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Order Gigartinales

Family Phyllophoraceae

Gymnogongrus tetrasporifer Papenfuss in R.J.Anderson & Bolton 1990: 383, fig. 6

Thalli erect, 4-6 cm tall and up to 1 mm diameter, slightly compressed, regularly dichotomously branched. Axes often irregularly constricted, with rounded apices. Hemispherical nemathecia up to 1.5 mm in diameter occuring on the most distal 3 orders of branches. Nemathecia comprising filaments of cells with cruciately-divided tetrasporangia forming distally.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Found from Kowie to northern KwaZulu-Natal ((39-58).), in intertidal rockpools and in sublittoral down to at least 6m depth.

World distribution: South African endemic.

Note: The name Gymnogongrus tetrasporifer was used by Papenfuss in an unpublished manuscript, and it is illustrated and referred to by Anderson and Bolton (1990) and De Clerck et al. (2005), but awaits more comprehensive molecular studies of the genus before it can be validated (see Fredericq et al. 2003).


Gymnogongrus tetrasporifer, Haga Haga.

Gymnogongrus tetrasporifer, showing distinctly protruding nemathecia near branch apices (BOL, Kowie specimen).

Gymnogongrus tetrasporifer, nemathecia on fresh material.

Gymnogongrus tetrasporifer, Cape Morgan, det by Papenfuss (BOL).

Gymnogongrus tetrasporifer, XS through nemathecium (circle of loose tissue on left) and axis (dark-outlined tissue on right) (re-hydrated BOL specimen).


References Gymnogongrus tetrasporifer

Anderson, RJ & JJ Bolton. 1990. Reproductive morphology and life histories of southern African Gymnogongrus species (Rhodophyta, Phyllophoraceae). British Phycological Journal 25: 381-390.

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.

Fredericq, S., RJ Anderson & J. Lopez-Bautista. 2003. Systematic circumscription of some Phyllophoraceae from the Cape region, South Africa, based on morphological and molecular evidence. Proc. 17th International Seaweed Symposium, Oxford University Press, pp. 263-273.


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.