Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access


The genus Lithophyllum in the north-western Indian Ocean, with description of  L. yemenense sp. nov., L. socotraense sp. nov., L. subplicatum comb. et stat. nov., and the resumed L. affine, L. kaiseri, and L. subreduncum (Rhodophyta, Corallinales)



Based on literature, the genus Lithophyllum was represented in the whole Indian Ocean by 14 taxa, mostly in need of revision in a modern context. Molecular analyses integrated with morpho-anatomical comparisons between the recently revised type material of Lithophyllum kotschyanum Unger, and the related infraspecific taxa, lead to a resumption of L. affine, L. kaiseri, and L. subreduncum, and the description of L. socotraense sp. nov., L. yemenense sp. nov., and L. subplicatum comb. et stat. nov. Detailed accounts are provided for each species, including keys, along with information on synonymy, examined collections, distribution, habitat as well as sequence data of the 5’ end of the LSU from the type specimens. The anatomical features of the tetrasporangial conceptacle that were considered collectively diagnostic for species identification are: the mean diameter of the tetrasporangial conceptacles, the length of the pore-canal in the tetrasporangial conceptacles (with the number of cells in roof filaments), the occurrence of a depression at the top of the conceptacle roof in relation to the pore opening, and the number of cells from the floor of the tetrasporangial conceptacle chamber to the thallus surface. This study provides evidence of a previously unsuspected diversity within the Red Sea and NW Indian Ocean species of Lithophyllum.


biodiversity, coralline algae, Foslie, Heydrich, Indo-Pacific Ocean, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, integrated taxonomy, Lithophylloideae, TRH, Italy, Algae

Full Text:

PDF/A (5.73 MB)


Adey, W.H. & Adey, P.J. (1973) Studies on the biosystematics and ecology of the epilithic crustose Corallinaceae of the British Isles. British Phycological Journal 8: 343–407.

Bailey, J.C. (1999) Phylogenetic positions of Lithophyllum incrustans and Titanoderma pustulatum (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta) based on 18S rRNA gene sequence analyses, with a revised classification of the Lithophylloideae. Phycologia 38: 208–216.

Basso, D., Caragnano, A. & Rodondi, G. (2014) Trichocytes in Lithophyllum kotschyanum and Lithophyllum spp. (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) from the NW Indian Ocean. Journal of Phycology 50: 711–717.

Basso, D. & Rodondi, G. (2006) A Mediterranean population of Spongites fruticulosus (Rhodophyta, Corallinales), the type species of Spongites, and the taxonomic status of S. stalactitica and S. racemosa. Phycologia 45: 403–416.

Basso, D., Rodondi, G. & Mari, M. (2004) A comparative study between Lithothamnion minervae and the type material of Millepora fasciculata (Corallinales, Rhodophyta). Phycologia 43: 215–223.

Bressan, G. (1974) Rodoficee calcaree dei mari italiani. Bollettino della Societa Adriatica di Scienze, 59: 1–132.

Chamberlain, Y.M. & Irvine, L.M. (1994) Lithophylloideae Setchell. In: Irvine, L.M. & Chamberlain, Y.M. (Eds.) Seaweeds of the British Isles. Vol. 1 Rhodophyta, Part 2B, Corallinales, Hildenbrandiales. HMSO, London, pp. 58–112.

Chamberlain, Y.M. (1996) Lithophylloid Corallinaceae (Rhodophyta) of the genera Lithophyllum and Titanoderma from southern Africa. Phycologia 35: 204–221.

Foslie, M. (1897) On some Lithothamnia. Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Skrifter 1: 1–20.

Foslie, M. (1898) List of species of the Lithothamnia. Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Skrifter 3: 1–11.

Foslie, M. (1901a) Den botaniske samling. Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Aarsberetning 9: 18.

Foslie, M. (1901b) New Melobesiae. Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Skrifter 1900 (6): 1–24.

Foslie, M. (1903) The Lithothamnia of the Maldives and Laccadives. In: Gardiner, J.S. (Ed.) The fauna and geography of the Maldive and Laccadive Archipelagoes. 1. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, pp. 460–471.

Foslie, M. (1909) Algologiske notiser. VI. Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Skrifter 1909 (2): 1–63.

Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. (2015) AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. Available from: (accessed 7 December 2014)

Harper, J.T. & Saunders, G.W. (2001) Molecular systematics of the Florideophyceae (Rhodophyta) using nuclear large and small subunit rDNA sequence data. Journal of Phycology 37 (6): 1073–1082.

Heydrich, F. (1897a) Melobesiae. Berichte der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellshaft 15: 403–420.

Heydrich, F. (1897b) Corallinaceae, insbesondere Melobesieae. Berichte der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellshaft 15: 34–70.

Heydrich, F. (1902) Quelques nouvelles Mélobésiées du Muséum d’Histoire naturelle de Paris. Bulletin du Muséum D’Histoire Naturelle 8: 473–476.

Holmgren, P. K., Holmgren, N. H. & Barnett, L. C. (Eds.) (1990) Index Herbariorum Part I: The Herbaria of the World. 8 Ed.. New York Botanical Garden, New York, U.S.A, 633 pp.

Le Gall, L. & Saunders, G.W. (2010) DNA barcoding is a powerful tool to uncover algal diversity: a case study of the Phyllophoraceae (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta) in the Canadian flora. Journal of Phycology 46: 374–389.

Lemoine, M. (1965) Algues calcaires (Mélobésiées) recueillies par le Professeur Drach (croisière de la Calypso en Mer Rouge, 1952). Bull. Inst. Océanogr. Monaco 64: 1–20.

Maneveldt, G.W., Chamberlain, Y.M. & Keats, D.W. (2008) A catalogue with keys to the non-geniculate coralline algae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) of South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 74: 555–566.

Printz, H. (1929) M. FoslieContribution to a monograph of the Lithothamnia. Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Museet, Trondheim, 60 pp, 75 pls.

Schneider, C.W. & Wynne, M.J. (2007) A synoptic review of the classification of red algal genera a half a century after Kylin’s “Die Gattungen der Rhodophyceen”. Botanica Marina 50: 197–249.

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, University of California Press.

Unger, F. (1858) Beiträge zur näheren Kenntniss des Leithakalkes, namentlich der vegetabilischen Einschlüsse und der Bildungsgeschichte desselben. Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe 14: 13–35.

Woelkerling, W.J. (1988) The Coralline Red Algae: An Analysis of the Genera and Subfamilies of Nongeniculate Corallinaceae. British Museum (Natural History) Oxford University Press, London, 268 pp.

Woelkerling, W.J. (1993) Type collections of Corallinales (Rhodophyta) in the Foslie Herbarium (TRH). Gunneria 67:1–289.

Woelkerling, W.J. & Campbell, S.J. (1992) An account of southern Australian species of Lithophyllum (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta). Br. Mus. nat. Hist. (Bot) 22: 1–107.

Woelkerling, W.J., Gustavsen, G., Myklebost, H.E., Prestø, T. & Såstad, S. (2005) The coralline red algal herbarium of Mikael Foslie: revised catalogue with analyses. Gunneria 77: 1–625.

Woelkerling, W.J., Irvine, L.M. & Harvey, A.S. (1993) Growth-forms in non-geniculate coralline red algae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta). Australian Systematic Botany 6: 277–293.

Womersley, H.B.S. (1996) The marine benthic flora of southern Australia. Rhodophyta – Part IIIB Gracilariales, Rhodymeniales, Corallinales and Bonnemaisoniales. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra, Australia.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1179-3155 (print); ISSN 1179-3163 (online)

Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand