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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Hymenena multipartita (Hooker & Harvey) Kylin 1924: 79; 1929: 11, p1.8 fig. 20.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Delesseriaceae

Selected citations: Adams 1994: 305? Guiler 1952: 101. May 1965: 401. Papenfuss 1964b: 53?. Shepherd & Womersley 1970: 135; 1971: 166. Silva et al. 1996: 457.


Nitophyllum multi partitum Hooker & Harvey 1847: 404. J. Agardh 1852: 664; 1872: 50; 1876: 457; 1898: 69. De Toni 1900: 653. DeToni & Forti 1923: 33. Harvey 1849a: 121; 1859b: 312; 1863, synop.: xxxii. Lucas 1909: 35; 1926: 604, pl. 44 figs 1, 2; 1929a: 19. Sonder 1853: 690; 1880: 23. Tisdall 1898: 509. Wilson 1892: 174.

Aglaophyllum multipartitum (Hooker & Harvey) Kützing 1849: 868; 1869: 3, pl. 7c, d.

Nitophyllum obsoletum Zanardini 1874: 498. J. Agardh 1876: 472. DeToni 1900: 664. Guiler 1952: 102. Lucas 1909: 36. Sonder 1880: 23.

Nitophyllum parvifolium J. Agardh 1876: 457; 1898: 69. De Toni 1900: 653. Kylin 1929: 14. Lucas 1909: 35; 1926: 605, pl. 44 fig. 3; 1929b: 50. Reinbold 1897: 54. Sonder 1880: 23. Wilson 1892: 174. Womersley 1966: 152.

Thallus (Fig. 65A, B) medium to dark red-brown, 5–10 (–12) cm high, usually densely tufted, more-or-less complanately branched with alternate, marginal, flat branches 1–4 (–10) mm apart, all branches 1–2 (–3) mm broad, apices rounded, margins entire, smooth, older axes becoming denuded of laterals below and 0.5–2 mm broad. Holdfast rhizoidal, becoming fibrous; epilithic or epizoic. Structure. Growth marginal (Fig. 65C), without obvious apical cells, marginal cells 6–10 across. Blades mostly monostromatic (Fig. 66B) and 50–90 µm thick, older parts 3 cells and 90–120 µm thick, cells angular to ovoid and 25–45 µm across,

L/D 1–2. Central lower branches 200–500 µm and 7–14 cells thick, cells in anticlinal rows. Microscopical veins (Fig. 65D) slight to prominent, slender, 1 cell broad, cells 20–30 µm in diameter and L/D 1.5–3.5 (–5). Cells with discoid to elongate rhodoplasts.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps scattered on both sides of blades, with supporting cell bearing 2 sterile cells and a 4-celled carpogonial branch, surrounded by pericarp initials. Carposporophytes with a small basal fusion cell and much branched gonimoblast with clavate to ovoid carposporangia 25–40 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 65E) 700–1500 µm across, bulging on both sides especially the ostiolar side with a short, coarse neck; pericarp 200–400 µm and 6–8 cells thick, cells in anticlinal rows. Spermatangial sori (Fig. 65F) covering ends of branches, cortical cells dividing anticlinally to form plates of initials each producing 2–4 elongate spermatangia.

Tetrasporangial sori (Fig. 66A) on branches, often near apices, 1 (–3) per branch width, ovate, 200–500 µm across and 180–230 µm thick, with 2 layers (Fig. 66B) of tetrasporangia cut off laterally from inner cortical cells which also produce the outer cover cells; tetrasporangia subspherical, 50–80 µm in diameter.

Lectotype from Georgetown, Tas. (Gunn 1273); in BM; syntype from Sullivan Cove, Tas. (Hooker) also in BM.

Selected specimens: Topgallant I., S. Aust., 35 m deep (Branden, 2.vii.1987; AD, A57557). Elliston, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 13.i.1951; AD, A13540) and 7 m deep in bay (Shepherd, 22.v.1998; AD, A67900). Pearson I., S. Aust., 50 m deep (Shepherd, 9.i.1969; AD, A33914). Brown Beach, York Pen., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 13.iv.1963; AD, A26638). Bashams Beach, Port Elliot, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 7.iii.1999; AD, A68015). Oedipus Point, West I., S. Aust., 26–30 m deep (Shepherd, 5. ii.1967; AD, A32381). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., sublittoral fringe (Womersley, 16.i.1948; AD, A6481). 30 km SE of Cape Willoughby, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 38 m deep (Bone, 13.iii.1989; AD, A59865). Margaret Brock Reef, Cape Jaffa, S. Aust., 3–5 m deep (R. Lewis, 29.xi.1972; AD, A42926). Robe, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 29.viii.1949; AD, A10925). Back Beach, Little Dip Conservation Park, SE S. Aust., upper sublittoral shallow pods (Womersley, 25.xi.1999; AD, A68377-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 412). Stinky Bay, Nora Creina, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 21.xi.1998; AD, A67943). Port MacDonnell, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 28.i.1964; AD, A27402). Point Roadknight, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1430, 29.xi.1971; AD, A43186). Point Lonsdale, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1029, 14.xi.1970; AD, A62692). Walkerville, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1549, 23.ii.-9.iii.1972; AD, A42305). Gabo I., Vic., 28 m deep (Shepherd, 14.ii.1973; AD, A43352). Currie R. mouth, N. Tas., drift (Cribb 75.5, 17.ix.1951; AD, A16306). Marion Bay, Tas., 10–12 m deep (Shepherd, 13.ii.1970; AD, A35653). Bicheno, Tas., 16 m deep (AIMS NCI Q66C 3722M, 26.ii.1990; AD, A60358) and 17 m deep (McCauley, 26.ii.1990; AD, A60414). Fluted Cape, Bruny I., Tas., 16 m deep (Shepherd, 10.ii.1972; AD, A41578).

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

Distribution: Topgallant I., S. Aust., to Gabo I., Vic., and around Tasmania.

New Zealand (Kylin 1929, p.11). Andaman and Nicobar Is (see Silva et al. 1996, p. 457).

Taxonomic notes: The type of N. parvifolium J. Agardh, from Port Phillip, Vic. (Mueller), in Herb. Agardh, LD, 30805, is as Kylin (1924, p. 79) suspected, followed by May (1965, p. 401), only a depauperate plant of H. multipartita.

Hymenena multipartita is closely related to H. affinis, differing in habit and narrower branches. In the microscopic veins and reproduction they are very similar. It also shows similarity to species of Acrosorium. New Zealand records need checking with Australian plants.

One collection (A68377) of dense, profuse, tufts in shallow pools, had some plants, or their upper parts, slender with uncinate ends as in Acrosorium ciliolatum, but with several tetrasporangial sori near branch ends and the branches mainly tri- to polystromatic; only tetrasporangial plants were found.

The type of Nitophyllum obsoletum Zanardini (1874, p. 498), in Herb. Zanardini, Venice, has conspicuous but slender veins and appears to be a relatively robust plant of H. multipartita.


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

AGARDH, J.G. (1852). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 2, Part 2, pp. 337–720. (Gleerup: Lund.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1872). Bidrag till Florideernes Systematik. Acta Univ. Lund 8, 1–60.

AGARDH, J.G. (1876). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 1 - Epicrisis systematis Floridearum, pp. i-vii, 1–724. (Weigel: Leipzig.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1898). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 3 - De dispositione Delesseriearum. (Gleerup: Lund.)

DE TONI, G.B. (1900). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 2. pp. 387–776. (Padua.)

GUILER, E.R. (1952). The marine algae of Tasmania. Checklist with localities. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasmania 86, 71–106.

HARVEY, W.H. (1849a). Nereis Australis, pp. 65–124, Plates 26–50. (Reeve: London.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1859b). Algae. In Hooker, J.D., The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage. III. Flora Tasmaniae. Vol. II, pp. 282–343, Plates 185–196. (Reeve: London.)

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

HOOKER, J.D. & HARVEY, W.H. (1847). Algae Tasmanicae. Lond. J. Bot. 6, 397–417.

KÜTZING, F.T. (1849). Species Algarum. (Leipzig.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1869). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 19. (Nordhausen.)

KYLIN, H. (1924). Studien über die Delesseriaceen. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 20(6), 1–111.

KYLIN, H. (1929). Die Delesseriaceen Neu-seelands. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 25(2), 1–15, Plates 1–12.

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. (1926). Notes on Australian marine algae. III. The Australian species of the genus Nitophyllum. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 51, 594–607, Plates 37–45.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929a). The marine algae of Tasmania. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 1928, 6–27.

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

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.

PAPENFUSS, G.F. (1964b). Catalogue and bibliography of antarctic and subantarctic benthic marine algae. Am. geophys. Un. Antarctic Res. Ser., Vol. 1, pp. 1–76.

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.

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1970). The sublittoral ecology of West Island, South Australia: 1. Environmental features and algal ecology. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 94, 105–137, Plate 1.

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1971). Pearson Island Expedition 1969.-7. The subtidal ecology of benthic algae. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 95(3), 155–167.

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. (1853). Plantae Muellerianae. Algae. Linnaea 25, 657–709.

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.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1966). Port Phillip survey, 1957–1963: Algae. Mem. natl. Mus., Vict. No. 27, 133–156.

ZANARDINI, J. (1874). Phyceae Australicae novae vel minus cognitae. Flora 57, 486–490, 497–505.

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

Author: H. B. S. Womersley

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.

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 2003: FIGS 65, 66A, B.

Figure 65 image

Figure 65   enlarge

Fig. 65. Hymenena multipartita (A, C, F, AD, A68015; B, D, E, AD, A60358). A. Habit. B. Habit of more loosely branched plant. C. Apex of a branch. D. Branch with slender veins. E. Section of a cystocarp. F. Branch apex with a spermatangial sorus.

Figure 66 image

Figure 66   enlarge

Fig. 66. A, B. Hymenena multipartita (AD, A60358). A. Branch with tetrasporangial sori. B. Transverse sections of tetrasporangial sorus and monostromatic blade. C, D. Hymenena endiviaefolia (AD, A68086). C. Habit. D. Transverse section of thallus.

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