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Order Sphacelariales

Family Sphacelariaceae

Battersia plumigera (Holmes ex Hauck) Draisma, Prud'homme & H. Kawai 2010: 322

Plants brown, erect, up to about 1 cm high, cylindrical. Main axes and branches polysiphonous, lateral branches arising regularly; most branches determinate, a few re-branching. Main axes 50-100 µm in diameter , wider when secondary rhizoidal cortication present (in older axes), branches about half the width of main axes. Attachment in the genus is reported to be by a multi-layered basal crust.

We have only seen vegetative material, but Stegenga and Mol (1983) report that in Dutch material unilocular sporangia are globose/ovoid, borne on short branches off the main axes, in clusters; plurilocular sporangia are rather rectangular in outline; propagules are absent.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded only in the “Channel” at Bird Island, Algoa Bay, from the shallow subtidal (0.1-2.5 m depth) (Anderson & Stegenga 1989).

World distribution: temperate northern Atlantic, also India and Japan (Guiry & Guiry 2012).

Type locality: Eastbourne, England (Draisma et al 2010).

Note: formerly known as Sphacelaria plumigera Holmes. The genus Battersia was re-instated by Draisma et al (2010) on molecular grounds. Our record indicates that contrary to the conclusion of Draisma et al (2010), the genus Battersia is not restricted to the Northern Hemisphere.


Battersia plumigera, microscope slide specimen from Bird Island.

Battersia plumigera, tip of microscope slide specimen from Bird Island.

Battersia plumigera, branch primordial.

Battersia plumigera, detail of vegetative cells.


References Battersia

Anderson, R.J. & H. Stegenga. 1989. Subtidal algal communities at Bird Island, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Botanica Marina 32: 299-311.

Draisma, S.G.A., Prud'homme van Reine, W.F. & Kawai, H. (2010). A revised classification of the Sphacelariales (Phaeophyceae) inferred from a psbC and rbcL based phylogeny. European Journal of Phycology 45(3): 308-326.

Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2012. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched January 2012.

Stegenga, H. & I. Mol (1983). Flora van de Nederlandse Zeewieren. KNNV, Amsterdam, 263 pp.


Cite this record as:

Anderson RJ, Stegenga H, Bolton JJ. 2016. Seaweeds of the South African South Coast.
World Wide Web electronic publication, University of Cape Town,; Accessed on 24 May 2024.