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Order Gigartinales

Family Cystocloniaceae

Hypnea tenuis Kylin 1938: 11-12, fig. 5

Plants small (up to 5 cm), orange-red to dark red, forming loose tangle. Primary attachment often untraceable, secondary attachment to other algae by hooked apices. Axes terete, thin (200-400 µm diameter), delicate, irregularly branched; percurrent axis absent, main axes irregularly to secundly branched. In cross-section main axes with distinct central filament surrounded by medullary cells of similar diameter (40-70 µm); cortex of up to 2 layers of small cells. Tetrasporangial stichidia spindle-shaped, developing from ultimate ramuli.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

A species of the south and east coasts, recorded from Swartklip (False Bay) to northern Kwazulu-Natal (18-58). Epiphytic on larger algae, especially Gelidium, in the sublittoral fringe and shallow sublittoral zone at wave-exposed sites.

World distribution: Also recorded from Namibia and Mozambique (Silva et al. 1996).

Type locality: Isipingo Beach, KZN, South Africa (Kylin 1938).


Hypnea tenuis, Morgan Bay.

Hypnea tenuis, branch detail.

Hypnea tenuis, BOL.

Hypnea tenuis, re-drawn from Kylin (1938: Fig. 5).

Hypnea tenuis.  Habit (above), cross section (below). Reproduced from Stegenga et al. (1997).


References Hypnea tenuis

Kylin, H. 1938. Verzeichnis einiger Rhodophyceen von Südafrika. Lunds Universitets Årsskrift, N. F. Avd. 2, 34(8): 1-26, 10 figs, 8 plates.

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 26 February 2024.