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Order Ceramiales

Family Delesseriaceae

Gonimophyllum africanum Martin and Pocock 1953: 54-55, figs 2d,e

Plants parasitic on species of Delesseriaceae, forming pale pustules a few mm in diameter with cluster of minute blades emerging from the host frond. Endophytic part comprises monosiphonous filaments interspersed among host cells, cells of parasite and host becoming almost indistinguishable. Emergent part of thallus comprising a central pustule up to a few mm in size, bearing several minute blades on the periphery. Blades up to 2 mm long, with short stipes, cuneate or semicircular, with lobed margins. Blades succulent in appearance and almost completely polystromatic; single layer of medullary cells of up to 150 µm diameter, cortex of smaller cells; veins absent. Tetrasporangia scattered in cortex over both surfaces of blades, tetrahedrally divided, 40-50 µm long. Gametophytes dioecious. Spermatangia cut off from outer cortical cells over most of blade. Cystocarps one to several per blade, to 700 µm in diameter, hemispherical and projecting from surface, apparently without ostiole.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded from Table Bay to the Kei River (Martin & Pocock 1953) (15-43). Parasitic on several species of Delesseriaceae, especially Acrosorium.

World distribution: Also reported from Uruguay (Coll & Oliveira 1999).

Type locality: Cove Rock, East London, South Africa (Silva et al. 1996).


Gonimophyllum africanum. Habit (white) on Botryoglossum platycarpum (a west coast species). Reproduced from Stegenga et al. (1997).

Gonimophyllum africanum. Section of margin of thallus (cells of substratum dotted). Reproduced from Stegenga et al. (1997).

Gonimophyllum africanum. 1. Male bladelet in longitudinal section. 2. Tetrasporangia. Reproduced from Stegenga et al. (1997).


References Gonimophyllum

Coll, J. & Oliveira, E.C. 1999. The benthic marine algae of Uruquay. Botanica Marina 42: 129-135.

Martin M.T. & M.A. Pocock 1953. South African parasitic Florideae and their hosts. 2. Some South African parasitic Florideae. Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Botany 55: 48-64, 7 figs, Plates 10-12.

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 02 March 2024.