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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Sonderella linearis (J. Agardh) Schmitz in Schmitz & Hauptfleisch 1897: 415.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Sonderelleae

Selected citations: De Toni 1900: 744. Falkenberg 1901: 708, 710, 712. Guiler 1952: 101. Kylin 1956: 436. Lucas 1909: 37; 1929a: 20; 1929b: 50. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 237. May 1965: 396. Mazza 1908: No. 256. Phillips et al. 2000: 217. Phillips 2001: 493, figs 35–40. Reinbold 1898: 47. Schmitz 1889: 446 (nomen nudum). Womersley 1965: 435, figs 1–16, pls 1–3. Womersley & Shepley 1959: 169.


Amansia linearis Harvey 1859a: p1. 108; 1863, synop.: xv. Kützing 1869: 20, pl. 54a-c. Sonder 1880: 31. Tate 1882a: 22. Tisdall 1898: 512.

Lenormandia linearis (Harvey) J. Agardh 1863: 1102; 1879: 148, pl. 33 figs 17, 18.

Thallus (Fig. 160A) medium red to red-brown, 4–8 (–16) cm high, moderately branched with flat, linear, entire branches 2–4 mm broad, longer branches bearing irregular shorter ones, all from the midrib. Holdfast rhizoidal, clasping the host axes and 2–7 mm long; epiphytic on Ballia callitricha (rarely on B. mariana). Structure. Apical cell dome-shaped to laterally elongate, often in a slight apical cleft, axial cell (Fig. 161A), cutting off 4 pericentral cells (5 in fertile segments), 2 larger lateral cells and 2 smaller adaxial cells, with the larger cells each cutting off a pseudopericentral cell on the abaxial side; apices hence dorsiventral; the lateral pericentral cells divide to form 2 chains (Fig. 160B), extending apically, of wing cells which become hexagonal and 70–110 µm across. Blades ecorticate, midrib becoming corticate below with descending rhizoids. Trichoblasts absent. Branching adventitious from the pericentral or pseudopericentral cells. Cells probably multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious, reproductive cells formed on thallus surface. Procarps borne on up to 10 successive segments, on the central of the 3 adaxial pericentral cells, on the adaxial face of the blade, with the central (supporting) cell bearing 2 sterile cells and a 4-celled carpogonial branch. Carposporophyte (Fig. 161C) with a basal, erect, fusion cell and much-branched gonimoblast with clavate terminal carposporangia 50–75 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 161B, C) usually single per branch, ovoid to slightly urceolate, 0.5–1 mm in diameter; pericarp originating prefertilization, ostiolate, (3–) 4 cells thick. Spermatangial (Figs 160C, 161D) blades flat, ovate, 0.5–1 (–2.5) mm broad, with sterile central and marginal cells, the wing cells cutting off small initials which form a horizontal plate, each cell of which cuts off 1–4 elongate spermatangia.

Stichidia (Fig. 160D) are borne on the midrib on both sides of the blades, linear, compressed, 0.5–1 mm broad and 2–6 mm long, with tetrasporangia in 2 rows, borne from the lateral adaxial pericentral cells (Fig. 161E); the lateral pericentral cells divide laterally only 1–2 times but cut off smaller cover (corticating) cells on the stichidium surface; tetrasporangia 80–140 µm in diameter, released mainly through splits on the adaxial side.

Lectotype from Port Fairy, Vic. (Harvey, Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 118D); in Herb, Harvey, TCD.

Selected specimens: Guichen Bay, S. Aust., on Ballia callitricha, 10–16 m deep (Womersley, 1.ix.1949; AD, A10962). Robe, S. Aust., on B. callitricha, drift (Womersley, 18.v.1964; AD, A27971- "Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 135) and on Ballia mariana, drift (Womersley, 18.v.1964; AD, A27843). Stinky Bay, Nora Creina, S. Aust., on B. callitricha, drift (Womersley, 19.viii.1957; AD, A21107). Warrnambool, Vic., on B. callitricha, drift ( Womersley, 13.iv.1959; AD, A22941). Queenscliff, Vic., on B. callitricha, drift (Womersley, 8.iv.1959; AD, A22862). Cape Paterson, Vic. (Docker, 8.iv.1973; MELU, 21720).

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

Distribution: Robe, S. Aust., to Cape Paterson, Victoria.

Taxonomic notes: Sonderella linearis has rarely been collected since the mid 1960's, when material permitted Womersley (1965) to clarify the relationships of this distinctive alga.

Silva et al. (1996, p. 493) discuss the authorship of this species, which should be credited to (J. Agardh) Schmitz in Schmitz & Hauptfleisch 1897: 415.


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

AGARDH, J.G. (1879). Florideernes morphologi. K. Svenska Vetensk. Akad. Handl. 15(6), 1–199, Plates 1–33.

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

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

HARVEY, W.H. (1859a). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 2, Plates 61–120. (Reeve: London.)

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

KÜTZING, F.T. (1869). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 19. (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.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929a). The marine algae of Tasmania. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 1928, 6–27.

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.

PHILLIPS, L.E. (2001). Morphology and molecular analysis of the Australasian monotypic genera Lembergia and Sonderella (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta), with a description of the tribe Sonderelleae trib. nov. Phycologia 40, 487–499.

PHILLIPS, L.E., CHOI, H.-G., SAUNDERS, G.W. & KRAFT, G.T. (2000). The morphology, Taxonomy and molecular phylogeny of Heterocladia and Trigenia (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta), with delineation of the little-known tribe Heterocladieae. J. Phycol. 36, 199–219.

REINBOLD, T. (1898). Die Algen der Lacepede und Guichen Bay (Süd Australien) und deren näherer Umgebung, gesammelt von Dr. A. Engelhart-Kingston. II. Nuova Notarisia 9, 33–54.

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

SCHMITZ, F. (1889). Systematische Übersicht der bisher bekannten Gattungen der Florideen. Flora, Jena 72, 435–456, Plate 21.

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.)

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.

TISDALL, H.T. (1898). The algae of Victoria. Rep. 7th Meet. Aust. Ass. Adv. Sci., Sydney, 1898, pp. 493–516.

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. (1965). The morphology and relationships of Sonderella (Rhodophyta, Rhodomelaceae). Aust. J. Bot. 13, 435–450.

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 160, 161.

Figure 160 image

Figure 160   enlarge

Fig. 160. Sonderella linearis (A, C, D, AD, A27971; B, AD, A21107). A. Habit. B. Apex of branch showing segmentation. C. A spermatangial blade. D. Stichidium with paired tetrasporangia. (All as in Womersley 1965, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

Figure 161 image

Figure 161   enlarge

Fig. 161. Sonderella linearis (A–C, AD, A21107; D, E, AD, A27971). A. Apical segmentation, with 3 adaxial pericentral cells and 2 abaxial pseudopericental cells (broken lines). B. Blade with a mature cystocarp. C. Longitudinal section of a cystocarp with carposporophyte. D. Cross section of a spermatangial blade. E. Transverse section of a stichidium, with undivided sporangia cut off from the two lateral adaxial pericentral cells. (All as in Womersley 1965, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

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