Monographs Details: Fissidens elegans Brid.
Authority: Pursell, Ronald A. 2007. Fissidentaceae. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 101 (Published by NYBG Press)
Family:Fissidentaceae
Scientific Name:Fissidens elegans Brid.
Synonyms:Skitophyllum elegans (Brid.) Bach.Pyl., Schistophyllum elegans (Brid.) Brid., Fissidens ravenelii Sull., Fissidens densiretis Sull., Fissidens cuspidatulus Sull., Fissidens flavinervis Mitt., Fissidens caldensis Ångstr., Fissidens papillosus Sande Lac., Fissidens papillosus Thwaites & Mitt., Fissidens lindbergii Mitt., Fissidens fratris Paris, Fissidens glaucifrons Besch., Fissidens excavatus Besch., Fissidens crispo-falcatulus Broth., Fissidens paulensis Broth., Fissidens cuspidatulus Sull., Conomitrium hemiloma var. atrovirens Besch., Fissidens hemiloma var. atrovirens (Besch.) Paris, Diplostichum ulei Müll.Hal., Eustichia ulei (Müll.Hal.) Paris, Fissidens cataractarum Demaret & P.de la Varde, Fissidens monomorphus Müll.Hal., Fissidens nanoloma Müll.Hal., Fissidens camptodontius Kindb., Fissidens crispo-falcatus Broth., Fissidens tejoenis Broth., Fissidens leptopodus Cardot, Fissidens leptopus Cardot, Fissidens dussi Broth., Fissidens densiretis var. latifolius Grout, Fissidens celatocognatus Pursell & Brugg.-Nann.
Description:Species Description - Plants light glaucous green to dark green, sometimes tinged with red. Stems monomorphic, unbranched and branched, to 7.5 mm long x 1.5 mm wide; rhizoids basal and axillary, smooth, reddish; axillary hyaline nodules absent; epidermis and outer 1-2 tiers of cortical cells small, incrassate, pigmented; inner cortical cells larger, thin-walled, hyaline; central strand present. Leaves crispate, somewhat inrolled from tips when dry, loosely imbricate, as many as 26 pairs, oblong to lanceolate, sometimes ± falciform, acute, most ending in a clear, sharp cell, to 1.6 mm long x 0.3 mm wide; margin crenulate-serrulate, entire to remotely denticulate on vaginant laminae, limbate on vaginant laminae on both fertile and infertile stems, limbidial cells unistratose, marginal to intralaminal, along entire length to 3/4 or less of vaginant laminae, sometimes absent from infertile stems; costa ending as many as 8 cells below apex to short-excurrent, bryoides type; dorsal lamina narrowed to rounded-truncate at insertion; vaginant laminae of cauline leaves ± 1/2-3/4 leaf length, acute, mostly ± equal; laminal cells obscure, eguttulate, unistratose, firm-walled, pluripapillose, quadrate to rounded-hexagonal, 4-7 µm long, in transverse section about twice as deep as wide. Monoicous (gonioautoicous, cladautoicous, rhizau-toicous); perigonia gemmiform, axillary or terminal on stems and branches; perichaetia terminal on stems and branches. Sporophytes 1-2 per perichaetium, yellow, darkening with age; seta smooth, to 3 mm long; theca exserted, erect, radially symmetric, to 0.8 mm long, stomatose, exothecial cells quadrate to oblong, vertical walls sometimes thicker than horizontal walls, collenchymatous; peristome scariosus type; operculum conic, long-rostrate, to 0.5 mm long. Spores smooth, 9-13 µm diam. Calyptra cucullate, smooth, to 0.5 mm long.

Discussion:This extremely variable species is recognized by it small, pluripapillose laminal cells, unistratose limbidial cells, and a sharp, clear cell that typically terminates the leaves. Variations are found in the leaf apex, costa length, extent of limbidium, and somewhat in the laminal cell papillosity. The leaf is generally acute with a costa that ends somewhat short of the apex. However, the apex can be obtuse-apiculate and the costa can be excurrent. The limbidium can be present on the vaginant laminae of most leaves of a plant or occur only on some leaves of a perichaetial plant; the limbidium can be lacking on infertile plants. Futhermore, the limbidium can vary from marginal to intralaminal. The laminal cells in most expressions of the species are mostly pluripapillose. However, in some expressions, e.g., material determined as F. densiretis, one can see a considerable number of unipapillose cells, particularly in the dorsal and ventral laminae.

Fissidens elegans is most apt to be confused with F. pallidinervis. However, the leaves in this latter species do not end in a clear, sharp cell, and the limbidium is invariably restricted to the vaginant laminae of the perichaetial and one or two pairs of subtending leaves. As in F. neglectus, the limbidium of some expressions of F. elegans vary from marginal to more or less intralaminal. However, the gradually tapered leaf apex of F. neglectus distinguish this species from F. elegans.

Distribution and Ecology: Mexico (Chiapas, Chihuahua, Colima, Durango, México, Michoacán, Nayarit, Puebla, San Luís Potosí, Sinaloa, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz); Central America (Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama); West Indies (Bahamas, Bermuda, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Navassa, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Virgin Islands); South America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad, Venezuela); on soil, rocks, boulders (especially limestone), termite nests and runways, decaying wood, exposed tree roots, and bark; near sea level-3450 m. The species also occurs in the United States where it is principally known as F. ravenelii.

Distribution:Jujuy Argentina South America| Salta Argentina South America| Elías Piña Dominican Republic South America| Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni French Guiana South America| Chihuahua Mexico North America| Durango Mexico North America| Vieques Puerto Rico South America| Trinidad and Tobago South America| Dominica South America| Chiapas Mexico North America| Colima Mexico North America| México Mexico North America| Michoacán Mexico North America| Nayarit Mexico North America| Puebla Mexico North America| San Luis Potosí Mexico North America| Sinaloa Mexico North America| Tabasco Mexico North America| Tamaulipas Mexico North America| Veracruz Mexico North America| Alta Verapaz Guatemala Central America| Petén Guatemala Central America| Belize Belize Central America| Cayo Belize Central America| Toledo Belize Central America| Comayagua Honduras Central America| Copán Honduras Central America| Lempira Honduras Central America| Yoro Honduras Central America| Alajuela Costa Rica Central America| Heredia Costa Rica Central America| Limón Costa Rica Central America| Puntarenas Costa Rica Central America| Bocas del Toro Panamá Central America| Panamá Panama Central America| Bermuda South America| Cienfuegos Cuba South America| Sancti Spíritus Cuba South America| Santiago de Cuba Cuba South America| Villa Clara Cuba South America| Manchester Jamaica South America| Trelawny Jamaica South America| Navassa Island South America| Nord Haiti South America| Nord-Ouest Haiti South America| Ouest Haiti South America| Barahona Dominican Republic South America| Distrito Nacional Dominican Republic South America| El Seibo Dominican Republic South America| Pedernales Dominican Republic South America| Samaná Dominican Republic South America| San Cristóbal Dominican Republic South America| Santiago Dominican Republic South America| Puerto Rico South America| Antioquia Colombia South America| Cundinamarca Colombia South America| Tolima Colombia South America| Apure Venezuela South America| Aragua Venezuela South America| Bolívar Venezuela South America| Distrito Federal Venezuela South America| Falcón Venezuela South America| Lara Venezuela South America| Mérida Venezuela South America| Sucre Venezuela South America| Mazaruni-Potaro Guyana South America| Rupununi Guyana South America| Sipaliwini Suriname South America| Napo Ecuador South America| Huánuco Peru South America| San Martín Peru South America| Amazonas Brazil South America| Espirito Santo Brazil South America| Goiás Brazil South America| Maranhão Brazil South America| Mato Grosso Brazil South America| Minas Gerais Brazil South America| Pará Brazil South America| Paraná Brazil South America| Piauí Brazil South America| Rio de Janeiro Brazil South America| Rio Grande do Sul Brazil South America| Rondônia Brazil South America| Santa Catarina Brazil South America| São Paulo Brazil South America| Alto Paraná Paraguay South America| Central Paraguay South America| Paraguarí Paraguay South America| Saint Ann Jamaica South America| Guadeloupe South America| Cat Island Bahamas South America| Saint Thomas Jamaica South America| Tortola Virgin Islands South America| Montserrat South America| Martinique South America| Saint Lucia South America| Saint Vincent and the Grenadines South America|