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Order Cladophorales

Family Cladophoraceae

Chaetomorpha Kützing

Plants unbranched, filamentous, either erect and attached with an elongate basal cell or forming loose-lying clumps without basal cells. Cells rather thick-walled: chloroplasts parietal, reticulate, usually covering outer surface of protoplast, with several to many pyrenoids. Reproductive cells very similar to vegetative cells, in attached species forming at distal end of filament. Life history with two isomorphic phases. Sixty species are currently recognized, of which 6 are recorded from the South African south coast.

Key to the species

1a. Plants basally attached


1b. Plants forming loose clumps or mats or entangled with other algae


2a. Plants erect, basal cells very long (to 7.5 mm), annulated near base

C. antennina

2b. Plants erect, basal cell up to 4 mm long, without annulations


3a. Basal cell up to 4 mm long, thallus spirally coiled near base

C. spiralis

3b. Basal cell up to 1 mm long, thallus not coiled at the base

C. aerea

4a. Filaments stiff, more than 350 µm in diameter, undulate (wavy)

C. vieillardii

4b. Filaments lax, less than 300 µm in diameter


5a. Filaments about 100 µm in diameter, cells 1-3 times as long as broad

C. natalensis

5b. Filaments 250-300 µm in diameter, cells 1-2 times as long as broad

C. linum



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 25 February 2024.