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Order Ceramiales

Family Callithamniaceae

Euptilota mollis (Wollaston) O. De Clerck 2004: 383 (as 'molle' )

Plants very flaccid and pliant, up to 13 cm tall, pinkish and pale, iridescent blue in situ. Indeterminate axes irregularly and dichotomously branched, with alternate to distichously-arranged, somewhat sparse, uncorticated determinate laterals; determinate laterals 1.4-2 mm long, branched in up to 5 orders, apices unbranched for up to 14 cells. Indeterminate branches cylindrical, up to 1 mm in diameter near base, arising at irregular intervals along main axes, strongly corticated to within a few mm of apices. Tetrasporangia sessile, forming singly on determinate branches, tetrahedrally divided, ovoid, 50-65 µm long. Male plants with spermatangia in clusters on short fertile axes arising from branches of the determinate laterals. Female plants bearing paired gonimoblasts surrounded by an involucrum. (Description adapted from De Clerck et al. 2005).

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

We have not collected this species on the south coast, but De Clerck et al. 2005 report that it is only known from the type locality and southern KwaZulu-Natal (47-49). Apparently a subtidal species, found down to at least 20 m.

World distribution: South African endemic.

Type locality: off Mtentu River, northern Transkei, South Africa (Silva et al. 1996).

Note: see detailed illustrations and description in Hommersand et al. (2004), and De Clerck et al. (2005). This species was formerly known as Carpothamnion molle (Wollaston) P.C. Silva.


Euptilota mollis (photo H. Verbruggen).

Euptilota mollis. Enlarged view of thallus showing typical iridescence, heavily corticated (thick) indeterminate laterals and uncorticated (feathery) determinate laterals (photo H. Verbruggen).


References Euptilota mollis

De Clerck, O, Tronchin, E. M., Schils, T. 2005. Red algae. In: De Clerck, O., J.J. Bolton, R. J. Anderson and E. Coppejans, 2005. Guide to the Seaweeds of Kwazulu-Natal. National Botanic Garden of Belgium, Brussels (Scripta Botanica Belgica), pp. 130-269.

Hommersand, M.H., De Clerck, O. & Coppejans, E. 2004. A morphological study and taxonomic revision of Euptilota (Ceramiaceae, Rhodophyta) from South Africa. European Journal of Phycology 39: 369-394.

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.


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.