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Schizoseris bombayensis (Børgesen) Womersley, comb. nov

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Delesseriaceae


Myriogramme bombayensis Børgesen 1931a: 23, fig. 15, pl. II fig. 4; 1935: 57, figs 24, 25. Abbott 1999: 345, fig. 99F. Cribb 1954b: 26; 1983: 98, pl. 30 fig. 1. May 1965: 400. Millar & Kraft 1993: 47. Silva et al. 1996: 461. Wynne 2000a: 397.

Thallus (Fig. 50A) medium to red-brown, 1–5 cm high, foliose to irregularly branched or lacerate between the macroscopic veins, branching complanate, 4–12 mm broad when young, branches of older plants 1–3 (–4) mm broad, apices rounded, margins entire to irregular or ruffled, with occasional tufts (Fig. 50D) of long-celled rhizoids (for attachment?); macroscopic veins (Fig. 50A) more-or-less distinct from the base to close to apices, subdichotomous to laterally branched. Holdfast discoid to fibrous; epiphytic, epizoic or epilithic. Structure. Apical growth marginal without (Fig. 50B) distinct apical cells, marginal cells 3–6 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2, with submarginal intercalary divisions, mature cells in irregular lines, 6–10 µm across and L/W 1–2; young blades monostromatic, becoming irregularly 2 or 3 cells thick below and between reproductive areas, 25–35 µm thick; veins polystromatic (Fig. 50C) with larger primary cells and dimidiate inner cortical layers, outer cells equivalent. Cells probably multiinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid to lobed.

Reproduction: Gametophytes probably dioecious. Procarps (Fig. 54C) scattered, with a sterile cell and a 4-celled carpogonial branch, soon becoming covered by a plate of 4–12 sterile cells. Carposporophytes (Fig. 50E) with a conspicuous, broad, basal fusion cell and an extensive, spreading, much branched gonimoblast bearing terminal chains of irregularly ovoid carposporangia 12–20 µm in diameter. Cystocarps swollen, scattered but usually not on the veins, 400–750 µm across, ostiolate; pericarp 60–90 µm and 4–5 cells thick, usually with a slight ostiolar collar. Spermatangial sori not observed.

Tetrasporangial (Fig. 50F) sori on upper blades often just below apices, irregular in shape and 0.2–2 mm across, 130–180 µm thick, with tetrasporangia in 2 layers (Fig. 50G), cut off from inner cortical cells and covered by outer cortical cells, subspherical, 25–60 µm in diameter.

Type from Malabar Hill, Bombay, India; holotype (?) in C.

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

Distribution: India, Oman, Japan, Korea, Gulf of California, Hawaiian Is.

In Australia, known from the southern Great Barrier Reef and Redcliffe, Old. (Cribb) and from NSW (Millar & Kraft) and Lord Howe I. (Kraft, in MELU). Also from Williamstown, Port Phillip, Vic., and SE Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: Selected Specimens: Gloucester Reef, Williamstown, Vic., 3–4 m deep (Kraft & Drews, 5.vii.1992; MELU, 9032, on rock), (Kraft & Williams, 27.x.1992; MELU, 9468, on rock), (Kraft, 10.iv.1994; MELU, 10235, on crustose corallines) and (Kraft & Saunders, 3.iii.1995; MELU, 10548 and AD, A68032, on sponges and crustose corallines). Bicheno, Tas., 19–21 m deep (Kraft, 18.xii.1992; MELU, 9398 and AD, A68028). Charlotte Cove, SE Tas., 9–11 m deep (Edgar, 6.x.1999; AD, A68330).

Southern Australian records and their determination are due largely to Dr Gerry Kraft and his associates, following the earliest record of Cribb (1954b, p. 26). These records suggest that S. bombayensis may be widespread around the Australian coast. The Lord Howe I. collections in MELU include some plants that are slightly larger and of greater breadth than in the above description.

The features of S. bombayensis agree better with Schizoseris than with Myriogramme, following the studies of the type specimens of these genera by Hommersand & Fredericq (1997a and b). The plastid structure, subdichotomous macroscopic veins, procarp and carposporphyte structure, and origin of tetrasporangia from inner cortical cells, all indicate the genus Schizoseris.

As Millar & Kraft (1993, p. 47) suggest, Schizoseris pygmaea Dawson (1950, p. 157, figs 16, 17; 1962, p. 80, pl. 35 figs 3, 4) is probably a synonym of S. bombayensis, where Abbott (1999, p. 345) places it, along with S. subdichotoma (Segawa) Yamada from Japan.


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

BØRGESEN, F. (1931a). Some Indian Rhodophyceae especially from the shores of the Presidency of Bombay. Bull. Misc. Inf., Roy. Bot. Gard., Kew No. 1, 1–24, Plates I, II.

BØRGESEN, F. (1935). A list of marine algae from Bombay. K. Dan. Vidensk. Selskab. Biol. Medd. 12(8), 1–64, Plates 1–10.

CRIBB, A.B. (1954b). Records of marine algae from South-Eastern Queensland I. Univ. Qld Pap. Dept Botany 3, 15–37.

CRIBB, A.B. (1983). Marine algae of the southern Great Barrier Reef—Part I. Rhodophyta. (Aust. Coral Reef Soc., Handbook 2: Brisbane.)

DAWSON, E.Y. (1950). Notes on Pacific coast marine algae. IV. Amer. J. Bot. 37, 149–158.

DAWSON, E.Y. (1962). Marine red algae of Pacific Mexico. Part 7. Ceramiales - Ceramiaceae, Delesseriaceae. Allan Hancock Pacif. Exped. 26, 1–206, Plates 1–50.

HOMMERSAND, M.H. & FREDERICQ, S. (1997a). Characterization of Myriogramme livida, Myriogrammeae trib. nov. (Delesseriaceae, Rhodophyta). J. Phycol. 33, 106–121.

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.

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

WYNNE, M.J. (2000a). New records of benthic marine algae from the Sultanate of Oman, northern Arabian Sea. III. Contr. Univ. Michigan Herb. 23, 389–406.

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 50, 54C.

Figure 50 image

Figure 50   enlarge

Fig. 50. Schizoseris bombayensis (AD, A68032). A. Habit, tetrasporangial plant. B. Marginal apex. C. Transverse section through polystromatic vein and monostromatic blade. D. Clump of marginal rhizoids. E. Cross section of cystocarp. F. Tetrasporangial sorus near branch apices. G. Transverse section of tetrasporangial sorus.

Figure 54 image

Figure 54   enlarge

Fig. 54. Procarps. A. Platyclinia stipitata (AD, A61443). B. Myriogramme gunniana (AD, A57826). C. Schizoseris bombayensis (AD, A68032). D. Nitophyllum crispum (AD, A57770). E. Haraldiophyllum nottii (AD, A46142).

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