Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
Census of SA Plants, Algae & Fungi
Identification tools

Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Laurencia shepherdii Saito & Womersley 1974: 826, figs 2C, D, 10.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Laurencieae

Selected citations: Huisman et al. 1990: 97. Kendrick et al. 1990: 52. Shepherd & Womersley 1981: 369. Silva et al. 1996: 520.

Thallus (Fig. 207A) red to red-purple, soft, radially branched, usually basally denuded, branches terete, laterals irregular to subopposite; axes 1.5–3 mm in diameter, decreasing to ramuli 0.7–1 (–1.5) mm in diameter and 1–3 mm long, slightly basally constricted and with truncate apices. Holdfast discoid, 3–5 mm across; epilithic or occasionally epiphytic on seagrasses or coralline algae. Structure. Epidermal cells rounded and 25–50 µm across near apices, elongating to L/D 2 on lower axes, with secondary pit-connections (Fig. 205E) and corps en cerise, with frequent intercellular 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 branched gonimoblast with clavate terminal carposporangia 35–70 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 207C, E) sessile, broad-based, conical to ovoid 0.8–1 (–1.2) mm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, 5–6 cells thick. Spermatangial receptacles (Fig. 207D, F) on dense, short ramuli 1–1.2 mm in diameter, with broad apices.

Tetrasporangia in simple to clustered ramuli (Fig. 207D, G) 0.7–1 mm in diameter and 1–2 mm long, often subdistichous or subtristichous when young, in parallel arrangement, cut off abaxially, 80–130 µm in diameter.

Type from Elliston, S. Aust., 1–2 m deep inside bar (Shepherd, 28.x.1972); holotype in AD, A42795. Isotypes in "Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 138.

Selected specimens: Whitford Beach, Perth, W. Aust., 6 m deep on off shore reef (Cook, 20.viii.1979; AD, A50586). Hamelin Bay, W. Aust., drift (Womersley, 1.ix.1979; AD, A50601). Port Turton, S. Aust., on piles and rock 3–5 m deep (Kraft, 17.ix.1973; AD, A69060). Investigator Strait, S. Aust., (Davey; AD, A1249). Off Port Adelaide, S. Aust., on wreck of "Norma", 12 m deep (F. Mitchell, 10.xi.1958; AD, A22006). Marino, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 26.x.1975; AD, A46645). Off Aldinga, S. Aust., 3–4 m deep (R. Lewis, 7.xii.1972; AD, A42894). Victor Harbor, S. Aust., sublittoral (Clarke & Engler, 8.v.1979; AD, A63183). South West R., Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 6 m deep (F. Mitchell, 24.viii.1963; AD, A26886). Rocky Point, Kangaroo I., drift (Womersley, 26.viii.1950; AD, A13335). Cape Lannes, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 7.x.1972; AD, A42778). Gardens Beach, Portland, Vic., drift (Beauglehole, 11.viii.1954; AD, A21546). Point Lonsdale, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1184, 8.xi.1970; AD, A41344). Crawfish Rock Westemport Bay, Vic., 0 m deep (Watson, 17.xi.1974; AD, A46221). San Remo, Vic., drift (Sinkora A696, 11.vii.1970; AD, A41359).

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

Distribution: Shark Bay (Kendrick et al. 1990: 52), W. Aust., to San Remo, Victoria.

Taxonomic notes: Laurencia shepherdii is a shallow sublittoral species on rough-water to sheltered coasts, characterised by habit, with frequent subopposite laterals, soft texture with frequent intercellular cortical spaces, and broad-based cystocarps.


HUISMAN, J.M., KENDRICK, G.A., WALKER, D.I. & COUTÉ, A. (1990). The Marine Algae of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Research in Shark Bay. Report of the France-Australe Bicentenary Expedition Committee, pp. 89–100.

KENDRICK, G.A., HUISMAN, J.M. & WALKER, D.I. (1990). Benthic macroalgae of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Bot. Mar. 33, 47–54.

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

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1981). The algal and seagrass ecology of Waterloo Bay, South Australia. Aquat. Bot. 11, 305–371.

SILVA, P.C., BASSON, P.W. & MOE, R.L. (1996). Catalogue of the Benthic Marine Algae of the Indian Ocean. (Univ. California Press: Berkeley.)

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 205E, 207.

Figure 205 image

Figure 205   enlarge

Fig. 205. A. Laurencia majuscula (AD, A41231). Transverse section. B. Laurencia aldingensis (AD, A44448). Longitudinal section. C. Laurencia forsteri (AD, A41855). Transverse section with lenticular thickenings. D. Laurencia clavata (AD, A42231). Longitudinal section. E. Laurencia shepherdii (AD, A42795). Longitudinal section. F. Laurencia arbuscula (AD, A42244). Transverse section. (All as in Saito & Womersley 1974, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

Figure 207 image

Figure 207   enlarge

Fig. 207. Laurencia shepherdii (AD, A42795). A. Habit, the holotype. B. Cystocarpic branch. C. Spermatangial branch. D. Tetrasporangial branch. E. Section of cystocarp. F. Section of spermatangial receptacle. G. Section of tetrasporangial ramulus. (A–D as in Saito & Womersley 1974, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot)

Disclaimer Copyright Disclaimer Copyright Email Contact:
State Herbarium of South Australia
Government of South Australia Government of South Australia Government of South Australia Department for Environment and Water