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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Pterosiphonia pennata (C. Agardh) Sauvageau 1897: 287 (reprint p. 18).

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Pterosiphonieae

Selected citations: Abbott 1999: 435, fig. 130A–D. Ardré 1967: 43, pl. 6 figs 1–3; 1970: 194, pl. 25 figs 4, 5. De Toni 1903: 998. Falkenberg 1901: 263, pl. 2 figs 1, 2. Lewis 1983: 262. Lucas 1909: 43.


Maggs & Hommersand 1993: 377, fig. 118. May 1965: 382; 1981: 343. Millar 1990: 455, fig 69C, D. Millar & Kraft 1993: 59. Silva et al. 1996: 549.

Hutchinsia pennata C. Agardh 1824: 146.

Polysiphonia pennata (C. Agardh) J. Agardh 1842: 141. Harvey 1855a: 541; 1863, synop.: xxi. Sonder 1880: 35. Tisdall 1898: 514. Wilson 1892: 167.

Thallus (Fig. 148A) dark red-brown, forming dense tufts or turfs 2–4 (–6) cm high with numerous erect axes from prostrate, branched, filaments; erect axes simple or occasionally branched, with pinnate, alternate, determinate laterals (Fig. 148B), the axis linear in outline and 2–3 mm broad, the laterals simple, 1–2 mm long; attachment by rhizoids from prostrate filaments; epilithic. Structure. All axes and laterals ecorticate. Prostrate filaments terete, 120–160 µm in diameter with segments L/D 0.8–1.4 (–2), branching 2–4 segments apart, with 7–8 pericentral cells; rhizoids unicellular, cut off from pericentral cells, with multicellular discoid haptera. Erect axes slightly compressed, 180–230 µm broad, segments L/D 0.8–1.2, with 8–10 pericentral cells, 5–6 visible in side view. Determinate laterals straight or incurved when young, linear and tapering apical ly to a small apical cell, coalesced with axes over 1–1.5 (–2) segments, 16–25 segments long, segments L/D (0.3–) 1–1.5. Trichoblasts usually absent, Cells uninucleate; rhodoplasts discoid.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious; one case of mixed phases (male on tetrasporophyte - Fig. 148E) known. Procarps probably borne on short trichoblasts, segments soon polysiphonous. Carposporophyte (Fig. 148D) with a small basal fusion cell, short gonimoblast filaments and clavate terminal carposporangia 30–45 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 148C, D) ovoid, short-stalked, 300–800 µm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, ecorticate, 2 cells thick, outer cells isodiametric. Spermatangial organs (Fig. 148E) near apex of axes, elongate-ovoid to clavate and often curved, 45–120 in diameter and 130–350 long, with 1–2 sterile basal and apical cells.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 148F) in determinate laterals in straight rows in 6–10 successive segments, subspherical to slightly ovoid, 35–60 µm in diameter, with 2 elongate cover cells.

Type from the Mediterranean (not specified); lectotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 39271.

Selected specimens: Bunbury, W. Aust., low eulittoral (Woelkerling, 5.ii.1978; AD, A49281). Middleton Bay, King George Sound, W. Aust. (Harvey 12, in TCD). Cape Carrot, S. Aust., low eulittoral (Skinner, 4.xii.1977; AD, A48871). Christies Beach, S. Aust., upper sublittoral in sandy pools (Womersley, 14.x.1968; AD, A32863-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 388). Port Noarlunga, S. Aust., lower eulittoral (Ladd, 25.vi.1986; AD, A57125). Bales Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., low eulittoral (Womersley, 6.i.1990; AD, A60125). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper sublittoral pool (Womersley, 27.x.1995; AD, A64594-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 388a). Apollo Bay, Vic. (McLennan, viii.1957; AD, A16498). Walkerville, Vic., uppermost sublittoral (Sinkora A1884, 9.xii.1973; AD, A49485). Portsea, Vic., on jetty pilings, 2–4 m deep (Kraft & Phillips, 3.ii.1997; MELU, K10514). Bemm reef, E Vic., 15–17 m deep (Kraft & Foard, 8.ii.2001; MELU, 4115). Taroona, Tas., drift (Kildea, 31.i.1997; AD, A68452). Byron Bay, N.S.W., 6 m deep (Millar & Richards, 29.vii.1992; NSW, A11615).

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

Distribution: Widely distributed in Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

In southern Australia, from Bunbury, W. Aust., to Byron Bay, N.S.W. and Taroona, Tas. (see Millar & Kraft 1993, p. 59).

Taxonomic notes: Pterosiphonia pennata forms mats or turfs close to low tide level under moderate wave action, rarely in deep water (e.g. at Bemm reef, Vic.). Fertile thalli are not uncommon, whereas they are unknown in the British Isles (Maggs & Hommersand 1993, p. 377). The latter authors clarify differences between P. pennata and related species, as did Ardré (1967, p. 51).


ABBOTT, I.A. (1999). Marine Red Algae of the Hawaiian Islands. (Bishop Museum Press: Honolulu, Hawai'i.)

AGARDH, C.A. (1824). Systema Algarum. (Berling: Lund.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1842). Algae Maris Mediterranei et Adriatici, Observationes in Diagnosin Specierum et Dispositionem Generum. (Fortin, Masson: Paris.)

ARDRÉ, F. (1967). Remarques sur la structure des Pterosiphonia (Rhodomélacées, Céramiales) et leurs rapports systèmatiques avec les Polysiphonia. Revue Algolog. N.S. 9, 37–77, pl. 6.

ARDRÉ, F. (1970). Contribution a l'étude des algues marines du Portugal I-La flore. Port. Acta Biol. Ser. B 10, 1–423, Plates 1–56.

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.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1855a). Some account of the marine botany of the colony of Western Australia. Trans. R. Jr. Acad. 22, 525–566.

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

LEWIS, J.A. (1983). Floristic composition and periodicity of subtidal algae on an artifical structure in Port Phillip Bay (Victoria, Australia). Aquatic Bot. 15, 257–274.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1909). Revised list of the Fucoideae and Florideae of Australia. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 34, 9–60.

MAGGS, C.A. & HOMMERSAND, M.H. (1993). Seaweeds of the British Isles. Vol. 1. Rhodophyta. Part 3A, Ceramiales. (HMSO: London.)

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.

MAY, V. (1981). Long-term variation in algal intertidal floras. Aust. J. Ecol. 6, 329–343.

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.

MILLAR, A.J.K. (1990). Marine Red Algae of the Coffs Harbour Region, northern New South Wales. Aust. Syst. Bot. 3, 293–593.

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

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.

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. 148.

Figure 148 image

Figure 148   enlarge

Fig. 148. Pterosiphonia pennata (A, C–F, AD, A57125; B, AD, A49281). A. Habit. B. Branch apex. C. Cystocarps. D. Cystocarp with carposporangia. E. Mixed phase plant with spermatangial organs and tetrasporangia. F. Determinate laterals with tetrasporangia.

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