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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Nanopera merrifieldiae (J. Agardh) Wilson & Kraft 2000: 341, figs 7–10.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Amansieae


Rytiphlaea merrifieldii J. Agardh 1885: 107. De Toni 1903: 1098. Lucas 1909: 46. May 1965: 397. Silva et al. 1996: 551.

Enantiocladia axillaris Falkenberg 1901: 442, pl. 7 fig. 27. De Toni 1903: 1093. Lucas 1909: 46. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 298. May 1965: 397.

Thallus (Fig. 164A) dark brown-red, 6–20 cm high, axes (1–2 mm broad) branched for 2–3 orders and bearing opposite, determinate, pinnate, tapering laterals (Fig. 164B) 3–6 mm long and 400–800 µm broad, axes and laterals compressed; some laterals becoming indeterminate as a further order of branching. Apices initially curved, later flat. Holdfast discoid; epilithic. Structure. Apices curved, tapering. Axial cells with 5 pericentral cells (Fig. 164C), 2 dorsal, 2 lateral and 1 ventral, the dorsal and ventral cells dividing to form a 2–1ayered medulla of uniform cells, with a cortex 2–3 cells thick. Secondary cortex occurs centrally on older axes. Short, branched trichoblasts occur at apices of young pinnate laterals. Cells uni- or multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid, chained in larger cells.

Reproduction: Reproductive organs occur on short, branched, shoots in the axils of the pinnate laterals (Fig. 164B, D). Procarps with 4-celled carpogonial branches, soon on polysiphonous shoots and pericarpic. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell and branched gonimoblast with clavate terminal carposporangia 30–50 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 164D, E) globose, stalked, 500–800 µm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, 5–6 cells thick. Spermatangial organs unknown.

Tetrasporangial stichidia (Fig. 164F) clustered on axillary short shoots, 600–1500 µm long, curved, compressed, corticated, 300–550 µm broad, with two rows of opposite tetrasporangia 100–150 µm in diameter.

Type from King George Sound, W. Aust. (Merrifield); holotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 42497.

Selected specimens: Geraldton, W. Aust., drift (G. & R. Kraft, 8.x.1990; MELU, K9970). Flat Rocks, 40 km S of Geraldton, W. Aust. (Mitchell, 17.ix.1966; AD, A31044).

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

Distribution: Geraldton (Wilson & Kraft) to King George Sound, W. Australia.

Taxonomic notes: Nanopera merrifieldiae is apparently a rare alga, extending from the west coast around to King George Sound (the type locality). Further study of fresh collections is desirable.


AGARDH, J.G. (1885). Till algernes systematik. VII. Florideae. Acta Univ. lund. 21, 1–120, Plate 1.

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.)

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.

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.

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

WILSON, S.M. & KRAFT, G.T. (2000). Morphological and taxonomic studies of selected genera from the Tribe Amansieae (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta). Aust. Syst. Bot. 13, 325–372.

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

Author: H.B.S. Womersley, S.M. Wilson & G.T. Kraft

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. 164.

Figure 164 image

Figure 164   enlarge

Fig. 164. Nanopera merrifieldiae (AD, A31044). A. Habit. B. Longitudinal section of branch with opposite laterals and axillary shoots. C. Transverse section of branch with 5 pericentral cells (2 dorsal, 2 lateral and 1 ventral). D. Branch with cystocarpic shoots in axils of opposite determinate laterals. E. Section of cystocarp. F. Stichidia.

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