Monographs Details: Aerolindigia
Authority: Buck, William R. 1998. Pleurocarpous mosses of the West Indies. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 82: 1-400.
Description:Genus Description - Plants mostly small and slender, in pale-green to golden, mostly small but often dense tufts. Stems creeping below, horizontal and branched above; in cross-section with small thick-walled cells surrounding large thinner-walled cells, central strand small, of small thin-walled cells; pseudoparaphyllia foliose; axillary hairs 2-celled, hyaline. Stem and branch leaves similar but branch leaves smaller, spreading, little altered when dry, inserted in a U-shaped line, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, gradually acuminate, the leaf apex often twisted, subcordate at base, not plicate or particularly concave; margins serrulate throughout, plane to narrowly recurved, costa single, ending near midleaf, often projecting as a small spine at apex; cells long-hexagonal, smooth, firm-walled, subporose; alar cells not particularly differentiated but cells all across insertion short-rectangular. Asexual propagula none. Autoicous. Perichaetial leaves erect, ± convolute, oblong-lanceolate, broadly acuminate; margins serrulate above, entire below, plane; costa single or absent; cells long-hexagonal, smooth, firm-walled. Setae elongate, roughened throughout; capsules long-exserted, erect or almost so, cylindric; exothecial cells short-rectangular, thin-walled, not collenchymatous; annulus differentiated; operculum obliquely long-rostrate; peristome inserted below the mouth, exostome teeth yellow-brown, on the front surface cross-striolate below, coarsely papillose above, somewhat trabeculate at back; endostome with a low to medium-high basal membrane, segments keeled, perforate, ca. as long as the teeth, cilia none. Spores spherical, lightly papillose, fairly large. Calyptrae cucullate, naked, lightly roughened above.
Discussion:Discussion. Aerolindigia, a segregate from Lindigia, is characterized by slender plants with spreading, unicostate leaves. The laminal cells are smooth and the alar cells not decidedly differentiated. The seta is roughened and elongate, elevating the ± erect capsule with an obliquely rostrate operculum. The peristome is essentially hypnoid in nature, differing only in the lack of cilia.
Lindigia was monographed twice in 1991, by Visnadi and Allen and by Menzel. In both cases the authors removed L. capillacea from the genus and placed it in the Brachytheciaceae, Menzel as Aerolindigia and Visnadi and Allen as Rhynchostegiella. I am reluctant to have the terrestrial, Eurocentric Rhynchostegiella accommodate an epiphytic, tropical moss, and thus I have followed Menzel in recognition of a monospecific genus. However, I am not convinced that Aerolindigia and Lindigia belong in separate families. I am more impressed by their similarities than by their differences. As I have written elsewhere (Buck, 1994a), I think the Meteoriaceae and Brachytheciaceae are closely related and best placed in the Hypnales.