Art. XXII.—Note on the Occurrence of Phyllitis fascia (Muell.), Kuetz, in New Zealand.
[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 8th August, 1906]
Chief synonymy: Ulva fascia (Lyngb., Hydr., p. 28); Laminaria fascia (Muell., Fl. Dan., p. 768); Laminaria cuneata (Suhr.).
The discovery in New Zealand of such a typical and well-known seaweed as Phyllitis fascia is perhaps worthy of a special note. In September, 1904, I obtained at Akaroa, below the public gardens in the bay, on boulders just beneath low-tide mark, a brown alga which I at once recognised as being new to New Zealand. I sent specimens of it to Major Reinbold, of Itzehoe, who, in the absence of sporangia, identified it somewhat doubtfully as belonging to the genus Phyllitis. I afterwards gave duplicates to Professor Setchell, of the California University, and he was fortunate enough to find plurilocular sporangia upon them, and was able to identify the plant unhesitatingly as Phyllitis fascia. I have also compared it myself with European herbarium material, and find it inseparable from northern examples of the species. It is rather strange that it has not been found hitherto in New Zealand, and that now it has only been obtained from Akaroa. It is probable, however, that it will be found in other parts of the colony, unless, indeed, it should have been brought here by some strange chance on the bottom of a whaler or other Home vessel in the early days. I append, for the benefit of New Zealand students, a description of the plant. Phyllitis fascia is apparently unknown in Australia, but has been found at Cape Horn and the Falkland Islands. The plant, therefore, should perhaps be added to the list of our subantarctic species. I have deposited a specimen for reference in the Canterbury Museum.
The genus Phyllitis is placed by Oltmanns in the family Ectocarpaceœ, under the section Scytosiphoneœ.
Fam. Encoeliaceæ (Engler and Prantl).
Genus Phyllitis (Kuetz.).
Thallus ribbon-shaped or discoid, tapering towards the base into a short filiform stem, sometimes hollow in places, consisting of parenchymatous tissue, with large walled cells internally, and sometimes beset externally with slender filaments. Para-
physes always wanting. The reproductive organs appear first in spots on the surface of the thallus, but finally almost completely cover it, and consist of unilocular and plurilocular sporangia.
Root a minute disc. Stem very short, cylindrical at the base but immediately becoming flattened, and gradually expanding into a thin linear lanceolate or obovate frond, 10–30 cm. long and 1–4 cm. broad, sometimes very obtuse at the apex, but at other times more acute. The margin waved, and occasionally notched. The surface smooth, and not shining. Colour at first olive-green, but gradually becoming more yellow as the plant advances in age, finally attaining to a beautiful greenish-golden hue. (The species is scarcely distinguishable from P. cœspitosa, J. Ag.).
General Distribution.—Coasts of the North Atlantic and Mediterranean, Alaska, North - western America, Cape Horn, Falkland Islands, New Zealand, Japan, and Formosa.
P.S. (February, 1907).—Since writing the above I have collected a specimen of this plant at Wellington Heads; and it has also been recorded from the coast of New South Wales.