Monographs Details: Melpomene moniliformis var. minor (Christ) Lehnert
Authority: Lehnert, Marcus. 2013. Grammitid ferns (Polypodiaceae). II. . Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 112: 1--121. (Published by NYBG Press)
Family:Polypodiaceae
Description:Species Description - Plants small (2.0-6.5 cm tall), terrestrial or epilithic, usually rooting directly in mineral soil or very thin humus layer. Rhizomes contracted but clearly horizontally creeping, 1.0-1.5 mm diam. Rhizome scales 1.6-2.5 x 0.5-0.6 mm, (8—)12—16 cells wide across bases. Fronds 2-5 cm long, erect, glabrous, closely arranged (internodes mostly 2 mm or less). Petioles short, 5-20 mm, 0.4-0.6 mm diam., alate throughout, glabrous except for branched clavate hairs or glabrescent with few hyaline to brown, often flaccid, ciliform hairs to 0.8 mm long. Laminae to 45 x 2-3 mm, linear, bases truncate, apices obtuse to round; segments as long as broad or nearly so, glabrous, often imbricate, i.e., the distal lobes and tips of the segments conduplicate, covering their lower parts and parts of the proximally subsequent segments. Sori single or 1 pair per segment, glabrous or rarely some sori with 1-2 short acicular hairs 0.5-0.8 mm long, hidden among sporangia.

Discussion:Melpomene moniliformis var. minor occurs throughout the range of the var. moniliformis. It can be quite distinct from the larger var. moniliformis, but the correlation of its occurrence with open places at high elevation and with mineral soil and rocks as substrates indicates that its morphology is an adaptation to unfavorable ecological conditions. Melpomene moniliformis var. moniliformis also is found as terrestrial and epilithic plants, but usually in moss cushions or comparable, thick, organic layers, where it generally reaches a much larger stature than var. minor. It also has a stronger pubescence (young petioles often densely invested in branched clavate hairs and varying numbers of often persistent ciliform hairs in var. moniliformis vs. glabrous or only sparsely hairy and then usually glabrescent in var. minor).

Melpomene moniliformis var. minor is easily confused with Andean M. peruviana, with which it may grow side by side. Melpomene peruviana has rhizome scales that are the same size as those in M. moniliformis var. minor but are darker in direct comparison. As reliable characters of M. peruviana, the sori and fertile portions always have some dark brown to castaneous, setiform/ciliform hairs 1-2 mm long, and the petioles are persistently hairy (vs. hairs evanescent on petioles, absent or short in sori in M. moniliformis var. minor). In live condition, the fronds ot M. peruviana are positioned tip-downwards, whereas M. moniliformis var. minor has erect fronds, like the other varieties.

The epithet refers to the small size of the plant.
Distribution:Rio de Janeiro Brazil South America| Veracruz Mexico North America| Oaxaca Mexico North America| San José Costa Rica Central America| La Paz Bolivia South America| Azuay Ecuador South America| Carchi Ecuador South America| Loja Ecuador South America| Napo Ecuador South America| Tungurahua Ecuador South America| Amazonas Peru South America| Apurímac Peru South America| Cajamarca Peru South America| Cusco Peru South America| Huánuco Peru South America| La Libertad Peru South America| Pasco Peru South America| Puno Peru South America| San Martín Peru South America| Amazonas Venezuela South America| Trujillo Venezuela South America| Boyacá Colombia South America| Caldas Colombia South America| Cauca Colombia South America| Cundinamarca Colombia South America| Huila Colombia South America| Magdalena Colombia South America| Meta Colombia South America| Santander Colombia South America| Valle del Cauca Colombia South America| Portland Jamaica South America|