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Published In: Bryologia Germanica 2(2): 179–190, pl. 41. 1831. (Bryol. Germ.) Name publication detail

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Mielichhoferia is a mostly tropical genus of about 70 species, many of which are poorly understood. As defined by Shaw (1985), species of Mielichhoferia have a single exostomial peristome or a double peristome in which the exostome teeth are well‑developed and the endostome consists of a rudimentary basal membrane. With the single exception of the paroicous Central American species, Mielichhoferia is dioicous.

The genus, along with Schizymenium and Synthetodontium, is usually placed in the  subfamily Mielichhoferioideae on the basis of its lateral inflorescences and reduced peristomes.

The monotypic genus, Synthetodontium, differs from Mielichhoferia in having a double peristome in which the exostome and endostome are fused. Species of Schizymenium differ from Mielichhoferia in having either a single endostomial peristome, or a double peristome in which the endostome is well‑developed and the exostome teeth range from rudimentary to relatively well‑developed, but are shorter than the endostome segments. Most species of Schizymenium are paroicous.

The Mielichhoferioideae and the Pohlioideae are gametophytically close, both have lanceolate leaves, long, narrow leaf cells, and generally percurrent to subpercurrent costae (Shaw & Crum 1982). As noted by Shaw (1987a), some species of the Mielichhoferioideae have terminal inflorescences, and while some species of Pohlia have highly reduced peristomes there are species of Schizymenium with relatively well-developed, double peristomes. Shaw (1987a) found that the Pohlioideae and the Mielichhoferioideae also differ in perichaetial leaf morphology. In the Pohlioideae the outer perichaetial leaves tend to be larger with more strongly serrate margins, stronger costae and longer leaf cells than the vegetative leaves. In the Mielichhoferioideae the perichaetial leaves are smaller, have weaker, shorter costae, entire or nearly entire margins and shorter, boarder, often thinner-walled leaf cells than the vegetative leaves.


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Mielichhoferia Nees & Hornsch., Bryol. Germ. 2: 179. 1831.

Plants small in loose or dense, usually yellowish tufts. Stems simple, forked, or sparsely and irregularly branched. Leaves erect to erect-spreading when wet or dry, ovate to linear-lanceolate; apices acute or acuminate; margins plane or narrowly recurved, usually serrulate; costa strong, subpercurrent to percurrent; cells smooth, firm or lax-walled, elongate-rhomboidal above, short-rectangular below, subquadrate at the basal margins. Dioicous (rarely paroicous). Perigonia and perichaetia lateral, paraphyses none or few. Setae elongate, flexuose. Capsules pyriform to subcylindric, erect to inclined, smooth, neck well-developed; stomata superficial; opercula conic-convex, apiculate; annuli compound, deciduous; peristome single or double (rarely absent), exostome of 16 linear teeth, endostome (when present) with basal membrane scarcely exceeding the capsule mouth and often fused to the exostome teeth, segments and cilia absent. Spores spherical. Calyptrae small, cucullate, smooth, naked.

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