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Order Gigartinales

Family Kallymeniaceae

Callophyllis variegata (Bory de Saint-Vincent) Kützing 1843: 401

Plants bright to dark red, to about 20 cm tall, with small hapterous holdfast. Blade flat, soft cartilaginous, laciniate, up to about 400 µm thick. Branching in one plane, irregular, alternate or somewhat dichotomous, often with marginal proliferations. Medulla of large colourless cells interspersed with smaller-celled filaments; cortex of 1-2 layers of small, pigmented cells. Tetrasporangia not seen in our specimens. Cystocarps about 1 mm in diameter, scattered near margins of blades and on marginal proliferations.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded from a few scattered localities between Saldanha Bay and Waterloo Bay (13-40), apparently subtidal and rare, but may be a little more common in the Agulhas – Arniston area.

World distribution: Alaska, southern South America, New Zealand, some sub-Antarctic islands, Antarctica (MD Guiry in Guiry & Guiry 2015).

Syntype localities: New Guinea and Concepción, Chile (Silva et al. 1996).

Note: Norris (1964) first identified South African specimens as C. variegata, and suggested that the species may be rare here as it might be a “recent arrival’’. South African species are described in detail by Norris (1964), and a fundamental study of the morphology and anatomy of the Kallymeniaceae is that of Norris (1957). Although recorded from a few localities on the west coast, this species was not described or illustrated by Stegenga et al. (1997).


Callophyllis variegata (herbarium specimen).


References Callophyllis

Guiry, MD in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2015. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 26 March 2015.

Kützing, F.T. 1843. Phycologia generalis oder Anatomie, Physiologie und Systemkunde der Tange. Mit 80 farbig gedruckten Tafeln, gezeichnet und gravirt vom Verfasser. pp. [part 1]: [i]-xxxii, [1]-142, [part 2:] 143-458, 1, err.], pls 1-80. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus.

Norris, R.E. 1957. Morphological studies on the Kallymeniaceae. University of. California Publications in Botany 28 (5): 251-334, pls 28-40.

Norris, R. E. 1964. The morphology and taxonomy of South Africa Kallymeniaceae. Botanica Marina 7: 90-129.

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 02 March 2024.