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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Laurencia tasmanica Hooker & Harvey ex Harvey 1849a: 84; 1855a: 545; 1859b: 307; 1863, synop.: xxv.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Laurencieae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1852: 755; 1876: 654. De Toni 1903: 795. Guiler 1952: 105. King et al.. 1971: 124. Lucas 1909: 39; 1929a: 21; 1929b: 50. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 249. Reinbold 1899: 47? Saito & Womersley 1974: 830, figs 3B, 13. Silva et al. 1996: 521. Sonder 1880: 30. Tate 1882a: 22. Womersley 1950: 188; 1966: 155. Yamada 1931: 234, pl. 21.


Laurencia papillosa sensu Hooker & Harvey 1847: 401 [NON L. papillosa (L. Agardh) Greville 1830: 1ii].

Laurencia excelsa Kützing 1865: 23, pl. 63c, d.

Laurencia botryoides sensu (in part) Womersley 1950: 187.

Thallus (Fig. 209A) medium to dark brown-red, 10–25 cm high, robust, drying cartilaginous with one to several percurrent axes, pyramidal in outline, irregularly radially branched with clustered branched ramuli, branches terete; axes 2–3 mm in diameter, often denuded below, laterals 1–1.5 mm in diameter, decreasing to ultimate ramuli 0.5–1 (–2) mm long and (0.5–) 0.7–1 mm in diameter. Holdfast discoid, becoming stoloniferous; epilithic. Structure. Epidermal cells (Fig. 214A) isodiametric and 10–15 (–18) µm across near apices, enlarging to 15–30 µm broad and L/D 2–4 (–5) in older parts, with secondary pit-connections and corps en cerise; cortical cells compact, without lenticular thickenings. Cells with discoid rhodoplasts.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps not observed. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell and much-branched gonimoblast with clavate terminal carposporangia 20–45 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 209B) sessile, broad based or slightly constricted, ovoid, 600–1200 µm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, without a neck, 5–6 cells thick. Spermatangial receptacles (Fig. 209C) ovoid to broadly clavate, 800–1200 (–1500) µm across; spermatangia on trichoblasts.

Tetrasporangial ramuli (Fig. 209D) simple, in branched clusters, clavate, 1–3 mm long and 0.5–1 mm broad, cut off abaxially in parallel arrangement, 100–140 µm in diameter.

Type from Tasmania (Gunn), probably near Georgetown; holotype in BM.

Selected specimens: Capel Beach, W. Aust., at low water mark (Royce 362, 17.ix.1949; AD, A14164). Ballast Head, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., low eulittoral (Womersley, 31.x.1947; AD, A6109). Pelican Lagoon, American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 28.viii.1948; AD, A8641). Gardens Beach, Portland, Vic., drift (Beauglehole, 11.viii.1951; AD, A21551). Portarlington, Port Phillip Bay, Vic., in shallow water (Sinkora A1479, 29.xi.1971; AD, A41350). Point Lonsdale, Vic., in rock pools (Sinkora A925, 8.xi.1970; AD, A41338). San Remo, Vic., drift (Sinkora A479, 14.vi.1970; AD, A41355 and Sinkora A2004, 27.xi.1974; AD, A62743 and MEL, 2010979). Crawfish Rock, Westernport Bay, Vic., 0–3 m deep (Watson, 15.ix.1968; AD, A32774). Rocky Cape, NW Tas., in lower eulittoral pools (Womersley, 17.x.1982; AD, A55549). Low Head, Tas. (Perrin, 11.ix.1937; AD, A8991). Currie R., Tas. (Perrin, Aug. 1937; AD, A8992). Musselroe Bay, NE Tas. (Perrin, Aug. 1940; AD, A8990). Satellite I., D'Entrecasteau Ch., Tas., 1 m deep (Shepherd, 18.ii.1972; AD, A41518).

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

Distribution: Capel Beach, W. Aust., and American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., to San Remo, Vic., and around Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: Laurencia tasmanica needs detailed study from fresh material; the above description is based on dried specimens. Relationships between the robust L. tasmanica and the slender but similar L. arbuscula also merit further studies.


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.)

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

GREVILLE, R.K. (1830). Algae Britannicae. (Maclachlan & Stewart: Edinburgh.)

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

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. (1865). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 15. (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.

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.

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

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. (1880). In Mueller, F., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae. Supplementum ad volumen undecinum: Algae Australianae hactenus cognitae, pp. 1–42, 105–107. (Melbourne.)

TATE, R. (1882a). A list of the charas, mosses, liverworts, lichens, fungs, and algals of extratropical South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 4, 5–24.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1950). The marine algae of Kangaroo Island. III. List of Species 1. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 73, 137–197.

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

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 209, 214A.

Figure 209 image

Figure 209   enlarge

Fig. 209. Laurencia tasmanica (A, AD, A8992; B–D, AD, A41518). A. Habit. B. Cystocarpic branch. C. Spermatangial branch. D. Tetrasporangial branch. (All 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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