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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Herposiphonia rostrata (Sonder) Reinbold 1899: 50.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Herposiphonieae

Selected citations: De Toni 1903: 1053. Falkenberg 1901: 311, pl. 3 fig. 19. Huisman & Walker 1990: 434. Lucas 1909: 44; 1929b: 51. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 292. Silva et al. 1996: 499.


Polysiphonia rostrata Sonder 1845: 53; 1848: 180; 1880: 35. J. Agardh 1863: 926. Harvey 1847: 49; 1855a: 541; 1863: pl. 242, synop.: xxi. Kützing 1849: 809; 1863: 14, pl. 43c, d. Reinbold 1897: 57. Tisdall 1898: 514. Wilson 1892: 167.

Vertebrata rostrata (Sonder) Kuntze 1891: 929.

Thallus (Fig. 128A) medium red, with prostrate axes producing erect axes 2–6 cm high, bearing laterally relatively short indeterminate axes with simple determinate laterals mostly pectinately and abaxially arranged, the indeterminate laterals separated by usually 3 segments bearing determinate laterals (Fig. 128B). Attachment by rhizoids; epiphytic, on Amphibolis and various algae. Structure. Apices revolute with determinate laterals on the convex side, apical cells hemispherical, 12–15 µm in diameter. Pericentral cells 12–14 in axes, (10–) 11 (–12) in determinate laterals; axes (250–) 300–450 µm in diameter, segments L/D 0.5–0.8, determinate laterals 1.0–2.5 mm long, 100–150 µm in diameter, segments L/D 0.8–1.2. Trichoblasts on upper segments of determinate laterals, 200–1000 µm long, basal cells 10–20 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2. Rhizoids cut off from pericentral cells, unicellular with digitate haptera. Cells uni- to multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid to elongate.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps not observed. Carposporophytes with an inconspicuous basal fusion cell and short gonimoblast with clavate terminal carposporangia 30–60 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 1280) ovoid, 300–900 µm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, 2 cells thick, ecorticate, outer cells isodiametric, irregular in shape. Spermatangial branches (Fig. 128D) replacing trichoblasts or basal branches thereof, 100–330 µm long and 40–80 µm in diameter, with 1–2 sterile basal cells and a sterile apical filament of 2-several cells. Tetrasporangia (Fig. 128E) in straight or curved series of 2–6 in determinate laterals, 70–130 µm in diameter, with 2–3 cover cells, swelling the segments to 150–220 µm in diameter.

Type from W. Aust., (probably near Fremantle); holotype in MEL, 45839.

Selected specimens: Yanchep, W. Aust., on Amphibolis, drift (Womersley, 22.ix.1979; AD, A51260). Swan R., W. Aust. (Harvey, Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 196a; AD, A18239). Safety Bay, W. Aust., on Amphibolis, drift (Womersley, 29.ix.1979; AD, A50739). Anxious Bay, S. Aust., on Amphibolis, drift (Parsons, 24.viii.1967; AD, A31936). Tiparra Reef, S. Aust., on Amphibolis antarctica, 5 m deep (Shepherd, 20.viii.1971; AD, A39463) and on A. griffithii, 12 m deep (Shepherd, 27.vii.1970; AD, A36005). Sturt Bay, S. Aust., on Amphibolis (Davey; AD, A1352). Off West Beach, S. Aust., on Amphibolis, 6 m deep (Shepherd, 13.xi.1970; AD, A37696). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., on Amphibolis, drift (Womersley, 29.viii.1950; AD, A15309). Double Corner Beach, Portland, Vic.; on A. antarctica, drift (Beauglehole, 22.vii.1951; AD, A21567). Port Phillip Heads, Vic., epiphytic (Wilson, 17.i.1888; MEL, 45844). Cruiser Point, Westernport Bay, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1305, 29.x.1971; AD, A49469, MEL, 504874).

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

Distribution: Yanchep, W. Aust., to Westernport Bay, Victoria.

Taxonomic notes: Herposiphonia rostrata is, as Harvey commented, closely related to H. versicolor, differing in colour, in having the determinate laterals mostly pectinately arranged, and in the larger number of pericentral cells. Further studies of these differences are needed.


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

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. (1849). Species Algarum. (Leipzig.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1863). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 13. (Nordhausen.)

KUNTZE, O. (1891). Revisio generum Plantarum. Part II. 4. Algae, pp. 877–930. (Leipzig.)

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.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929b). A census of the marine algae of South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 53, 45–53.

REINBOLD, T. (1897). Die Algen der Lacepede und Guichen Bay und deren náherer Umgebung (Slid Australien), gesammelt von Dr. A. Engelhart-Kingston. Nuova Notarisia 8, 41–62.

REINBOLD, T. (1899). Meeresalgen von Investigator Street (Süd Australien), gesammelt von Miss Nellie Davey (Waltham, Honiton). Hedwigia 38, 39–51.

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.G. (1845). Nova Algarum genera et species, quas in itinere ad oras occidentales Novae Hollandiae, collegit L. Preiss, Ph.Dr. Bot. Zeit. 3, 49–57.

SONDER, O.W. (1848). Algae. In Lehmann, C., Plantae Preissianae. Vol. 2, pp. 161–195. (Hamburg.)

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. 128.

Figure 128 image

Figure 128   enlarge

Fig. 128. Herposiphonia rostrata (A, AD, A18239; B–E, AD, A50739). A. Habit. B. Branch apex with indeterminate and determinate laterals. C. Branches with cystocarps. D. Spermatangial organs on determinate laterals. E. Tetrasporangia in determinate laterals.

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