Australian Systematic Botany Australian Systematic Botany Society
Taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of plants

The genus Lithophyllum (Lithophylloideae, Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta) in south-eastern Australia, with the description of L. riosmenae, sp. nov.

A. S. Harvey A C , Wm J. Woelkerling A and A. J. K. Millar B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Botany, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Vic. 3083, Australia.

B Royal Botanic Gardens, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email:

Australian Systematic Botany 22(4) 296-317
Submitted: 4 December 2008  Accepted: 9 June 2009   Published: 31 August 2009


The genus Lithophyllum (Lithophylloideae, Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta) is represented by six species in south-eastern Australia L. chamberlainianum Woelkerling & Campbell, L. corallinae (Crouan & Crouan) Heydrich, L. cuneatum Keats, L. pustulatum (Lamouroux) Foslie, L. riosmenae, sp. nov., and L. stictaeforme (Areschoug in Agardh) Hauck. Four of these taxa are commonly found in Australia, whereas L. cuneatum was previously known only from Fiji and L. riosmenae is newly described. Morphological and anatomical accounts are provided, including keys, information on distribution, nomenclature and habitat in south-eastern Australia. South-eastern Australian species are primarily delimited on characters relating to tetrasporangial conceptacles and the presence/absence of a semi-endophytic habit. Ten species of Lithophyllum are now confirmed to occur in Australia and their diagnostic characters are detailed. Confirmed Australian species of Lithophyllum are primarily delimited on characters relating to tetrasporangial conceptacles, the presence/absence of a semi-endophytic habit and the growth-form. Biogeographic comparisons between south-eastern Australia and other Australian biogeographic regions are also made. Eight species of Lithophyllum are known to occur in southern Australia, three in tropical eastern Australia and three in subtropical western Australia. Southern and south-eastern Australia show major overlap, with five species occurring in both regions. L. pustulatum and L. stictaeformae are widely distributed, having been confirmed to occur in eastern tropical, western subtropical, warm temperate and cold temperate waters within Australia.


Sincere thanks are due to Sascha Brand, Petra Ringeltaube, Robert Harvey and Andrea Schmitt for their help with field collecting in Queensland, and to Chris O’Brien, David Hardin and Nick Yee who assisted in collecting specimens from NSW. Peter Wilson provided the Latin diagnosis for Lithophyllum riosmenae. Financial support was provided to the first author by the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS). Financial support provided by the Australian Research Council to the second author is also gratefully acknowledged.


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