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Tylocolax microcarpus Schmitz in Schmitz & Falkenberg 1897: 478.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Uncertain

Selected citations: De Toni 1903: 1251. Goff 1982: 304. Kylin 1956: 519, fig. 412C. Lucas 1912: 159. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 323. May 1965: 384.

Thallus (Fig. 226A) forming pustules 1–2.5 mm across and 1–1.5 mm high on the host, Lenormandia spectabilis, with a basal, hemispherical pseudoparenchymatous tissue from which more-or-less erect (Fig. 226A, B), polysiphonous branches 300–600 µm high arise. Attachment by smaller, rhizoidal, cells on the surface of the host. Structure. Erect branches mostly simple, with 5 (or 6?) pericentral cells, lightly corticated, 70–90 win in diameter, segments L/D 0.3–0.5. Trichoblasts present at least with gametophytic organs.

Reproduction: Procarps with a 4-celled carpogonial branch and probably sterile cells, soon enclosed by the pericarp. Carposporophyte (Fig. 226C) with a basal fusion cell and branched gonimoblast with clavate terminal carposporangia 20–25 µm in diameter. Cystocarps ovoid (Fig. 226B, C), 400–500 µm in diameter, short-stalked; pericarp ostiolate, 4–5 cells thick, corticated. Spermatangial organs (Fig. 226D) ovoid, 45–75 µm long and 30–45 µm in diameter, with a sterile basal cell.

Tetrasporangia originally described as in 2 longitudinal rows.

Type from south coast of Australia, on Lenormandia spectabilis; location?

Selected specimens: Point Avoid, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 2.xii.1975; A46907). Wanna, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 19.ii.1959; AD, A22408). Encounter Bay, S. Aust., drift (Cleland; AD, A3657). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 24.i.1946; AD, A3335 and 14.i.1948; AD, A68976). Stanley Beach, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 27.i.1957; AD, A20877).

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

Distribution: Point Avoid to Stanley Beach, Kangaroo I., S. Australia.

Taxonomic notes: Tylocolax is still a little-known parasitic alga, having never been re-described since the original description of Schmitz, who gave only a general stylised drawing of the thallus, repeated by Kylin (1956, fig. 412C). The above description is based entirely on dried specimens growing on Lenormandia spectabilis and agrees in general with the description of Schmitz. However, tetrasporangia in two straight longitudinal rows have not been observed though some elongate, decussately divided, tetrasporangial cells, 30–45 µm long and 14–18 µm in diameter, have been observed within short upright excrescences on the basal cushion (in A20877).

Re-examination of good, fertile, liquid-preserved material of Tylocolax is needed.


DE TONI, G.B. (1903). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 3. pp. 775–1521 + 1523–1525. (Padua.)

GOFF, L.J. (1982). The biology of parasitic red algae. Progr. Phycol. Res. 1, 289–369.

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. (1912). Supplementary list of the marine algae of Australia. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 37, 157–171.

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.

SCHMITZ, F. & FALKENBERG, P. (1897). Rhodomelaceae. In Engler, A. & Prantl, K., Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien. T.1. Abt. 2, pp. 421–480. (Englemann: Leipzig.)

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.

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 2003: FIG. 226.

Figure 226 image

Figure 226   enlarge

Fig. 226. Tylocolax microcarpus (A, D, AD, A68976; B, C, AD, A3335). A. Section of thallus on Lenormandia, with basal cushion bearing erect branches. B. Section of basal cushion with erect branches, one with a cystocarp. C. Section of cystocarp with carposporophyte. D. Erect branches with ovoid spermatangial organs.

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