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Order Ceramiales

Family Rhodomelaceae

Laurencia digitata Francis, Bolton, Mattio et R.J. Anderson 2017 Francis et al. 2017: 812, Fig 5

Plants reddish-brown, epilithic, caespitose, up to 4 cm tall. Holdfast rhizoidal, axes terete, to 0.5 mm in diameter, some axes percurrent; branching in 2-3 orders, ultimate branchlets truncated, with apical pits. Branching usually alternate, but sometimes sub-opposite or subverticillate. In cross section axial (central) and pericentral cells visible, medullary an cortical cells becoming smaller outwards; outer cortical cells to 8-25 um wide, each containing a single corps en cerise. Reproductive structures not seen.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded from De Hoop and a few localities on the south coast, with one specimen from Sodwana in northern KwaZulu-Natal (24-57). Apparently a mid- to low-intertidal species.

Word distribution: A South African endemic.

Type locality: Koppie Allen, De Hoop, Western Cape Province, South Africa (Francis et al. 2017).

Note: L. digitata is superficially similar to L. pumila, but aside from genetic differences, the former species is reddish-brown and branched throughout the thallus (Francis et al. 2017).


Laurencia digitata.

Laurencia digitata, branching pattern.

Laurencia digitata, surface view of outer cortical cells, each with one corps en cerise.


References Laurencia digitata

Francis, C.M., Bolton, J.J., Mattio, L., Mandiwana-Neudani, T. & Anderson, R.J. 2017. Molecular systematics reveals increased diversity within the South African Laurencia complex (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta). Journal of Phycology 53: 804-819.


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.