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Order Gelidiales

Family Gelidiaceae

Pterocladiella caloglossoides (M.A. Howe) Santelices 1998: 244

Plants small (to 3 mm tall), turf-like, comprising a system of prostrate stoloniferous axes bearing irregularly branched upright or repent branches. Stoloniferous basal axes cylindrical to slightly flattened, attached usually at regular intervals by peg-like holdfasts of many rhizoids; upright branches usually arising at points of attachment, usually paired but sometimes in radially produced groups of up to 6, flattened except basally, up to 4 mm long and 100-400 µm wide. Outer cortical cells up to 12 µm in diameter and spheriodal, ovoid or rectangular in longitudinal section, inner cortical cells up to 15 x 18 µm ; medulla of single row of cells about 15 µm in diameter; rhizines scattered between inner cortical cells and medulla. Spermatangial sori covering surface of male branches except for margins and basal part; tetrasporangial sori terminal on broader branches, tetrasporangia arranged in characteristic chevron-like rows; cystocarps triangular in cross-section, with chains of carposporangia radiating from a basal, central area.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded from the Morgan Bay area to northern Kwazulu-Natal (43-58), in eulittoral turf.

World distribution: Apparently widespread in tropical and temperate seas, in southern Africa also recorded from Tanzania (Silva et al. 1996).

Type locality: Not certain: either Isla San Lorenzo, Peru, from 5 m depth (Dawson 1953: 77) or San Felipe, Gulf of California (Xia & Wang 1999).

Note: This species was first recorded from South Africa as Pterocladia caloglossoides (Howe) Dawson by Norris (1987), who describes Kwazulu-Natal specimens in detail (see also Norris 1992).


Pterocladiella caloglossoides, BOL, annotated by RE Norris.

Pterocladiella calloglossoides, BOL, annotated by RE Norris, detail of one specimen.

Pterocladiella calloglossoides, XS (re-drawn from Norris 1992, Fig 5D).


References Pterocladiella caloglossoides

Dawson, E. Y. 1953. Marine red algae of Pacific Mexico. Part 1. Bangiales to Corallinaceae Subf. Corallinoideae. Univ. S. Calif. Publ., Allan Hancock Pacific Expeditions 17: iv + 239 pp.

Norris RE 1992. The marine red algae of Natal, South Africa: Order Gelidiales (Rhodophyta). Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa 61: 43 pages.

Norris, R.E. 1987. Pterocladia (Gelidiaceae, Rhodophyceae), a genus previously unknown in South Africa, as it occurs in Natal. South African Journal of Botany 53(1): 39-43.

Santelices, B. 1998. Taxonomic review of the species of Pterocladia (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta). Journal of Applied Phycology 10: 237-252.

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.

Xia B.M & Y.Q. Wang, 1999. taxonomic studies on Pterocladiella Santelices et Hommersand (Rhodophyta, Gelidiales). In: Taxonomy of Economic Seaweeds with reference to some Pacific species. Vol VIII. (Abbott, I.a. & McDermid, K.J., eds) Vol. 8, pp. 167-181. La Jolla: California Sea Grant College.


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.