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Order Chaetophorales

Family Chaetophoraceae

Sporocladopsis novae-zelandiae Chapman 1949: 496, fig. 4

Plants forming a dark green to almost black velvety cover on large algae. Structure of irregularly branched prostrate filaments producing short multicellular rhizoids penetrating the substrate, and many erect filaments of remarkably uniform length. Erec axes of two types: (1) a tightly compact layer of short filaments, 50-150 µm high and (2) a layer of lower density consisting of longer filaments (up to 600 µm long). Filaments 10-15 µm in diameter, cells 1-2 times longer than broad, with a single parietal chloroplast and one or two pyrenoids. Sporangia formed terminally on short filaments; ovate or club-shaped, 20-30 x 10-12 µm , producing 8-16 spores. (Description from Stegenga et al. 1997).

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded from Yzerfontein on the west coast to Mkambati (14-47). Growing on larger algae such as Ecklonia maxima, E. radiata, Sargassum spp. and Gelidium abbottiorum.

World distribution: Also found in Argentina, Australia and New Zealand (Guiry & Guiry 2012).

Type locality: New Zealand (Chapman 1949).

Note: Stegenga et al. (1997) point out that the name Pilinia may have been misapplied to this entity in South Africa: this belongs to a brown alga. 


Sporocladopsis novae-zelandiae, cushions on wet stipe of Ecklonia radiata, Qolora, Transkei. Stipe about 15 mm in diameter.

Sporocladopsis novae-zelandiae, cushions drying on stipe of Ecklonia radiata, Qolora, Transkei. Stipe about 15 mm in diameter.

 Sporocladopsis novae-zelandiae. XS of Ecklonia radiata stipe showing two layers of Sporocladopsis filaments: short dense layer and layer of long, sparse filaments

Sporocladopsis novae-zelandiae. Detail of fertile material (stained slide) showing junction of inner short layer with some sporangia, and longer outer filaments.

Sporocladopsis novae-zelandiae. Cross-sections of thalli, in Fig. 2 with sporangia (rows of epidermal cells of substrate, Ecklonia maxima, dotted). Illustration from Stegenga et al. 1997.


References Sporocladopsis

Chapman, V.J. (1949). Some new species and forms of marine algae from New Zealand. Farlowia 3: 495-498, 5 figs.

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

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 02 March 2024.