Pterocladia kanyakumariensis     (Algae)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Florideophyceae

Size: 1.5-2 cm

The plants are very small, consisting of one to several axes with irregular to pinnate branches. The erect axes arising from cylindrical creeping axis attached by means of numerous expanded discoid haptera. Erect axes are oval in cross section at the base and flattened above; 85-113 µm wide, 170-184.4 µm thick at the base and 355-497 µm wide, 165-170 µm thick at the flattened portion. Branches in seterile plants scarce, irregular and are generally of one order. Fertile thalli abundantly branched up to third order and the branches are elongated blade-like with narrow bases. The second and third order branches are similar to main axis, 213-284 µm and 200-270 µm wide respectively.

The cortex of erect axis is composed of 4-5 layers of pigmented cells. The external cortical layer is conspicuous, with a height of 9 µm and 3.3-6.6 µm in diameter; inner cortical cells increase slightly in size inwardly, and vary from 23.1-26 µm in diameter. Medullary cells are comparatively smaller than the inner cortical cells, measuring 6.6-9.9 µm in diameter. Rhizoidal filaments are rare, restricted only to the medullary portion.

Tetrasporangial sori are developed on the pinnately compound fertile branchlets. The tetrasporangial stichidia attain a length of upto 2 mm and a width of 312-340 µm. Tetrasporangia are formed on the tips of main axes and branches of second and third orders. The fertile main axes are longer with wide sterile margins while the fertile branchlets lack a sterile margin. The tetrasporangial sori are arranged as slightly curved transverse bands.
Cystocarps are formed on irregular or pinnately compound branches. In most cases cystocarps are formed at the basal parts of the fertile branches as elongated, one sided swellings. They are up to 530 µm long with more than one ostiole, all on one surface. The carpospores are developed from several clusters, on a single chamber, and from each cluster chains of carpospores are liberated. Carpospores ovate-elongate, 13.2-16.5 µm long and 29-33 µm broad.
The spermatangial plants are smaller than tetrasporic and cystocarpic plants and measure only 1.2 cm long. The spermatangial sori are scattered over the surface of fertile branches, usually at the tips. The arrangement of spermatia is very peculiar in that they are in groups of eight. In cross section, the spermatangial mother cells are linear with a length of 6-9 µm and they cut off spermatia.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Coastal


• Tamil Nadu, Kanniyakumari INDIA (Record: 20/12/1992)

Literature Source(s)
  • Sindhu, P and Panikkar, MVN (1995) On the occurrence of a new species of Pterocladia J.G. Agardh (Gelidiaceae, Rhodophyta) from Kanyakumari, India Seaweed Research and Utilisation Seaweed Research and Utilisation Association 17(1-2) 23-29 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -

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