Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Order Bryopsidales

Family Codiaceae

Codium stephensiae Dickinson 1932: 131-136

Thallus dark green, applanate, procumbent, velvety but tough, up to 30 cm in daimeter, 2.4 – 5 mm thick, adhering centrally and here and there on otherwise free lobes by patches of rhizoids; young lobes rounded or with blunt teeth, older lobes becoming irregularly or symmetrically cleft, largely free from substratum. Utricles of dorsal surface in large clusters, 315-1500 µm long, with attenuated subapical contriction giving a unique “ninepin” shape, broadening to maximum diameter below constriction, apices truncate or slightly depressed or rounded. Utricles of ventral surface shorter and less constricted. Hairs or hair-scars scarce, 1-3 per utricle, at top of constriction. Gametangia cylindrical, 200-325 µm long, one (rarely two) per utricle, on short pedicel below constriction.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Mainly a south coast species, but recorded from St. Helena Bay (west coast) to Port Shepstone area, southern KZN (11-48). Found in lower sublittoral pools and gulleys and in the shallow sublittoral zone.

World distribution: South African endemic.

Type locality: Kommetjie, Cape Peninsula (lectotype) (Silva et al. 1996).

Note: C. stephensiae differs from other South African adherent Codium species in its development of isobilateral lobes. Silva (1959) further points out that C. stephensiae differs from the superficially similar C. lucasii in several respects: the former is largely free from the substratum, and has a cortical layer of utricles on both surfaces, while the latter is attached except at the margins, and only has a cortex on the upper surface. 


Codium stephensiae, habit

 Codium stephensiae, utricles (note characteristic ninepin shape) with gametangia

 Codium stephensiae, utricles (reproduced from Stegenga et al. 1997).


References Codium stephensiae

Dickinson, C.I. (1932). A new adherent Codium from South Africa. Revue Algologique 6: 131-136, 3 figs, Plate 3.

Silva, P.C. (1959). The genusCodium (Chlorophyta) in South Africa. Journal of South African Botany 25: 101-165, 22 figs, Plates II-XVI.

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 19 April 2024.