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

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Acceptance : Accepted
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Discussion: A widespread Northern Hemispheric moss, Dicranella heteromalla is recognized by its lanceolate, curved-secund leaves that gradually narrow to the apex, its curved capsules and its long, striate-papillose peristome teeth. Dicranella standleyi has a similar peristome but differs in having clasping, ovate-lanceolate leaves, a compound, revoluble annulus and coarsely papillose to warty spores. The Central American collections of D. heteromalla do not have capsules nearly as distinctly curved as is commonly encountered in North America.

This is the only Dicranella in Central America that lacks a compound revoluble annulus. Furthermore, the peristome at times appears to be borne on a very short basal membrane (see illustrations in Ireland, 1982). These character states (simple, persistent annulus and peristomial basal membrane) are two features of the genus Anisothecium, but unlike that genus the capsules of D. heteromalla lack stomata.

Illustrations: Husnot (1884, Pl. 8); Grout (1904, Pl. 11); Jennings (1951, Pl. 11); Nyholm (1954, Fig. 15 K; 1986, Fig. 21 B); Lawton (1971, Pl. 25 9–13); Smith (1978, Fig. 62); Crum and Anderson (1981, Fig. 72 E–I); Ireland (1982, Pl. 77); Crum (1983, Fig. 27 A–B); Reese (1984, Fig. 22 C–E); Noguchi (1987, Fig. 59).
Habitat: On dead tree trunks and on bare soil; 800–2700 m.
Distribution in Central America: HONDURAS. Comayagua: Allen 11032 (MO, TEFH); Cortés: Allen 14318 (MO, TEFH); Lempira: Allen 12270 (MO, TEFH). COSTA RICA. Alajuela: Crosby & Crosby 6276 (MO). PANAMA. Darién: Allen 8950 (MO).
World Range: Subarctic America, Western and Eastern Canada, Northwestern, North-Central, Northeastern, Southwestern, South-Central, and Southeastern U.S.A.; Central America; Western South America; Northern, Southwestern, Middle, East, and Southeastern Europe; Western Asia, Caucasus, Soviet Middle Asia, Siberia, Soviet Far East, China, Eastern Asia; Indian Subcontinent; Macronesia, Northern and East Tropical Africa.


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Dicranella heteromalla (Hedw.) Schimp., Coroll. Bryol. Eur. 13. 1856. Dicranum heteromallum Hedw., Sp. Musc. Frond. 128. 1801. Type. Europe.

Dicranella heteromalla var. pittieri Ren. & Card., Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belgique 31(1): 145. 1893. Syntypes. Costa Rica, Potrero del Alto, massif du volcán du Poás, Pittier 5504, (NY, US); Barba et la Carrizal, Pittier 5505 (US), syn. nov.

Plants dark green; stems 10–20 mm high. Leaves 2–3 mm long, erect-flexuous to curved-secund, lanceolate to narrowly ovate-lanceolate, gradually narrowed to the apex; margins plane, entire below, serrulate above; costa excurrent, filling most of the upper leaf blade; cells rectangular to elongate-rectangular, firm-walled. Setae yellow, 5–15 mm long; capsules suberect or asymmetric and curved, 1.0–2.0 mm long, ovoid to cylindric; stomata absent; opercula 1.0 mm long, conic at base, long-rostrate above; annuli imperfect, of a single row of small thick-walled cells adhering to the capsule mouth after dehiscence; peristome teeth 400–500 µm long, divided halfway to the base into two hyaline, papillose forks, in lower 1/2 red and strongly striate-papillose, occasionally arising from a very low basal membrane. Spores 14–18 µm, lightly roughened.



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