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Nitospinosa pristoidea (Harvey) Womersley, comb. nov.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Delesseriaceae


Nitophyllum pristoideum Harvey 1862: pl. 229; 1863, synop.: xxxii. J. Agardh 1876: 460. De Toni 1900: 640. Lucas 1909: 35; 1926: 601; 1929b: 50. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 222, fig. 86. Reinbold 1897: 54. Sonder 1880: 23. Tate 1882a: 20. Tisdall 1898: 509. Wilson 1892: 175.

Aglaophyllum pristoideum (Harvey) Kützing 1869: 2, pl. 6a, b.

Myriogramme pristoidea (Harvey) Kylin 1924: 61, fig. 46d-f. May 1965: 400. Shepherd & Womersley 1981: 366. Womersley 1950: 184.

Nitophyllum serrulatum J. Agardh 1898: 51. De Toni 1900: 639. Lucas 1926: 600. May 1965: 400.

Myriogramme serrulata (J. Agardh)Kylin 1924: 61.

Thallus (Fig. 35A) dark red-brown, 6–25 cm high, profusely branched with compressed axes 0.5–2 mm broad bearing laterals marginally and complanately at intervals of 1–3 mm, the laterals 0.5–2 mm broad, margins irregularly serrate (Fig. 35B). Lower axes developing a thicker midrib; microscopic veins absent. Holdfast becoming much divided and fibrous, 2–10 mm across; epilithic or epiphytic on larger algae, especially on the underside of

Sonderopelta. Structure. Growth marginal from short spinous outgrowths with apical cells (Fig. 35C, D), some marginal cells between the spines dividing anticlinally with irregular intercalary divisions giving a flat blade of irregularly arranged cells (Fig. 35C). Fronds monostromatic only when young, 35–55 µm thick, soon tristromatic and 55–75 µm thick, becoming polystromatic and 200–400 µm thick in the midrib (Fig. 35E) and where reproductive, with corticating cells equivalent and similar in size to the primary cells, sometimes subdividing. Blade cells in surface view (Fig. 35C) isodiametric to ovoid, 15–20 µm across and L/D 1–2. Cells multinucleate, nuclei central or on periclinal walls; rhodoplasts discoid.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps (Fig. 41B, C) scattered on young blades, with a primary (supporting) cell bearing 2 sterile cells and a 4-celled carpogonial branch (Fig. 36A). Carposporophytes (Fig. 36B, C) with a basal fusion cell and much branched spreading gonimoblast filaments (Fig. 36C) bearing terminal chains of 2–3 ovoid carposporangia 15–35 µm in diameter, the subterminal cells maturing rapidly as carposporangia. Cystocarps scattered, 1–1.5 mm across, hemispherical; pericarp ostiolate, 180–300 µm thick, with anticlinal rows of 6–12 isodiametric cells. Spermatangial sori (Fig. 36D) scattered, more or less ovate, 400–1000 µm across and 60–100 µm thick, covering much of the upper branches, with a layer of cortical initials and each cell producing several elongate spermatangia (Fig. 36E, F) in blocks corresponding to the primary cells.

Tetrasporangial sori (Fig. 36G) scattered, swollen, ovate, 300–400 µm across and 160–240 µm thick, with sporangia in 2 layers (Fig. 36H) cut off from inner cortical cells, with cortical filaments of 3–5 cells surrounding subspherical tetrasporangia 40–65 µm in diameter.

Type from Port Fairy, Vic. (Harvey); lectotype Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 292D in TCD.

Selected specimens: Elliston, S. Aust., 7 m deep (Shepherd, 21.x.1970; AD, A37603) and on Osmundaria, 7 m deep (Shepherd, 22.v.1998; AD, A67904). Point Avoid, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 2.xii.1975; AD, A46944). West Cape, Yorke Pen., S. Aust., 15 m deep (Edyvane, 26.x.1993; AD, A66329). Encounter Bay, S. Aust. (Cleland; AD, A3646). West Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 6.i.1946; AD, A3210). Seal Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Mitchell, 29.x.1966; AD, A30970). Cape Jaffa, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 5.iv.1999; AD, A68077). 22 km NW of Robe, S. Aust., 40 m deep on limestone (Shepherd, 20.xi.1968; AD, A64761). Robe, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 2.iv.1999; AD, A68122-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 406). Stinky Bay Point, Nora Creina, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 21.xi.1998; AD, A67944). 400 m off Cape Buffon, S. Aust., 5 m deep (Collings, 25.i.1991; AD, A61234). 1.3 km off Middle Point, Cape Northumberland, S. Aust., 13 m deep (Shepherd, I 9.iii.1974; AD, A44945). Port MacDonnell, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 15.iv.1959; AD, A22995). Bridgewater Bay, Vic., drift (Beauglehole, 21.vii.1951; AD, A21603). Lighthouse Point, Queenscliff, Vic., 12–14 m deep (Goldsworthy, 9.ii.1990; AD, A60157), Walkerville, Vic., drift (Sinkora A2600, 31.iii.1979; MEL and AD, A61009).

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

Distribution: Elliston, S. Aust., to Walkerville, Victoria.

Taxonomic notes: N. pristoidea is a common species on south eastern Australian coasts, with much branched, slender, narrow fronds which are marginally serrate.

M serrulata (J. Agardh) Kylin appears to be only a sterile plant of N. pristoidea; the holotype sheet in LD, 30497, from Swan I. (prob. NE Tas.), Baudinet, was also labelled by J. Agardh "Nitoph. pristoidea Harv.?"


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.)

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.

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. (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. (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.

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. (1981). The algal and seagrass ecology of Waterloo Bay, South Australia. Aquat. Bot. 11, 305–371.

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.

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

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 35, 36, 41B, C.

Figure 35 image

Figure 35   enlarge

Fig. 35. Nitospinosa pristoidea (A–C, AD, A64761; D, E, AD, A68122). A. Habit. B. Branch apices with marginal spines. C. Branch apex with spines and irregular cell arrangement. D. Branch apex with actively developing spines. E. Transverse section of stipe.

Figure 36 image

Figure 36   enlarge

Fig. 36. Nitospinosa pristoidea (A, C, G, H, AD, A68122; B, D–F, AD, A64761). A. Procarp with carpogonial branch alongside 2 sterile cells. B. Young carposporophyte with developing gonimoblast. C. Section of mature cystocarp, carposporophyte with erect, basal, fusion cells and gonimoblast with terminal carposporangia. D. Spermatangial sorus. E. Section of spermatangial sori. F. Detail of spermatangial sorus section. G. Branch with tetrasporangial sori. H. Sectional view of tetrasporangial sori.

Figure 41 image

Figure 41   enlarge

Fig. 41. Procarps. A. Haraldia australica (AD, A30838). B, C. Nitospinosa pristoidea (AD, A68077; AD, A68122 resp.). D, E. Robea costata (AD, A68095; AD, A64063 resp.).

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