A new agarophyte, Curdiea balthazar sp. nov. (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta), from the Three Kings Islands, northern New Zealand
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A new species of Curdiea, C. balthazar sp. nov. (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta) is described from the Three Kings Islands north of the North Island of New Zealand. This species is compared with the other endemic species of Curdiea found in New Zealand (C. codioides, C. coriacea, C. flabellata) and a key to the New Zealand species is presented.
Curdiea balthazar sp. nov. contains a highly methylated agar which is consistent with the other known members of this genus. The agar in this new species can be distinguished from agars found in other New Zealand members of the genus in that it is completely methylated at the 2-position of the 4-linked 3,6-anhydro-α-L-galactopyranosyl units, but has no methylation on the 6-position of the 3-linked β-D-galactopyranosyl units.
Curdiea balthazar sp. nov. is distinguished from other species in the genus by its morphology (irregularly branched thalli up to 0.8 m in length) and anatomy (large medullary cells). It shares with other Curdiea species the reproductive features characteristic of the genus.
Key wordsCurdiea sp. nov. Gracilariales Rhodophyta agar chemistry New Zealand Three Kings Islands
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