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Sarcotrichia tenera (Harvey) Womersley & Shepley 1959: 209.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Sarcomeniaceae

Selected citations: May 1965: 377. Shepherd & Womersley 1981: 367. Silva et al. 1996: 466. Wynne 1996: 181.


Dasya tenera Harvey 1855a: 543; 1863, pl. 257. Kützing 1865: 1, pls 1c-d, 2.

Sarcomenia tenera (Harvey) J. Agardh 1863: 1264; 1896: 136; 1899: 145. De Toni 1900: 740. De Toni & Forti 1923: 35, pl. 5 figs 2–4. Guiler 1952: 101. Harvey 1863, synop.:xvii. Lucas 1909: 37; 1929b: 50. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 234, fig. 99. Mazza 1908: No. 253. Reinbold 1899: 46. Sonder 1880: 33. Tisdall 1898: 513. Wilson 1892: 164. Womersley 1950: 184. Womersley & Shepley 1959: 188, figs 57–71, pl. 4 fig. 1.

Sarcomenia secundata J. Agardh 1899: 144, 147. De Toni 1924: 361.

Thallus (Fig. 72A) greyish-red to red-brown, mucilaginous and rapidly disintegrating when detached, usually 10–30 cm high with stout but soft, branched, axes 1–2 (–3) mm in diameter and much branched, villose, upper parts bearing monosiphonous filaments. Holdfast small, rhizoidal; epiphytic. Structure. Apical cells (Fig. 71E) dome shaped with axial cells cutting off 4 pericentral cells, the abaxial first followed by 2 lateral cells and lastly the adaxial cell, with the lateral cells each cutting off 2 flanking cells. Monosiphonous filaments (Fig. 72B, C), up to 25 cells long, arise from the anterior flanking cells and also from the transverse pericentral cells, thus forming 4 rows along the branches; filaments 16–28 µm in diameter, mid cells L/D 2–3 (–4), simple or occasionally becoming branched, caducous some distance below branch apices. Cortication (Fig. 72B) commencing 15–20 segments from apices, becoming heavy on lower terete axes. Lateral branches endogenous. Cells uni- or binucleate in filaments, multinucleate in larger pericentral cells; rhodoplasts discoid, becoming chained.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps (Fig. 71F) near the tip of laterals with the adaxial pericentral cell cutting off a first sterile cell, then the initial of the carpogonial branch, then a second sterile cell lying over the carpogonial branch. Carposporophyte with an erect fusion cell and branched gonimoblast filaments bearing clavate to ellipsoid terminal carposporangia 25–40 µm in diameter. Cystocarps ovoid, (500–) 800–1000 µm in diameter, sessile on branchlets which form a short stalk; pericarp ostiolate, with about 20 erect filaments, each cell cutting off 2 transversely elongate outer cells. Spermatangial blades (Fig. 71G) clustered on main branches, 400–700 µm long and 80–140 µm broad, with a terminal awn and sterile marginal and transverse pericentral cells, with the lateral pericentral cells producing a layer of initials cutting off outer spermatangia.

Tetrasporangial stichidia (Fig. 72E) 500–1500 µm long and 150–200 µm broad, produced from the adaxial surface of mature corticated branches, with the lateral pericentral cells each cutting off a tetrasporangium and abaxial and adaxial cover cells (Fig. 71H), the sporangia protected also by curved flanking cell derivatives; tetrasporangia 35–55 µm in diameter; slight cortication may occur on older stichidia.

Type from Fremantle, W. Aust. (Harvey); holotype Trav. Set 78, Herb. Harvey, TCD.

Selected specimens: Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand, W. Aust., on Amphibolis antarctica, upper sublittoral (Womersley, 4.x.1979; AD, A51164). Anxious Bay, S. Aust., on Laurencia sp., drift (Parsons, 24.viii.1967; AD, A31935). Waterloo Bay, S. Aust., on Metagoniolithon radiatum, 4.5 m deep (Turner, 28.iv.1983; AD, A54154). Sturt Bay, S. Aust., on Amphibolis, drift (Davey, April 1897; AD, Al 140). Marion Bay, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 8.iv.1950; AD, A16097). Stenhouse Bay, S. Aust., on Polysiphonia decipiens, 3–4 m deep on jetty piles (Cannon, 15.x.1988; AD, A59176). Outside Tapley Shoal (Edithburg), S. Aust., on Posidonia sinuosa?, 15 m deep (Shepherd, 2.ii.1969; AD, A33504). Henley Beach, S. Aust., on Heterozostera, drift (AD, A1139). D'Estrees Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 23.viii.1963; AD, A26781). Nora Creina, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 4.x.1970; AD, A37345). Port MacDonnell, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 26.ix.1992; AD, A62987). Double Corner Beach, Portland, Vic., on Sargassum, drift (Beauglehole, 14.vii.1951; AD, A21611). Shoreham, Westernport Bay, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1686, 16.xi.1972; AD, A53405). Low Head, Tas., drift at Pilot Station (Womersley, 23.x.1986; AD, A57774). Bruny I. (opposite Gordon), Tas., 14 m deep (Brown, 10.x.1986; AD, A57812).

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

Distribution: Fremantle, W. Aust., to Western Port, Vic., and the N coast of Tasmania.


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. & FORTI, A. (1923). Alghe di Australia, Tasmania e Nouva Zelanda. Mem. R. Inst. Veneto Sci., Lett. Arti 29, 1–183, Plates 1–10.

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. (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.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1865). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 15. (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. (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.

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

REINBOLD, T. (1899). Meeresalgen von Investigator Street (Süd Australien), gesammelt von Miss Nellie Davey (Waltham, Honiton). Hedwigia 38, 39–51.

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.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.

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 71 E–H, 72 A–E.

Figure 71 image

Figure 71   enlarge

Fig. 71. A–D. Malaconema roeanum (A, B, D, AD, A19787; C, AD, A1459). A. Side view of compressed branch apex. B. Face view of a branch apex. C. Face view of a stichidium. D. Transverse section of a compressed branch, with slight cortication. E–H. Sarcotrichia tenera (AD, A16097). E. Branch apex with developing lateral and transverse monosiphonous filaments. F. Procarp with division of supporting cell to an auxiliary cell. C. A spermatangial blade. H. Apex of a stichidium, adaxial view. I–K. Sarcotrichia dolichocystidea (AD, A19788). 1. Branch apex, with monosiphonous filaments only from the flanking cells. J. Branch with a mature procarp. K. A stichidium. L, M. Platysiphonia delicata (AD, Al2914). L. Branch apex showing segmentation. M. Branch with a mature procarp. (All as in Womersley & Shepley 1959, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.).

Figure 72 image

Figure 72   enlarge

Fig. 72. A–E. Sarcotrichia tenera (A, AD, A62987; B, C, AD, A57774; D, E, AD, A26781). A. Habit. B. Corticate branch with ecorticate laterals. C. Young branch with monosiphonous filaments from flanking cells and transverse pericentral cell. D. Cystocarps. E. Branch with stichidia. F, G. Sarcotrichia dolichocystidea (AD, 26728). F. Habit. G. Branch with monosiphonous filaments only from flanking cells.

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