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Hirsutithallia tincta E.M.Woll. & Womersley

Mar.Benth.Fl.S.Australia IIIC:258-259, Fig. 120 (1998)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Native to Western Australia
Name Status

Scientific Description

Habit and structure. Thallus erect, 5–10(–13) cm high, with a main axis bearing radially numerous alternate to irregular laterals with a more or less pyramidal form, cortication commencing close to apices. Holdfast 0.5–1 mm across; epilithic. Structure. Ecorticate determinate branchlets 500–1500 µm long, subdichotomous, basal cells 50–90 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2, decreasing over 6–15 cells to small ovoid, rounded, terminal cells 4–9 µm in diameter and L/D 1.5–2, often with hairs. Axial cells of corticate branches increasing to 150–450 µm in diameter and L/D 1.5–2, becoming densely corticated by descending rhizoids from the basal cells of ecorticate branchlets, and bearing profuse anticlinal filaments 3–4(–5) cells and 45–50(–60) µm long, occasionally branched near their ends and with terminal hairs. Cells uninucleate but with numerous darkly staining globules; rhodoplasts small, irregularly discoid in young cells, more elongate in older cells.

Reproduction. Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps borne on mid cells of ecorticate branchlets. Carpogonial branches borne on one of two opposite periaxial cells, with the carpogonium enlarging transversely post-fertilization and dividing longitudinally prior to fusion via connecting cells with the two auxiliary cells cut off from the periaxial (one the supporting) cells. Each auxiliary cell produces a gonimoblast initial which forms irregular, branched, tapering gonimolobes, with later tapering lobes being produced from the first, forming a much branched carposporophyte; carposporangia irregularly ovoid, 20–28 µm in diameter; involucre absent. Spermatangial clusters are 45–55 µm across, borne on cells of the ecorticate branchlets, with a stalk cell which branches 2–4 times with terminal spermatangia. Tetrasporangia are borne singly on outer cells of ecorticate branchlets, sessile, subspherical, 40–55 µm in diameter, tetrahedrally divided.

Distribution. Safety Bay, W. Aust., to Port MacDonnell, S. Aust.

[After Womersley, Mar. Benthic Fl. Southern Australia IIIC: 258 (1998)]