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Metagoniolithon radiatum (Lamarck) Ducker 1979: 85, figs 4–8.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Corallinales – Family Corallinaceae – Subfamily Metagoniolithoideae

Selected citations: Huisman & Walker 1990: 413. Johansen 1981: 75, fig. 16B.


Corallina radiata Lamarck 1815: 240. Areschoug 1852: 541.

Amphiroa radiata (Lamarck) Blainville 1834: 552.

Amphiroa charoides Lamouroux 1816: 301. Areschoug 1852: 539. Decaisne 1842b: 124. De Toni 1905: 1810. Harvey 1849a: 96, pl. 39 lower right; 1855a: 547; 1859b: 309; 1863, synop.: xxx. Kützing 1849: 702. Lucas 1929a: 27. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 394. Sonder 1848: 187; 1853: 687; 1881: 20. Tisdall 1898: 507. Wilson 1892: 177.

Metagoniolithon charoides (Lamouroux) Weber-van Bosse 1904: 102, pl. 15 fig. 11. Cabioch 1972: 233, fig. 34. De Toni 1905: 1861. De Toni & Forti 1923: 61. Ganesan 1971: 248. Guiler 1952: 86. King et al. 1971: 121. Lucas 1929b: 53. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 394. Manza 1940: 310, pl. 19. May 1965: 356. Womersley 1950: 167; 1953: 38. Yendo 1905: 12.

Amphiroa stellata Kützing 1849: 702; 1858: 25, pl. 52 fig. II.

Thallus (Fig. 143A, B) medium red-brown, 5–15 cm high, densely tufted with few to many erect axes from a crustose holdfast, much branched from the genicula, with few to numerous clustered branches of varying ages and lengths, intergenicula 1–2 (–3) cm long below and 1–2 (–3) mm in diameter, decreasing to 3–10 (–15) mm long, and 400–800 µm in diameter above; branch apices covered by a mucilaginous cap (Fig. 143C, D) 35–250 µm thick. Holdfast 2–5 mm across with several to many erect axes; epilithic. Structure. Intergenicula of numerous tiers (Fig. 143D) 30–50 µm long, cells 10–15 µm in diameter with numerous lateral cell-fusions (Fig. 143F). Genicular filaments untiered (Fig. 143E). Apical cells separated, without epithallial cells. Cortex present in both intergenicula and genicula, of short splaying filaments 7–11 µm in diameter, with short epithallial cells and often bands of hairs. Rhodoplasts discoid to laminate.

Reproduction: Conceptacles uniporate, borne on the surface of the intergenicula. Gametangial thalli dioecious. Female conceptacles 700–800 µm in external diameter; carposporophyte with a broad, thin, fusion cell bearing marginal short filaments with large, terminal, ovoid, carposporangia 100–120 µm in diameter. Male conceptacles (Fig. 144A, B) 600–800 µm in diameter, with spermatangia cut off from initials on the chamber floor.

Tetrasporangial conceptacles (Fig. 144C) usually numerous, 660–800 µm in external diameter, with 9–14 tetrasporangia peripheral in chambers, each tetrasporangium 110–200 µm long and 80–130 µm in diameter, zonately divided.

Type from Nouvelle-Hollande, Peron & Lesueur; holotype in PC.

Selected specimens: Port Denison, W. Aust., outer reef pools (Gordon, 8.xi.1968; AD, A33150). Two People Bay, W. Aust., 15 m deep (Huisman, 3.iv.1993; AD, A63238). Near Smooth Pool, W of Streaky Bay, S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Johansen 81–10–16C, 26.x.1981; AD, A52759). St Francis I., Isles of St Francis, S. Aust., 10–13 m deep (Shepherd, 6.i.1971; AD, A37979). "The Hotspot", W of Flinders I., S. Aust., 32 m deep (Branden, 21.vi.1988; AD, A59312). SE of Wanna, S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Johansen 81–11–1a, 2.xi.1981; AD, A52773). Aldinga, S. Aust., upper sublittoral pools (Shepley, 7.iii.1954; AD, A20210). Fishery Beach, Cape Jervis, S. Aust., 4–6 m deep (Gowlett-Holmes, 24.ii.1966; AD, A64606). Middle River, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 8.i.1946; AD, A3381). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., sublittoral fringe (Womersley, 5.i.1947; AD, A4377). Cape Willoughby, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 1 m deep (Womersley, 12.i.1947; AD, A4226). Robe, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 29.viii.1949; AD, A10933). Nora Creina, S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Johansen 81–9–33, 5.ix.1981; AD, A52583). Carpenter Rocks, S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 5.ii•.1970; AD, A35182 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 80). 1.3 km off Middle Point, Cape Northumberland, S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 13.ii.1976; AD, A47006). Lawrence Rocks, Portland, Vic., 22 m deep (Watson, 20.xii.1982; AD, A55360). Point Lonsdale, Vic., upper sublittoral (Christensen & Johansen 81–8–17, 31.viii.1981; AD, A52595). Walkerville, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1852, 6.xii.1973; AD, A53541). Granville Harbour, Tas., 1–4 m deep (Blackman, 27.i.1979; AD, A58552). Guyton Point, Robbins I., Tas., upper sublittoral (Wollaston & Mitchell, 23.ii.1964; AD, A27620). Currie R. mouth, Tas., upper sublittoral (Warnersley, 28.i.1949; AD, A10306). Lady Bay, Southport, Tas., 2–3 m deep (Brown & Kenchington, 14.x.1986; AD, A57656).

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

Distribution: Port Denison, W. Aust., to Walkerville, Vic., and around Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: M. radiatum is common along rough-water coasts of southern Australia, but less so on coasts of moderate water movement. It occurs from low tide level to 32 m deep, with deeper water plants and those from SE southern Australia often more robust.


ARESCHOUG, J.E. (1852). Ordo XII. Corallineae. In J.G. Agardh, "Species, Genera et Ordines Algarum". Vol. 2, Part 2, pp. 506–576. (Gleerup: Lund.)

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

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The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIIB complete list of references.

Author: H.B.S. Womersley & H.W. Johansen

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (28 June, 1996)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIIB. Gracilarialse, Rhodymeniales, Corallinales and Bonnemaisoniales
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIIB 1996, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 1996: PLATE 4 fig. 3; FIGS 143, 144 A–C.

Plate 4 image

Plate 4   enlarge

figure 1. Spongites hyperellus (AD, 56460). Photograph - H.B.S. Womersley.
figure 2. Corallina officinalis (AD, A64460). Photograph - K.L. Gowlett-Holmes.
figure 3. Metagoniolithon radiatum (AD, A64606). Photograph - K.L. Gowlett-Holmes.
figure 4. Haliptilon roseum (AD, A64605). Photograph - K.L. Gowlett-Holmes.

Figure 143 image

Figure 143   enlarge

Fig. 143. Metagoniolithon radiatum (A, AD, A10933; B, F, AD, A47006; C, D, AD, A35182; E, AD, A55360). A. Habit. B. Habit, coarse plant. C. Branches with apical mucilaginous caps. D. Longitudinal section of branch with mucilaginous cap. E. Longitudinal section of geniculum and intergenicula. F. Longitudinal section of medulla with lateral cell fusions.

Figure 144 image

Figure 144   enlarge

Fig. 144. A–C. Metagoniolithon radiatum (A, B, AD, A10933; C, AD, A52595). A. Branches with male conceptacles. B. Longitudinal section of a male conceptacle. C. Longitudinal section of a tetrasporangial conceptacle. D, E. Metagoniolithon stelliferum (D, AD, A52193; E, AD, A64300). D. Habit. E. Branches with mucilaginous caps.

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