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Order Ceramiales

Family Callithamniaceae

Callithamnion tripinnatum C. Agardh 1828: 168

Plants small, up to 10 mm tall. Thallus regularly complanate, with clear main axes and rarely more than three orders of laterals. Apical cell ca. 17 µm in diameter, the axes increasing to 100 µm in older parts, no cortication present, thallus apices not overtopped by the laterals. Cells throughout the thallus about 1-2 times as long as their diameter. Branches with a blunt apex. Tetrasporangia sessile, in adaxial series on the ultimate branches, one per cell, 55-60 x 45-50 µm. Spermatangia in 1 or 2 small clusters on cells of the ultimate branches. Clusters rarely longer than 3(-4) cells. Carposporophyte with rounded lobes ca. 125 µm in cross section, the ripe carpospores ca. 25 µm in diameter.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded from Brandfontein, just west of Cape Agulhas (Stegenga et al. 1997) to Mkambathi (22-47). Epiphytic on several algae of different groups, growing in the sublittoral or littoral fringe.

World distribution: Mainly a species of the European warm temperate west coast.

Type locality: Atlantic France (Silva et al. 1996).


Callithamnion tripinnatum. Above: thallus apex. Below: tetrasporangia. (Reproduced from Stegenga et al. 1997).

Callithamnion tripinnatum. Sterile thallus epizoic on hydroid, Tsitsikamma. (Stained slide).

Callithamnion tripinnatum, with spermatangia. (Stained slide).

Callithamnion tripinnatum,  with tetrasporangia. (Stained slide).


References Callithamnion tripinnatum

Agardh, C.A. 1828. Species algarum rite cognitae, cum synonymis, differentiis specificis et descriptionibus succinctis. Voluminis secundi. Sectio prior. pp. [i]-lxxvi, [i]-189. Gryphiae [Greifswald]: sumptibus Ernesti Mauriti [Ernst Mauritius].

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. & 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.