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Order Gigartinales

Family Cystocloniaceae

Rhodophyllis reptans (Suhr) Papenfuss 1956: 71-73

Plants bright red, irregularly branched in cervicorn manner, a few to 5 cm tall, lower parts of thallus prostrate. Axes membranous, 0.5 - 2 mm wide and about 200 µm thick, tapering near apices. Thallus uniaxial, with wedge-shaped apical cell, axial filament inconspicuous in older parts. Medulla usually single filamentous layer, surrounded by one or two-layered pseudoparenchymatous cortex and epidermis of squarish cells. Cells of epidermis 10-20 µm in diameter in surface view. Cystocarps scattered along thallus margins, without ostioles. Tetrasporangia scattered among cortical cells, about 60 x 30 µm, zonately divided.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded along the west coast to northern Transkei (Pondoland) (1-47). A subtidal species, found to at least 15m depth.

World distribution : also recorded from Namibia, St Paul Island (Silva et al. 1996) and Antarctica (Papenfuss 1964).

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


Rhodophyllis reptans, False Bay, Western Cape (BOL).

Rhodophyllis reptans, detail of branching, fresh tetrasporangial material, Tsitsikamma.

Rhodophyllis reptans, cross section showing zonate tetrasporangia (fresh material, Tsitsikamma).

Rhodophyllis reptans, cross section showing medullary and cortical cells (fresh material, Tsitsikamma).

Rhodophyllis reptans. 1. Habit. 2. Section of vegetative thallus. 3. Section of tetrasporiferous thatllus. 4. Surface view of tetrasporiferous thallus (note “repair”of holes left by released spore. Reproduced from Stegenga et al. (1997).


References Rhodophyllis reptans

Papenfuss GF 1956. Notes on South African marine algae lV. Journal of South African Botany 22: 65-77.

Papenfuss GF 1964. Catalogue and bibliography of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic benthic marine algae. American Geophysical Union. Antarctic Research 1: 1-76.

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.