucas 1909: 44. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 292. Silva et al. 1996: 498.


Polysiphonia pectinella Harvey 1855a: 541; 1863, synop.: xxi. J. Agardh 1863: 918. Sonder 1880: 35. Tisdall 1898: 514. Wilson 1892: 167.

Polysiphonia pectinata Harvey ex Kützing 1864: 13, pl. 39a-e.

Thallus (Fig. 130C) light red-brown, slender, erect but flaccid, 1–6 cm high, determinate laterals radially to pectinately arranged with 3 between indeterminate branches (Fig. 130D), lower axes attached by rhizoids; epiphytic. Structure. Pericentral cells 6–8 (–9), axes 80–110 µm in diameter with segments L/D 2–4, determinate laterals 2–4 mm long, 45–60 µm in diameter, segments L/D (2–) 3–4. Trichoblasts (juvenile) on determinate laterals. Rhizoids cut off from pericentral cells, unicellular with digitate haptera. Cells multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid to elongate.

Reproduction: Procarps on a lower cell of trichoblasts, with a 4-celled carpogonial branch. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell and branched gonimoblast with clavate terminal carposporangia 30–40 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 130D, E) borne on determinate laterals 150–220 µm in diameter, slightly urceolate, 400–800 µm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, 2 cells thick, ecorticate, outer cells isodiametric, irregularly shaped. Spermatangial organs unknown.

Tetrasporangia unknown.

Type from King George Sound, W. Aust.; holotype in Harvey, Trav. Set. 38, TCD.

Selected specimens: Pearson I., S. Aust., 36 m deep (Shepherd, 10.i.1969; AD, A34114). BP Refinery pier, Western Port, Vic., 0–1 m deep (Millar, 3.v.1979; MELU, 23945).

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

Distribution: King George Sound, W. Aust., to Western Port, Victoria. Record from Rottnest I., W. Aust. (Harvey 1855a, p. 541) doubtful.

Taxonomic notes: Herposiphonia pectinella is probably closely related to H. monilifera, differing in having longer segments and fewer pericentral cells. H. pectinella was distributed by Harvey (Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 194B) as Polysiphonia pectinata, but described as pectinella. It is a little-known species needing further study. The above description is based largely on AD, A34114 which was collected from 36 m deep, in contrast to the type collection from intertidal mud.


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. (1855a). Some account of the marine botany of the colony of Western Australia. Trans. R. Jr. Acad. 22, 525–566.

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

HUISMAN, J.M. & WALKER, D.I. (1990). A catalogue of the marine plants of Rottnest Island, Western Australia, with notes on their distribution and biogeography. Kingia 1, 349–459.

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.

WILSON, J.B. (1892). Catalogue of algae collected at or near Port Phillip Heads and Western Port. Proc. R. Soc. Viet. 4, 157–190.

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. 130 C–E.

Figure 130 image

Figure 130   enlarge

Fig. 130. A, B. Herposiphonia monilifera (A, AD, A15331; B, AD, A24574). A. Habit, on Posidonia. B. Determinate laterals with tetrasporangia. C–E. Herposiphonia pectinella (AD, A34114). C. Habit. D. Branches with a juvenile cystocarp. E. A mature, damaged, cystocarp.

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