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Order Gigartinales

Family Plocamiaceae

Trematocarpus flabellatus (J.Agardh) De Toni 1900: 418-419

Plants red, erect, stiffly cartilaginous, up to about 6 cm tall, several to twelve times dichotomously branched. Axes flattened, in cross-section semicircular to elongate ellipsoidal, 2-3 mm wide and up to 1 mm thick. Medulla pseudoparenchymatous with rounded cells up to about 250 µm in diameter and well-developed intercellular spaces; outer cortical cells small, elongated radially. Tetrasporangial sori on one or both sides of blade, sporangia immersed, up to 70 x 25 µm. Cystocarps scattered, lateral on blades in subterminal sections of the thallus.

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Recorded along the entire west coast to as far east as Kini Bay, near East London (1-41). Epilithic, found in rock pools and from the lower eulittoral to subtidal zone to at least 10 m depth; sometimes forming a dense band just above LWS.

World distribution: Also recorded from Namibia (Rull Lluch 2002) and Amsterdam and St Paul Islands in the southern Indian Ocean (Silva et al. 1996).

Type locality: Cape of Good Hope, South Africa (Sea Point, Cape Town) (Simons 1983).


Trematocarpus flabellatus, Noetsie, De Hoop, exposed at low tide.

Trematocarpus flabellatus, XS showing internal structure.

Trematocarpus flabellatus, 1 Habit. 2 Cross section. Reproduced from Stegenga et al. (1997).


References Trematocarpus flabellatus

De Toni, G.B. 1900. Sylloge algarum omnium hucusque cognitarum. Vol. IV. Florideae. Sectio II. pp. [i-iv], 387-774 + 775-776 [Index]. Patavii [Padova]: Sumptibus auctoris.

Rull Lluch, J. 2002. Marine benthic algae of Namibia. Scientia Marina 66 (Supplement 3): 258 pp.

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.

Simons, R.H. 1983. The genus Trematocarpus (Sarcodiaceae, Rhodophyta) in southern Africa and the exclusion of Sphaerococcus (Chondrus) scutellata. Bothalia 14: 803-808.

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.