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Order Ectocarpales

Family Scytosiphonaceae

Iyengaria stellata (Børgesen) Børgesen 1939: 91-95, figs. 23-25

Plants yellow-brown, forming thin, globose cushions, irregularly furrowed and convoluted, up to about 10 cm diameter and 3-4 cm high; the surface covered with knobbly protruberances. Thalli at first solid but older plants becoming hollow in the centre. Structure parenchymatous, the central medullary cells polygonal, thin-walled, up to 300 µm in diameter; cells decreasing in size towards the exterior, epidermal cells in surface view 8-15 µm in diameter, in section about as high as broad, with one parietal chloroplast. Hair bundles present, arising below the epidermis, scattered over the thallus. Plurilocular sporangia in superficial sori, 60 (-75) µm long, 6-12 µm broad, sori without paraphyses.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Epilithic or epiphytic in the lower eulittoral and rock pools. Recorded from False Bay to the Port Edward area of southern Kwazulu-Natal (17-48).

World distribution: Recorded from India, Pakistan and shores on the Arabian Sea, also from Singapore and Papua New Guinea (Guiry & Guiry 2011).

Type locality: Gujarat, India (Silva et al. 1996).

Note: The rather peculiar distribution of this species, as well as the very close relationship between Iyengaria and the genus Colpomenia, indicate that Iyengaria is in need of investigation and that the name Colpomenia capensis should perhaps be resurrected for South African I. stellata (Stegenga et al. 1997).


Iyengaria stellata, intertidal cushions, Arniston.

Iyengaria stellata, submerged specimen in rock pool, Haga Haga.

Iyengaria stellata, xs showing continuous, solid medulla.

Iyengaria stellata. 1. Habit. 2. Cross section of outer cell layers. Drawings from Stegenga et al. (1997).


References Iyengaria

Børgesen, F. (1939). Marine algae from the Iranian Gulf especially from the innermost part near Bushire and the Island Kharg. In: Danish Scientific Investigations in Iran, Part 1. (Jessen, K. & Spärck, R. Eds), pp. 47-141. Copenhagen: Ejnar Munksgaard.

Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2011. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched October 2011.

Silva, P.C., Basson, P.W. & Moe, R.L. (1996). Catalogue of the benthic marine algae of the Indian Ocean. University of California Publications in Botany 79: 1-1259.

Stegenga, H., Bolton, J.J. and R. J. Anderson. 1997. Seaweeds of the South African west coast. Contributions from the Bolus Herbarium 18: 655 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 26 February 2024.