Asparagopsis armata Harvey 1855

Asparagopsis armata Harvey

Current name: Asparagopsis armata Harvey
Finavarra, Co. Clare, Ireland - 14 June 2011. M.D. Guiry (

Publication Details
Asparagopsis armata Harvey 1855: 544

Published in: Harvey, W.H. (1855). Some account of the marine botany of the colony of western Australia. Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy 22: 525-566.

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Type Species
The type species (holotype) of the genus Asparagopsis is Asparagopsis delilei Montagne.

Status of Name
This name is of an entity that is currently accepted taxonomically.

Type Information
Type locality: Garden Island, Western Australia; (Womersley 1996: 329) Lectotype: Harvey; Herb. Harvey, TCD; Trav. Set 193 (Womersley 1996: 329) Notes: Syntype localities: Garden Island and King George Sound, Western Australia; Tasmania (Silva et al. 1996: 182).

Origin of Species Name
Adjective (Latin), equipped, armed (Stearn 1973).

General Environment
This is a marine species.

In north-eastern Europe, gametophyte plants occurring from June or July - August or September (sometimes overwintering), pale purplish-red, quickly degenerating when removed from the water and becoming distinctly orange; fronds bushy, with a cylindrical axis to1 mm wide and 200 mm long, arising from bare, creeping stolons; irregularly branched, with 4 rows of branchlets, simple, short, branchlets alternating with longer ones with 4 rows of simple filamentous ramuli. Lower branchlets unbranched, long, tapered, with harpoon-like barbs. Tetrapsorophyte (“Falkenbergia-phase”) occurring all year round, but most obvious in October-March, brownish-red, much branched, filamentous, in dense cotton-wool-like tufts to 15 mm in diameter.

Both phases readily reproduce vegetatively. Drift specimens of gametophyte readily attach to other algae by barbed branchlets, and produce new shoots. Introduced from Southern Hemisphere, the gametophyte was first recorded in Europe in 1925 (Cherbourg and Biarritz), arriving in the Ireland and Britain at Galway in 1941, and is now well established in open sandy pools of lower intertidal and subtidal, on rock or epiphytic (mainly on Ulva spp.)in the Channel Is, S England (Swanage to Scilly Is.) and S and W Ireland (Carnsore Pt, Co. Wexford; Magharees Lagoon, Co. Kerry; and from Finavarra, Co. Clare north to Clare I., Co. Mayo). Tetrasporophyte epiphytic, especially on Corallina, in similar habitats to gametophyte, but more widely distributed on western and southern coast N to Shetland Is.

Key Characteristics
The harpoon-like hooks and bushy habit are unmistakable; association with Ulva.

Similar Species
Bonnemaisonia hamifera occurs in similar habitats but has crozier-shaped attachment branchlets rather than recurved barbs.

Created: 30 March 1996 by M.D. Guiry.

Last updated: 01 February 2024

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Citing AlgaeBase
Cite this record as:
M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 01 February 2024. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 28 February 2024

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