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Published In: Corollarium Bryologiae Europaeae 13. 1856. (Coroll. Bryol. Eur.) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 3/24/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project data     (Last Modified On 3/24/2011)

Grout (1936) lectotypified Dicranella with a species of Anisothecium, but this choice can be rejected since it was a mechanical selection using Canon 15 of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (Greuter et al. 1988).

Microdus differs from Dicranella in having reduced, irregularly papillose peristome teeth and warty spores. Most peristomes in Dicranella are well-developed and have papillae arranged in distinct rows, but some species have reduced, weakly striate-papillose peristome teeth. There is a complete series of intermediates between the typical Microdus and Dicranella peristomes, both genera have species with warty spores. Microdus is treated as a synonym of Dicranella here.

Dicranella is a member of a generic complex whose internal boundaries are based solely on sporophytic features. Generic relationships are blurred by the reticulate distribution of sporophytic character states (see Table 1). Character expression is variable in the group, i.e., consistently expressed in one genus but variable in another.

Table 1. Distinguishing features of the Dicranella-complex. Character states: stomata, – absent, + present; seta, s straight, f flexuous, c cygneous; annulus, + complex and revoluble, – simple and adherent; spores, p papillose, w warty; peristome, s striate-papillose, p papillose, i inserted at mouth, b on basal membrane.


Stomata         Seta    Annulus           Spores                       Peristome


Dicranella                              –                      s/f        +/–                   p/w                  s,i/b

Microdus                                –                      s          +                      p/w                  p, i

Anisothecium                                    +                      s/f        –                      p                      s/p, b

Campylopodium                  +                      c          +                      p                      s, i

(Not in Central America)

Microcampylopus                –                      c          +                      w                     s, i

Aongstroemia                                   +                      s          +                      p                      p, i



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Dicranella Schimp., Coroll. Bryol. Eur. 13. 1855.

Microdus Schimp. in Besch., Mém. Soc. Sci. Nat. Cherbourg 16: 161. 1872.

Plants small, terrestrial, gregarious or in tufts and mats; stems erect, simple or sparsely branched, radiculose at base. Leaves distant and reduced below, upper leaves crowded, erect-appressed to spreading or curved-secund, erect or clasping at base, gradually or abruptly narrowed above to a linear or subulate limb; margins plane or recurved, entire below and denticulate at apex, or serrulate throughout; costa single, stout, percurrent or excurrent; cells linear to subquadrate, smooth, firm-walled, not pitted, alar cells not differentiated. Dioicous. Setae elongate, erect, straight or flexuous; capsules globose to cylindric, erect or curved, smooth or ribbed when dry, struma present or absent; stomata absent; annuli large, compound, revoluble or imperfect, of several rows of small, quadrate, loosely coherent cells variously persistent at the capsule mouth after dehiscence; opercula conic-rostrate; peristome teeth 16, reddish, short or elongate, undivided or divided to below the middle into 2 papillose forks, dorsal lamellae striate papillose or irregularly papillose. Calyptrae cucullate, entire at base. Spores lightly roughened to densely papillose to warty.



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