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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Laurencia botryoides (C. Agardh) Gaillon 1828: 363.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Laurencieae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1852: 759; 1876: 658. De Toni 1896: 228; 1903: 802. De Toni & Forti 1923: 36(?). Endlicher 1843: 43. Fuhrer et al. 1981: pl. 86. Guiler 1952: 105. Harvey 1844b: 444; 1849a: 82 (excl. S. Africa). Harvey 1849b: 58; 1859b: 307; 1862a, pl. 182; 1863, synop.: xxvi (excl. var. minor). Hooker & Harvey 1847: 401. King et al. 1971: 124. Kützing 1849: 857; 1865: 25, pl. 71. Lucas 1909: 39; 1913: 58; 1929a: 21. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 249, fig. 109. Saenger 1967: 171; 1974: 81. Saito & Womersley 1974: 835, figs 4A, B, 17. Silva et al. 1996: 504. Sonder 1848: 179?; 1853: 695; 1855: 523; 1880: 30. Tisdall 1898: 512. Yamada 1931: 230.


Chondria botryoides C. Agardh 1817: xviii; 1822: 346; 1824: 204.

Fucus botryoides Turner 1811: 104, pl. 178, nom. illegit. See Silva et al. (1996, p. 504) re authorship of this species.

Thallus (Fig. 212A) dark red to red-brown, robust, firm, drying cartilaginous, 5–17 cm high, pyramidal in outline, with percurrent axes bearing distichous laterals similarly branched, all branches terete, (1–) 3–10 mm apart, with reproductive ramuli forming botryoidal clusters; axes 1.5–2 (–3) mm in diameter, decreasing to 0.5–1 mm in lesser branches. Holdfast stoloniferous; epilithic. Structure. Epidermal cells 20–50 µm broad, isodiametric near apices and extending to L/D 4–8 below, with secondary pit-connections and corps en cerise; in sectional view (Fig. 214D), epidermal cells L/D (1–) 1.5–2, with slight spaces between cortical cells, lenticular thickenings absent. Cells with discoid rhodoplasts, chained in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps not observed. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell and much-branched gonimoblast bearing clavate terminal carposporangia 30–60 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 212B, E) crowded, sessile, ovoid to conical, 0.7–1 mm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, 6–8 cells thick. Spermatangial ramuli (Fig. 212C) short, in botryoidal clusters.

Tetrasporangial ramuli (Fig. 212D) in compound, botryoidal, clusters, tetrasporangia (Fig. 212F) in right-angle arrangement, cut off abaxially, subspherical to ovoid, 60–100 µm in diameter, tetrahedrally or decussately divided.

Type from Kent I., Bass Strait, in shallow water (Brown); holotype in BM.

Selected specimens: Robe, S. Aust., very low eulittoral in bay (Womersley, 7.x.1972; AD, A42775-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 137). Nora Creina, S. Aust., uppermost sublittoral (Kraft, 13.v.1972; AD, A42233). Bridgewater Bay, Vic., low eulittoral (Womersley, 3.ix.1981; AD, A55403). Lawrence Rock, Portland, Vic., low rock pool (Beauglehole, 15.i.1960; AD, A24009). Point Lonsdale, Vic. in rock pools (Sinkora A924, 8.xi.1970; AD, A41337). Cape Conran, Vic. (Ducker & King, 15.xi.1971, MELU 20729). Remine, Tas., reef pools (Wollaston & Mitchell, 25.ii.1964; AD, A27514). Currie R, N Tas., at lowest tide (Perrin, Jan. 1937; AD, A8511). Musselroe Bay, NE Tas. (Perrin, Aug. 1940; AD, A8989). Bicheno, Tas., upper sublittoral (Wollaston, 11.viii.1965; AD, A29578). Tesselated Pavements, Eaglehawk Neck, Tas., lower eulittoral (Womersley, 30.x.1982; AD, A54519). Port Arthur, Tas. (Cribb 35.12, 2.iii.1950; AD, A16061). Lady Bay, Southport, Tas., low eulittoral (Womersley, 28.x.1982; AD, A56513-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 137a).

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

Distribution: Robe, S. Aust., to Cape Conran, Vic., Bass Strait islands and around Tasmania. Records from outside this range, especially Indian Ocean tropics, are doubtful (see Silva et al. 1996, p. 504). Askenasy (1888, p. 47) recorded it from Dirk Hartog I., W. Aust., almost certainly incorrectly.

Taxonomic notes: Laurencia botryoides is a distinctive species, being distichously branched with short fertile ramuli in botryoidal clusters. It is confined to the cooler waters of south-eastern Australia, occurring just below low tide level or in pools.


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AGARDH, C.A. (1824). Systema Algarum. (Berling: Lund.)

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

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

ASKENASY, E. (1888). Algen. In Engler, A. (Ed.), Die Forschungsreise S.M.S. Gazelle in den Jahren 1874 bis 1876. IV Th. Bot., pp. 1–58, Plates 1–12. (Mittler: Berlin.)

DE TONI, G.B. & FORTI, A. (1923). Alghe di Australia, Tasmania e Nouva Zelanda. Mem. R. Inst. Veneto Sci., Lett. Arti 29, 1–183, Plates 1–10.

DE TONI, G.B. (1896). Pugillo di alghe Australiane Raccolte all'isola di Flinders. Boll. Soc. Bot. Ital. 1896, 224–231.

DE TONI, G.B. (1903). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 3. pp. 775–1521 + 1523–1525. (Padua.)

ENDLICHER, S.L. (1843). Mantissa botanica altera. Sistens generum plantarum supplementum tertium. (Vindobonae.) vi+ 1 1 1 pp.

FUHRER, B., CHRISTIANSON, I.G., CLAYTON, M.N. & ALLENDER, B.M. (1981). Seaweeds of Australia. (Reed: Sydney.)

GAILLON, B. (1828). Résumé méthodique des classifications des Thalassiophytes. Dict. des sci. nat. 53, 350–406, Tab. 1–3.

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

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HARVEY, W.H. (1849b). Algae of Tasmania. (cont.) Tasmanian Journal of Nat. Sci., Agric. Stats. etc. 3, 54–61, 153–159, 209.

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.)

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KING, R.J., BLACK, J.H. & DUCKER, S. (1971). Port Phillip Bay Survey 2.8. Intertidal ecology of Port Phillip Bay with systematic lists of plants and animals. Mem. Natn. Mus., Vict. 32, 93–128.

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.

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SAENGER, P. (1974). Natural History of the Hogan Group 2. Some marine algae from Hogan Island, Bass Strait, with an account of the marine zonation. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasmania 107, 73–81.

SAITO, Y. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1974). The southern Australian species of Laurencia (Ceramiales: Rhodophyta). Aust. J. Bot. 22, 815–874.

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

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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.

TURNER, D. (1811). Fuci sive Plantarum Fucorum Generi a Botanicis Ascriptarum Icones Descriptiones et Historia. Vol. 3, pp. 1–148, Plates 135–196. (London.)

YAMADA, Y. (1931). Notes on Laurencia, with special reference to the Japanese species. Univ. Calif Pubis Bot. 16, 185–311.

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.

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 2003: FIGS 212, 214D.

Figure 212 image

Figure 212   enlarge

Fig. 212. Laurencia botryoides (AD, A42775). A. Habit. B. Cystocarpic branch. C. Spermatangial branch. D. Tetrasporangial branch. E. Section of cystocarps. F. Section with tetrasporangia. (A–D as in Saito & Womersley 1974, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

Figure 214 image

Figure 214   enlarge

Fig. 214. A. Laurencia tasmanica (AD, A41518). Transverse section. B. Laurencia filiformis f. filiformis (AD, A41955). Transverse section, with lenticular thickenings. C. Laurencia filiformis f. dendritica (AD, A42549). Transverse section. D. Laurencia botryoides (AD, A42775). Transverse section. E. Laurencia elata (AD, A42237). Transverse section, with lenticular thickenings. F. Laurencia brongniartii (AD, A44591). Longitudinal section. (All as in Saito & Womersley 1974, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

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