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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Sarcomenia delesserioides Sonder 1845: 56; 1848: 194; 1853: 697; 1880: 33.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Sarcomeniaceae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1863: 1266; 1896: 137; 1899: 140. De Toni 1900: 742; 1924: 361. Harvey 1847: 21; 1855a: 537; 1860, p1. 121; 1863, synop.: xvii. Huisman 1997: 202; 2000: 152. Kützing 1849: 880. Kylin 1956: 436. Lucas 1909: 37. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 236, fig. 100. May 1965: 378. Mazza 1908: No. 255. Schmitz & Hauptfleisch 1897: 415. Shepherd & Womersley 1971: 166; 1981: 367. Silva et al. 1996: 466. Tate 1882a: 22. Tisdall 1893: 513. Wilson 1892: 164. Womersley 1950: 183. Womersley & Shepley 1959: 171, 208, figs 1–19, pl. 1 fig. 1. Wynne 1996: 181.


Hypoglossum muelleri Kützing 1866: 5, pl. 11a-f.

Thallus (Fig. 75E) when living grey-red and usually iridescent, becoming rose-red on death and decomposing rapidly, 20–50 cm high, much branched with flat laterals positioned on both surfaces between the midrib and margins, older laterals 2–3 cm broad and 10–30 cm long, decreasing gradually to younger blades 5–10 mm broad and mostly 0.5–5 cm long, margins entire, smooth. Some plants with curved, tendril-like branch ends with blades becoming constricted. Holdfast 1–3 cm across, of spreading branched fibres 0.5–1 mm thick; epilithic or occasionally epiphytic. Structure. Growth (Fig. 76A) from a hemispherical apical cell, with axial cells cutting off first an abaxial transverse pericentral cell (Fig. 76B), followed by 2 lateral pericentral cells, then an adaxial transverse pericentral cell. The lateral pericentral cells each cut off 2 flanking cells, the upper of which divides again, and each of these 3 cells forms a row of cells (Fig. 76A), the outermost cell elongate, forming the flat blade, with secondary pit-connections between adjacent cells. Cortication of the transverse and then the lateral pericentral cells commences early, and the whole blade becomes corticated when mature. Lateral branches arise endogenously from the axial cells, and become displaced to between the midrib and margin. Cells uni- to multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid to elongate, ribbon like in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps (Fig. 76C) occur on the adaxial transverse pericentral cells of small blades which show only limited division of the 3 laterals in each segment, with the fertile pericentral (supporting) cell cutting off first a sterile cell, then a 4-celled carpogonial branch, followed by a second lateral sterile cell. Carposporophyte with a basal fusion cell, and much branched gonimoblast filaments with ovoid to clavate terminal carposporangia (Fig. 76E) 20–30 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 76D) sessile on short branchlets, ovoid to slightly urceolate, pedicellate, 0.5–1 mm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, with about 20 erect filaments, cells each cutting off 2 cells outwardly and becoming corticated, especially basally where 3–4 cells thick. Spermatangial blades (Fig. 76F) positioned laterally on older blades but arising endogenously from axial cells, with limited development from the lateral pericentral cells forming short lateral cell-rows each of which cuts off cortical cells by periclinal divisions and which divide anticlinally to form a plate of about 16 spermatangial initials (Fig. 76G) which cut off elongate spermatangia, covering most of the blade from the transverse pericentral cells outwards.

Tetrasporangial blades (Fig. 76H) occur singly or in clusters, originating as do lateral blades but with derivatives of the lateral pericentral cells not dividing further apart from each dividing horizontally to form curved protective cells on the margin; the lateral pericentral cells each cut off a tetrasporangium and 2 cover cells in close succession (Fig. 76I, J), probably the sporangium first, with the stichidia bearing 2 distinct rows (Fig. 76I) of subspherical tetrasporangia 30–65 µm in diameter, maturing towards the base where after release further cortical cells may develop.

Type: from W. Aust. (Preiss 2618); type (fragment?, 5–6 cm high, tetrasporangial, in MEL, 503820.

Selected specimens: Hamelin Bay, W. Aust., drift (Royce 721, 21.vi.1950; AD, A15468). Elliston, S. Aust., 6 m deep near bay entrance (Shepherd, 24.x.1969; AD, A34782) and 7 m deep in bay (Shepherd, 21.x.1970; AD, A37548). Ward I., S. Aust., 18–23 m deep (Shepherd, 3.iii.1980; AD, A50902). Point Avoid, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 2.xii.1975; AD, A46880). Wanna, S. Aust., drift (Shepley, 19.ii.1959; AD, A22231). Victor Harbor, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 22.vii.1951; AD, A16126). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 6–7 m deep on jetty piles (Kraft, 15.vii.1972; AD, A42541). Seal Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 29.x.1966; AD, A30839). Pelorus I., S of Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 10–30 m deep (Branden, 19.vi.1991; AD, A61385). Robe, S. Aust., drift (Shepley, 14.iii.1955; AD, A19870). Nora Creina, S. Aust., drift (Shepley, 14.xi.1955; AD, A21394) and (Womersley, 18.viii.1953; AD, A19016). Stinky Bay, Nora Creina, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 19.viii.1957; AD, A21212). Blackfellows Caves, SE S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 24.ii.1992; AD, A61614). Double Corner Beach, Portland, Vic., drift (Beauglehole, 14.vii.1951; AD, A21613). Queenscliff, Vic., 14 m deep (AIMS-NCI, Q66C 3331-M, 9.ii.1990; AD, A60349). Flinders, Western Port, Vic., drift (Sinkora A783, 16.viii.1970; AD, A57305).

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

Distribution: Houtman Abrolhos (Huisman 1997, p. 202) and Fremantle, W. Aust., to Western Port, Victoria.

Taxonomic notes: Sarcomenia delesserioides is a distinctive species, recognisable when living by the iridescent fronds. It is essentially a deep water (or shaded) species on rough-water coasts.


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.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1847). Nereis Australis, pp. 1–69, Plates 1–25. (Reeve: London.)

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. (1860). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 3, Plates 121–180. (Reeve: London.)

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.)

HUISMAN, J.M. (2000). Marine Plants of Australia. (Univ. W. Aust. Press, Nedlands, W. Aust. & ABRS, Canberra, A.C.T.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1849). Species Algarum. (Leipzig.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1866). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 16. (Nordhausen.)

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.

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.

MAZZA, A. (1908). Saggio di Algologia Oceanica. Nuova Notarisia 19, Nos. 202–261.

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

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1971). Pearson Island Expedition 1969.-7. The subtidal ecology of benthic algae. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 95(3), 155–167.

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1981). The algal and seagrass ecology of Waterloo Bay, South Australia. Aquat. Bot. 11, 305–371.

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.G. (1845). Nova Algarum genera et species, quas in itinere ad oras occidentales Novae Hollandiae, collegit L. Preiss, Ph.Dr. Bot. Zeit. 3, 49–57.

SONDER, O.W. (1848). Algae. In Lehmann, C., Plantae Preissianae. Vol. 2, pp. 161–195. (Hamburg.)

SONDER, O.W. (1853). Plantae Muellerianae. Algae. Linnaea 25, 657–709.

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.

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.

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.

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 75E, 76.

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.

Figure 76 image

Figure 76   enlarge

Fig. 76. Sarcomenia delesserioides (A, B, H–J, AD, A19016; C, F, G, AD, A19870; D, E, AD, A21394). A. Branch apex showing segmentation. B. Sectional view of apex with adaxial and abaxial pericentral cells. C. Young female blade, with a procarp and two sterile cells. D. Sectional view of a mature cystocarp. E. Carposporophyte with terminal carposporangia. F. Mature spermatangial blade. G. Tip of spermatangial blade showing initials and spermatangia. H. Part of thallus bearing stichidia. 1. Upper part of a stichidium, showing tetrasporangia and cover cells. J. Transverse section of a stichidium. (All as in Womersley & Shepley 1959, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.).

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