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Platysiphonia victoriae (Harvey ex J. Agardh)Womersley & Shepley 1959: 209.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Sarcomeniaceae

Selected citations: May 1965: 378. Shepherd & Womersley 1981: 362.


Sarcomenia victoriae Harvey ex J. Agardh 1863: 1262; 1896: 135; 1899: 145. De Toni 1900: 739; 1924: 359. Guiler 1952: 101. Harvey 1863, synop.: xvii. Lucas 1909: 37. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 234, fig. 97? Sonder 1880: 33. Tisdall 1898: 513. Wilson 1892: 164. Womersley & Shepley 1959: 176, figs 20–42, pls 1 fig. 2, 2 fig. 1.

Polysiphonia victoriae (Harvey) Kützing 1864: 20, pl. 56.

Sarcomenia dasyoides J. Agardh 1863: 1263; 1896: 134; 1899: 141. De Toni 1900: 738; 1924: 359. Guiler 1952: 101. Harvey 1863, synop.: xvii. Lucas 1909: 37; 1929a: 20. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 234, fig. 96. Sonder 1880: 33. Tisdall 1898: 513. Wilson 1892: 164. Womersley 1950: 183.

Sarcomenia opposita J. Agardh 1899: 142, 146. De Toni 1924: 359.

Sarcomenia wilsonis J. Agardh 1899: 142. De Toni 1924: 360.

Platysiphonia corymbosa (J. Agardh) Womersley & Shepley 1959: 209. Huisman 1997: 202. May 1965: 377.

Sarcomenia corymbosa J. Agardh 1896: 134. De Toni 1900: 737. Guiler 1952: 101. Lucas 1909: 37. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 234, fig. 98. Shepherd & Womersley 1981: 367. Womersley & Shepley 1959: 182, figs 43–50, pl. 2 fig. 2.

Thallus (Fig. 75A) red-brown with a greyish iridescence, when detached becoming rose-red and decomposing rapidly, 20–35 cm high, much branched with slender, compressed laterals of several orders, uncorticated branches (25–) 40–90 broad with segments L/D 1–1.5 (–2), becoming corticated with lower axes terete, 1–3 mm in diameter; branching irregular, largely adaxial from the centre of blades, with irregular to flat-topped and corymbose upper branch systems. Holdfast discoid, 1–5 (–10) mm across with 1 to several axes; epilithic or rarely epiphytic. Structure. Apical cell dome-shaped, with axial cells cutting off first the abaxial pericentral, then the 2 lateral pericentral cells and last the adaxial pericentral cell, and the lateral cells each cutting off 2 flanking cells half as long as the parent cells and resulting in a compressed branch; no further divisions of the flanking cells occur in the vegetative branches apart from cortication of all cells as the branch matures. Lateral branches arise endogenously from the anterior ends of axial cells. Cells multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid to elongate, linear in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps occur on the adaxial pericentral cells near the base of young blades, cutting off first a sterile cell, then the 4-celled carpogonial branch and then the second sterile cell. The carposporophyte develops an erect basal fusion cell and much branched gonimoblast filaments with ovoid to clavate terminal carposporangia 20–30 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 75B) sessile, ovoid, 500–1000 µm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate with about 15 erect filaments arising from pericentral and flanking cells around the procarp, with each cell of the erect filaments cutting off 2 outer, transversely elongate, cells, with cortical cells on the pericarp base and the stalk, Spermatangial blades (Fig. 75C) 0.5–1 mm long and 80–130 µm broad, with the lateral pericentral cells each cutting off 2–4 cortical cells which divide anticlinally to form a plate of about 16 initials, each then forming 3–4 elongate spermatangia; the transverse pericentral cells and flanking cells remain sterile, and the spermatangial blades have a long sterile apex.

Tetrasporangial stichidia (Fig. 75D) 400–1200 µm long and 130–180 µm broad, occurring in dense masses on lateral branches, each with 2 regular rows of tetrasporangia. The lateral pericentral cells cut off, in rapid succession, the tetrasporangium and 2 cover cells, and the flanking cells elongate horizontally on the edge of the stichidium and each divides to give a further horizontal cell and later cut off small cortical cells at their ends; following loss of the tetrasporangia, the cover cells divide further; tetrasporangia subspherical, 50–100 in diameter.

Type from Port Phillip, Vic. (Harvey); holotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 43373 (Harvey, Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 188F).

Selected specimens: Israelite Bay, W. Aust., drift (Wells, 10.xii.1974; AD, A46096). Elliston, S. Aust., in reef pools, south head (Womersley, 13.i.1951; AD, A13518, and 9.i.1976; AD, A46763 - "Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 181). Point Avoid, Eyre Pen., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 2.xii.1975; AD, A46879). Pondalowie Bay, Yorke Pen., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 9.xi.1980; AD, A51857). Tapley Shoal, Gulf St Vincent, S. Aust., 15 m deep (F.J. Mitchell, May 1961; AD, A28098). Witton Bluff (Port Noarlunga), S. Aust., drift (Clarke & Engler, 23.xi.1978; AD, A53956). Port Elliot, S. Aust., drift (Parsons, 3.xi.1967; AD, A32026). West Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 6.i.1946; AD, A3285). Seal Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., pools on outer reef (Womersley, 29.x.1966; AD, A30849). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper sublittoral, reef edge (Womersley, 20.xii.1990; AD, A60839). Penneshaw, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 6–7 m deep (Lavers, 27.ix.1997; AD, A67784). Cape Jaffa, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 7.xii.1995; AD, A64567 and 22.xi.1998; AD, A67967). Nora Creina, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 6.xii.1995; AD, A64749). Stinky Bay, Nora Creina, S. Aust., on Acrocarpia, drift (Shepley, 14.xi.1955; AD, A20274). Queenscliff, Vic., drift (Norris, 21.i.1963; AD, A27477). Flinders, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1733, 6.xi.1972; AD, A53441). Walkerville, Vic., drift (Sinkora A2348, 7.iii.1977; AD, A48505). Low Head, Tas., drift (Perrin, 24.ii.1942; AD, A49615).

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

Distribution: Houtman Abrolhos (Huisman 1997, p. 202) and Israelite Bay, W. Aust., to Walkerville, Vic., and the N coast of Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: The types of Sarcomenia dasyoides (a Harvey specimen) in Herb Agardh, LD, 43398, of S. opposita (in Herb Agardh, LD, 43381) and of S. wilsonis (in Herb Agardh, LD, 43406) are all within the range of P. victoriae. Previously (Womersley & Shepley 1959, p. 182) P. corymbosa had been kept separate from P. victoriae, though their similarity had been noted. Further study of their variation indicates that P. corymbosa differs only slightly in habit and features now regarded as within the range of P. victoriae.


AGARDH, J.G. (1863). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 2, Part 3, pp. 787–1291. (Gleerup: Lund.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1896). Analecta Algologica. Cont. III. Acta Univ. lund. 32, 1–140, Plate 1.

AGARDH, J.G. (1899). Analecta Algologica. Cont. V. Acta Univ. lund. 35, 1–160, Plates 1–3.

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

DE TONI, G.B. (1924). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 6. Florideae. (Padua.)

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

HARVEY, W.H. (1863). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 5, Plates 241–300, synop., pp. i-lxxiii. (Reeve: London.)

HUISMAN, J.M. (1997). Marine Benthic Algae of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. In Wells, F.E. (Ed.) The Marine Flora and Fauna of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, pp. 177–237. (W. Aust. Museum: Perth.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1864). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 14. (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.

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.

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.)

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. & SHEPLEY, E.A. (1959). Studies on the Sarcomenia group of the Rhodophyta. Aust. J. Bot. 7, 168–223.

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.

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. 75 A–D.

Figure 75 image

Figure 75   enlarge

Fig. 75. A–D. Platysiphonia victoriae (A, AD, A20274; B, C, AD, A67967; D, AD, A64567). A. Habit. B. Corticated and ecorticate branches with cystocarps. C. Spermatangial branches. D. Branch with stichidia. E. Sarcomenia delesserioides (AD, A61614). Habit.

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