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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Tolypiocladia penningtonensis Womersley, sp. nov.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Polysiphonieae

Thallus (Fig. 93A) dark brown-red, 2–5 cm high, erect, with one to several terete axial branches 2–4 mm broad, bearing 1–4 irregularly placed indeterminate laterals, consisting of a central ecorticate axis densely surrounded by radially and spirally arranged short determinate laterals. Attachment by rhizoids from prostrate branches; epiphytic on smaller entangled algae, possibly epilithic. Structure. Apices of indeterminate branches surrounded by young determinate laterals, apical cells dome-shaped, cutting off 4 pericentral cells (Fig. 93B) and determinate laterals on a 1/4 spiral sequence, all branches ecorticate. Axes (200–) 300–600 µm in diameter, segments L/D 0.5–1. Determinate laterals (Fig. 93C, E) 0.8–1.4 mm long, with 2–4 branches from near their base, branches 60–100 µm in diameter above their base, with 4 pericentral cells and segments L/D 0.5–1, with apical segments bearing branched trichoblasts, caducous on mature segments. Rhizoids on prostrate branches 100–500 µm in diameter, segments L/D 0.3–1, cut off from pericentral cells, unicellular with multicellular digitate haptera. Rhodoplasts discoid, chained in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes probably dioecious. Carposporophytes with a small basal, fusion cell and branched gonimoblast with clavate to ovoid terminal carposporangia 20–35 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 93C, D) urceolate, 300–400 µm in diameter, with a short neck 80–120 µm long; pericarp ostiolate, ecorticate, 2 cells thick, outer cells isodiametric, angular. Spermatangial thalli unknown.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 93E) in determinate laterals, spirally arranged, one in each segment and slightly bulging the segments, (35–) 60–80 µm in diameter, with 2 cover cells.

Type from Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., sublittoral fringe on main reef, probably epiphytic (Womersley, 29.viii.1948); holotype and isotypes in AD, A8736.

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

Distribution: Only known from Pennington Bay and nearby Stanley Beach, Kangaroo I., S. Australia.

Taxonomic notes: T. penningtonensis is a distinctive species known only from the Pennington Bay region of Kangaroo I. It probably occurs on similar rough-water coasts elsewhere but has been overlooked. Differences from the tropical species of Tolypiocladia are in habit and in having the determinate laterals closely adjacent to and covering the axis between them.

References: The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIID

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. 93.

Figure 93 image

Figure 93   enlarge

Fig. 93. Tolypiocladia penningtonensis (AD, A8736). A. Habit, holotype. B. Transverse section of axis and a determinate lateral. C. Determinate laterals with cystocarps. D. Cystocarp with carposporophyte. E. Determinate laterals with tetrasporangia.

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