Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Acrothamnion preissii (Sonder) Wollaston 1968: 323, fig. 24; 1977b: 386.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Order Ceramiales – Family Ceramiaceae – Tribe Antithamnieae

Selected citations: Athanasiadis 1996: 136. Huisman 1997: 195. Huisman et al. 1990: 96. Huisman & Walker 1990: 417. Itono 1977: 21, figs 6A–C, 34A–C. Kendrick et al. 1988: 205; 1990: 51. Millar & Kraft 1993: 34. Silva et al. 1996: 372. Yoshida et al. 1990: 299.


Callithamnion preissii Sonder 1845: 52; 1848: 166; 1881: 10. J. Agardh 1851: 33; 1876: 25. Harvey 1863, synop.: liv. Kützing 1849: 651.

Antithamnion preissii (Sonder) De Toni 1903: 1414. Lucas 1909: 51.

Callithamnion pulchellum sensu Harvey 1855a: 561; 1863, synop.: liv. J. Agardh 1876: 20. De Toni 1903: 1338. Lucas 1909: 49; 1929b: 52. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 333. Mazza 1926: No. 817. Sonder 1881: 10. Tisdall 1898: 502. [NON C. pulchellum C. Agardh 1828: 175.]

Acrothamnion pulchellum (Harvey) J. Agardh 1892: 25, figs 6–10. De Toni 1924: 451. May 1965: 367. Reinbold 1898: 53; 1899: 50. Tokida & Inaba 1950: 124, figs 8–11.

Acrothamnion arcuatum Wollaston 1968: 326, fig. 23M–O.

Thallus (Figs 52A, 53A) rose red, with branched, prostrate and erect axes to 0.5–1.5 cm long, usually bearing whorls of 2 opposite major pinnae and (1–) 2 minor pinnae between them (Fig. 53B), sometimes pinnae equally developed (Fig. 53C). Attachment by rhizoids (Fig. 53E) with digitate haptera, arising from prostrate axial cells; epiphytic on various algae. Structure. Apical cells 6–8 µm in diameter and L/D 1–1.3, enlarging to 40–75 µm in diameter and L/D 1.5–3 (–5) in mature axial cells. Major pinnae usually 180–280 µm and 10–12 cells long, with short basal cells and rachis cells 20–28 µm in diameter and L/D 0.8–1.2, each bearing opposite, distichous, simple pinnules, 80–100 µm and 6–9 cells long, longest near the pinna base, cells 10–15 µm in diameter and L/D 0.8–1.2, tapering near their tips; minor pinnae smaller than major ones, with one usually lost producing a dorsiventral branch; gland cells (Figs 52B, 53D) terminal on the rachis of most pinnae, formed at maturity of the rachis, transversely oval and 16–22 µm in diameter. Lateral branches irregular, arising on the basal cells of pinnae. Cells uninucleate; rhodoplasts discoid, elongate or in chains in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Carpogonial branches (Fig. 53F, G) develop in series of 4–8 on the basal cells of pinnae, with 1 or 2 developing carposporophytes. Post-fertilization the supporting (basal) cell cuts off a rounded auxiliary cell with a terminal gonimolobe (Fig. 53H) 200–300 µm across of ovoid carposporangia 28–35 µm in diameter, usually with later lateral gonimolobes, and with slight fusion of basal sterile cells. Pinnae on lower axial cells partly surround the carposporophyte. Spermatangia (Fig. 53I) occur on branched clusters from short pinnules on lower rachis cells.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 52B, 53J) occur on elongate protrusions on the upper side of basal rachis cells of mainly major pinnae, subspherical, 40–50 µm in diameter, decussately divided.

Type from Rottnest I., W. Aust. (Preiss); holotype in MEL, 10260.

Selected specimens: 7 Mile Beach, N of Dongara, W. Aust., on Kuetzingia canaliculata, drift (Womersley, 17.ix.1979; AD, A51373). Thompson Bay, Rottnest I., W. Aust., on Amphibolis, drift (Gordon-Mills, 3.xii.1984; AD, A56629). Eyre, W. Aust., on Codium galeatum, drift (Gordon, 22.xi.1968; AD, A34254). Cannan Reefs, S. Aust., epiphytic, 20–25 m deep (Branden, 21.i.1991; AD, A61094). Elliston, S. Aust., on Euptilocladia villosa, 25 m deep (Shepherd, 25.x.1971; AD, A42578 - "Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 161). Tiparra Reef, Spencer Gulf, S. Aust., on Doxodasya bulhochaete, 11 m deep (Shepherd, 24.ii.1971; AD, A38236). Stenhouse Bay, S. Aust., on Haliptilon, drift (Womersley, 9.iv.1950; AD, A13215). West Beach, S. Aust., on Amphibolis, drift (Gordon, 4.x.1968; AD, A32837 - "Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 99, as A. arcuatum). Glenelg, S. Aust., on sponge, 4.5 m deep (Cannon, 12.ii.1987; AD, A58608). Oedipus Point, West I., S. Aust., on Pterocladia lucida, 16 m deep (Shepherd, Dec. 1966; AD, A31153). Middle R., Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 8.i.1946; AD, A3426, type of A. arcuatum). Snapper Point, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., on Gelidium australe, 20 m deep (Lavers, 24.iii.1996; AD, A64861). Margaret Brock Reef, Cape Jaffa, S. Aust., on Gelidium australe, 10 m deep (R. Lewis, 15.ii.1974; AD, A45031). Robe, S. Aust., on Ballia callitricha, drift (Wollaston, 17.i ii.1956; AD, A20403). Portland, Vic., W of Lawrence Rock, on sponge 24–30 m deep (Owen, 2.ix.1971; AD, A39678). Wilsons Prom., Vic., epiphytic (Mueller; MEL, 10252).

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

Distribution: Shark Bay, W. Aust., to Wilsons Prom., Victoria. Japan (Yoshida et al. 1990, p. 299).

Taxonomic notes: Wollaston (1977b, p. 391) considered her A. arcuatum (Wollaston 1968, p. 326) only an extreme form of A. pressii, with relatively evenly spaced pinnae of similar length. Wollaston (1968, p. 326) expressed doubt concerning the only non-Australian record (from Japan) of this species, but this is maintained by Yoshida et al. (1990).


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ATHANASIADIS, A. (1996). Morphology and classification of the Ceramioideae (Rhodophyta) based on phylogenetic principles. Opera Botanica No. 128, pp. 1–216.

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

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

Author: E.M. Wollaston & H.B.S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (24 December, 1998)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIIC. Ceramiales – Ceramiaceae, Dasyaceae
©State Herbarium of South Australia, Government of South Australia

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 1998: FIGS 52A, B, 53 A–J.

Figure 52 image

Figure 52   enlarge

Fig. 52. A, B. Acrothamnion preissii (A, AD, A38236; B, AD, A58608). A. Branches with upcurved whorl-branchlets. B. Branch with whorl-branchlets bearing terminal gland cells and tetrasporangia. C. Macrothamnion pellucidum (AD, A63358). Habit. D. Macrothamnion secundum (AD, A20161). Habit. E. Macrothamnion pectenellum (AD, A46233). Habit. F. Macrothamnion acanthophorum (MELU and AD, A66643). Habit.

Figure 53 image

Figure 53   enlarge

Fig. 53. A–J. Acrothaninion preissii (C, D, AD, A3426; others in AD, uncertain). A. Habit, with prostrate and erect axes. B. Axial cells with whorls of major and minor pinnae. C. Axial cell with whorl of 4 equal branchlets (A. arcuatum form). D. Rachis of whorl-branchlet with terminal gland cell (A. arcuatum form). E. Prostrate axis with attachment rhizoids and erect lateral axes. F. Carpogonial branch on basal cell of a pinna. G. Procarps near a branch apex, with a lower young carposporophyte. H. A more mature carposporophyte with a terminal gonimolobe and initial of a lateral gonimolobe. I. Spermatangial clusters on rachis cells. J. Whorl-branchlets with tetrasporangia borne on upward protrusions of rachis cells. K–S. Macrothamnion pellucidum (S, AD, A27914; others in AD, uncertain). K. Branches of thall us. L. Whorl-branchlets with gland cells on short branches. M. End of a whorl-branchlet with short spinous processes. N. Gland cells on small special branches on a whorl-branchlet, with a rhizoid from the basal cell. O. Gland cells on special branches. P. A carpogonial branch on basal cell of a whorl-branchlet. Q. Young carposporophyte with a terminal gonimolobe and fused lower cells. R. Spermatangial cluster (with gland cells). S. Tetrasporangia on branched filaments on a whorl-branchlet. (All as in Wollaston 1968, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

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