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Order Ceramiales

Family Rhodomelaceae

Polyzonia elegans Suhr 1834: 739-740, pl. II: fig. 15

Plants dark red, up to 6 cm long, epiphytic, comprising branched polysiphonous axes bearing distichously arranged leaf-like laterals. Attached by rhizoidal pads arising from ventral pericentral cells. Axes with 6 pericentral cells surrounding axial filament; 100 – 150 µm in diameter, in places with ventral keel. Indeterminate axes corticated; determinate axes arising from every second segment in alternating pattern, forming leaf-like branches with four marginal teeth; trichoblasts absent. Tetrasporangia in dorsal series in distal segments of indeterminate axes, ca. 150 x 50 µm, one per segment, with 3 cover cells that become indistinct with cortication of the fertile segment. No sexual plants observed.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded from Goukamma eastwards along the coast into Mozambique (29-58). Common as an epiphyte on various seaweeds in the lower eulittoral and shallow sublittoral, particularly Gelidium abbottiorum and G. pteridifolium.

World distribution: Mozambique, Western Australia (Guiry & Guiry 2011).

Type locality: Algoa Bay, South Africa (Silva et al. 1996).

Note: for detailed descriptions and illustrations of this species see Scagel (1953).


Polyzonia elegans (height ca. 20 mm).

Polyzonia elegans, detail of leaf-like branches.


References Polyzonia

Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2011. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched August 2011.

Scagel R. F. 1953. A morphological study of some dorsiventral Rhodomelaceae. University of California Publications in Botany 27: 1-108.

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.

Suhr, J.N. von 1834. Übersicht der algen, welche von Hrn. Ecklon an der südafrikanischen küste gefunden worden sind. Flora 17: 721-735, 737-743, Figs. 1-21, Plates I, II.


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.