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Order Ceramiales

Family Rhodomelaceae

Acanthophora spicifera (M.Vahl) Børgesen 1910: 201, figs 18-19

Plants brownish-red to yellowish, up to 20 cm tall, spiny and rather brittle, comprising several erect, branched axes arising from a lobed basal disc. Axes heavily corticated, cylindrical, 0.3 – 3 mm in diameter; main axes smooth, with few or no spines, branching radial to irregular, upper ends of branches covered with spirally-arranged short (up to 0.5 mm) spines often with trichoblasts at tips. Five pericentral cells surrounded by cortical cells; outer cortical cells rather elongated. Tetrasporangia in rows in short spinose swollen branchlets, about 45-75 µm tetrahedrally divided. Cystocarps solitary, urn-shaped, in axils of spinose branchlets, up to 1 mm diameter.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded from Algoa Bay to northern KwaZulu-Natal. (36-58). On hard substrata in the shallow subtidal zone of rather sheltered areas and in some estuaries.

World distribution: Worldwide in tropical and some warm-temperate areas.

Type locality: St Croix, Virgin Islands (Silva et al. 1996).


Acanthophora spicifera, somewhat overgrown by a filamentous epiphyte (Madagascar).

Acanthophora spicifera, detail (Madagascar).


References Acanthophora

Børgesen, F. 1910. Some new or little known West Indian Florideae. II. Botanisk Tidsskrift 30: 177-207, 20 figs.


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.