The genus Chondria is well represented on the coast of southern Australia where 17 species occur. Of
the 12 species previously recognised, three are transferred to other genera and two placed into synonymy
with other species of Chondria. A further seven species are described as new (C. angustissima, C.
capreolis, C. hieroglyphics, C. incurva, C. myriopoda, C. semzsecunda and C. suprabulbosa), one
species is raised from subspecific status, one transferred from Coeloclonium and one species from
California is described as a new record for southern Australia.
Most southern Australian species of Chondria appear to be clearly defined; however, a few intergrades
between C. curdieana and C. capreolis occur. Previous confusion in the identification of species
was mainly due to the lack of detailed investigation of morphology together with insufficient understanding
of important characters and the degree of variation.
Only seven of the southern Australian species of Chondria have a wide distribution, one western,
one central and eight with primarily eastern distributions. Of the last, two species extend into warm
temperate and subtropical waters. Six species are found mainly in deep water (more than 10 m deep)
while another six range from shallow to medium depths (less than 10 m deep). The remainder occur
in the exclusively shallow water environments of the lower eulittoral to upper sublittoral zones.