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Genus PHITYMOPHORA J. Agardh 1898: 173

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Delesseriaceae

Thallus branched from the midrib, with more-or-less linear, corticated, secondary and tertiary branches bearing central rows of numerous small, ovate bladelets on both sides; holdfast discoid; usually epiphytic. Structure. Apical cells segmenting to give an axial filament and 4 pericentral cells, the lateral cells producing second-order rows with the inner cells and occasional outer cells (but not all) forming third-order rows, with all rows reaching the blade margin. Transverse sections of blades show intermixed large and small cells and rhizoids.

Reproduction: Reproductive organs borne on the small, ovate, bladelets on the midrib. Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps borne in series on transverse pericentral cells, with 2 sterile groups and a carpogonial branch; carposporophyte with a basal fusion cell and short terminal chains of carposporangia. Cystocarps ovoid, sessile on the midrib of bladelets, with a corticated pericarp. Spermatangial sori covering both sides of the bladelets, spermatangia cut off from outer cortical cells.

Tetrasporangia in sori on both sides of the bladelets, cut off from inner cortical cells in 2 irregular layers, subspherical, tetrahedrally to decussately divided.

Lectotype species: P. imbricata (Areschoug) J. Agardh 1898: 174 [= P. amansioides (Sonder) Womersley].

Taxonomic notes: A genus of 3 species, the type and P. hypoglossum from Australia, and P. linearis (Laing) Kylin (1924, p. 13) from New Zealand, described in detail by Wagner (1954, p. 291, figs 37–57).


AGARDH, J.G. (1898). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 3 - De dispositione Delesseriearum. (Gleerup: Lund.)

KYLIN, H. (1924). Studien über die Delesseriaceen. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 20(6), 1–111.

WAGNER, F.S. (1954). Contributions to the morphology of the Delesseriaceae. Univ. Calif Pubis Bot. 27, 279–346.

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.


1. Thallus slender but firm, much branched with frequent proliferations, branches 2–3 (–5) mm broad and (80–) 100–140 thick, midrib slight

P. amansioides

1. Thallus relatively robust, cartilaginous, with occasional proliferations, branches 3–6 mm broad and (140–) 200–300 µm thick, midrib prominent

P. hypoglossum

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