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Phitymophora amansioides (Sonder) Womersley 1965: 436.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Delesseriaceae

Selected citations: Ducker et al. 1977: 87. King et al. 1971: 123. Millar & Kraft 1993: 48. Saenger 1974: 81. Silva et al. 1996: 464. Wynne 1989a: 525, fig. 8A–D. Wynne & Scott 1989: 25. Wynne 1996: 181.


Delesseria amansioides Sonder 1853: 690.

Delesseria imbricata Areschoug 1854: 346. J. Agardh 1872: 59; 1876: 494. Reinbold 1897: 54. Sonder 1880: 24. Tate 1882a: 20. Tisdall 1898: 509. Wilson 1892: 174.

Chauvinia imbricata (Areschoug) Harvey 1862: pl. 240; 1863, synop.: xxxi. J. Agardh 1898: 150. Schmitz & Hauptfleisch 1897: 414.

Phitymophora imbricata (Areschoug) J. Agardh 1898: 174. De Toni 1900: 698. Guiler 1952: 101. Kuehne 1946: 35, figs 8, 13, 14. Kylin 1924: 13; 1956: 432, fig. 314B. Lucas 1909: 37; 1913: 58;1929a: 20; 1929b: 50. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 230. May 1965: 399. Womersley 1950: 183; 1966: 153.

Delesseria rigida Kützing 1869: 4, pl. 10c-e.

Thallus (Fig. 24A) medium to dark red, 5–10 (–15) cm high, much branched from the midrib with linear, corticated, secondary and tertiary branches 1–8 cm long and 2–3 (–5) mm broad, bearing central rows of numerous small, ovate, bladelets 1–2 mm long, with short terete stipes, and which bear the reproductive organs. Holdfast discoid, 1–3 mm across; usually epiphytic on stems of Amphibolis. Structure. Apical cells obconical, segmenting (Fig. 24B) to give an axial row with each cell cutting off first 2 lateral pericentral cells then 2 transverse ones, the lateral cells forming second-order rows with the inner 2–4 cells of the upper rows forming third-order rows and some (but not all) of the outer second-order rows also forming third-order rows; all rows reaching the blade margins. Cortication commencing early and becoming complete over the whole blade, 3–4 cells thick over the wings (thicker with elongate cells over the midrib), with large and small cells and rhizoids intermixed (Fig. 24C); inner (primary) cells becoming 80–100 µm across, more or less isodiametric, with the outer cortical cells angular and mostly 10–15 µm across. Cells uni- to multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid.

Reproduction: All reproductive organs borne on the small ovate blades on the midrib.

Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps borne in series on transverse pericentral (supporting) cells, with 2(?) sterile groups and a 4-celled carpogonial branch. Carposporophyte (Fig. 24E) much branched with a basal fusion cell and short terminal chains of ovoid carposporangia 15–25 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 24D) hemispherical, 0.7–1 mm across, with corticated pericarp 4–5 cells thick and a small ostiole. Spermatangial sori (Fig. 25A, B) covering both sides of the small bladelets, sometimes spreading over the midrib, with spermatangia cut off from outer cortical cells.

Tetrasporangial sori (Fig. 25C, D) on both sides of the bladelets, usually adjacent to the sterile midribs and sterile outer half or more of the bladelets, tetrasporangia cut off from inner cortical cells in 2 irregular layers of differing ages, with smaller outer cortical cells; tetrasporangia subspherical, 30–45 µm in diameter, tetrahedrally to decussately divided.

Type from Encounter Bay, S. Aust. (Mueller); holotype (tetrasporangial) in MEL, 4389, syntypes (cystocarpic) in MEL, 4388, 4390.

Selected specimens: Waterloo Bay, S. Aust., 4 m deep (Shepherd, 26.ii.1978; AD, A54984). Port Elliot, S. Aust., on Amphibolis, drift (Hussey, Nov. 1898; AD, A36074). Seal Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Kraft, 4.xii.1971; AD, A41432). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., sublittoral fringe (Womersley, 5.i.1947; AD, A4385). 600 m off Middle Point, Cape Northumberland, S. Aust., 5 m deep (Shepherd & Johnson, 19.iii.1974; AD, A44923). Robe, S. Aust., on Amphibolis near jetty, 1–2 m deep (Womersley, 11.ii.1973; AD, A42970; 12.ix.1983; AD, A54297) and 0.5–1 m deep (Reimers, 22.ii.1986; AD, A57077). Blackfellows Caves, S. Aust., on Amphibolis, drift (Womersley, 29.ix.1996; AD, A66667 and 20.xi.1998; AD A68038-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 405). Whalers Point, Portland, Vic., on Amphibolis, drift (Muir, 17.i.1950; AD, A15718). Point Lonsdale, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1013, 14.xi.1970; AD, A62695). Walkerville, Vic., on Amphibolis, drift (Sinkora A2111, 28.ii.1975; AD, A48402).

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

Distribution: Waterloo Bay, S. Aust. to Walkerville, Victoria, and to Twofold Bay, N.S.W. Ile Amsterdam, S Indian Ocean (Wynne & Scott 1989).

Taxonomic notes: P. amansioides is a common and distinctive species, usually on stems of Amphibolis.

The type of D. rigida Kützing is in MEL, 4384, based on a Harvey, Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 276E from Port Phillip Heads, Vic.; it is typical P. amansioides.


AGARDH, J.G. (1872). Bidrag till Florideernes Systematik. Acta Univ. Lund 8, 1–60.

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.)

ARESCHOUG, J.E. (1854). Phyceae novae et minus cognitae in maribus extraeuropaeis collectae. Nova Acta R. Soc. Scient. Upsal., ser. 3, 1, 329–372.

DE TONI, G.B. (1900). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 2. pp. 387–776. (Padua.)

DUCKER, S.C., FOORD, N.J. & KNOX, R.B. (1977). Biology of Australian Seagrasses: the genus Amphibolis C. Agardh (Cymodoceaceae). Aust. J. Bot. 25, 67–95.

GUILER, E.R. (1952). The marine algae of Tasmania. Checklist with localities. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasmania 86, 71–106.

KÜTZING, F.T. (1869). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 19. (Nordhausen.)

KING, R.J., BLACK, J.H. & DUCKER, S. (1971). Port Phillip Bay Survey 2.8. Intertidal ecology of Port Phillip Bay with systematic lists of plants and animals. Mem. Natn. Mus., Vict. 32, 93–128.

KUEHNE, P.E. (1946). Four marine algae from Australia and New Zealand. Lloydia 9, 31–44.

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

KYLIN, H. (1956). Die Gattungen der Rhodophyceen. (Gleerups: Lund.)

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. (1913).—Notes on Australian marine algae. I. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 38, 49–60, Plates 1–5.

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.

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.

MILLAR, A.J.K. & KRAFT, G.T. (1993). Catalogue of marine and freshwater Red Algae (Rhodophyta) of New South Wales, including Lord Howe Island, South-western Pacific. Aust. Syst. Bot. 6, 1–90.

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.

SAENGER, P. (1974). Natural History of the Hogan Group 2. Some marine algae from Hogan Island, Bass Strait, with an account of the marine zonation. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasmania 107, 73–81.

SCHMITZ, F. & HAUPTFLEISCH, P. (1897). Delesseriaceae. In Engler, A. & Prantl K., Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien. T. 1. Abt. 2. Pp. 406–416.

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

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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.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1965). The morphology and relationships of Sonderella (Rhodophyta, Rhodomelaceae). Aust. J. Bot. 13, 435–450.

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

WYNNE, M.J. & SCOTT, F.J. (1989). Phitycolax, a new genus of adelphoparasitic red algae from Ile Amsterdam, southern Indian Ocean. Cryptogamie, Algol. 10, 23–32.

WYNNE, M.J. (1989a). A reassessment of the Hypoglossum group (Delesseriaceae, Rhodophyta), with a critique of its genera. Helgol. Meeresunters. 42, 511–534.

WYNNE, M.J. (1996). A revised key to genera of the red algal family Delesseriaceae. Nova Hedwigia 112, 171–190.

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 24, 25.

Figure 24 image

Figure 24   enlarge

Fig. 24. Phitymophora amansioides (A, AD, A66667; B, D, E, AD, A57077; C, AD, A42970). A. Habit. B. Apex of blade showing segmentation. C. Transverse section of central region with irregular cells. D. Cystocarp. E. Carposporophyte with central fusion cell and peripheral carposporangia.

Figure 25 image

Figure 25   enlarge

Fig. 25. Phitymophora amansioides (AD, A54297). A. Spermatangial bladelet. B. Spermatangial sori on sides of midrib. C. Tetrasporangial bladelet. D. Tetrasporangial sori.

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