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Order Ceramiales

Family Ceramiaceae

Ptilothamnion Thuret

Thallus filamentous, endo/epiphytic, minute (to ca. 15 mm tall but often much smaller), comprising prostrate axes bearing erect, sparsely branched or pinnate axes. Cells multinucleate. Gametophytes monoecious or dioecious. Tetraporangia or polysporangia sessile or pedicellate, borne on emergent erect filaments. Worldwide, 13 species are currently recognized (Guiry & Guiry 2015), of which three are found on the south coast.

Note: Ptilothamion subsimplex Gordon-Mills: There is not enough evidence to record this species for Transkei as done by Bolton & Stegenga (1987).

Key to the species

1a. Growing in the felty foot of Zonaria, emergent parts up to 1(-1,5) mm tall, consisting of cells little longer than broad

Ptilothamnion codicolum

1b. Usually on other substrata, emergent parts larger, with longer cells


2a. Plants growing on Dichotomaria and Galaxaura, emergent filaments 25-35 µm thick; sporophytic plants with tetrasporangia, carposporophytes with enveloping filaments from hypogenous and subhypogenous cells

Ptilothamnion goukammae

2b. Plants growing on a wide variety of algae (including Zonaria, Dichotomaria and Galaxaura), emergent filaments to 50-60 µm in diameter thick; sporophytic plants with polysporangia, carposporphytes with enveloping filaments from the hypogenous cell only

Ptilothamnion polysporum


References Ptilothamnion

Bolton. J. J. & H. Stegenga 1987. The marine algae of Hluleka (Transkei) and the warm temperate/sub-tropical transition on the east coast of southern Africa. Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen 41: 165-183.

Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2015. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 07 December 2015.


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 19 April 2024.