Monographs Details: Lepyrodontopsis
Authority: Buck, William R. 1998. Pleurocarpous mosses of the West Indies. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 82: 1-400.
Description:Genus Description - Plants slender to moderate-sized, in green to golden, lax to dense, silky mats. Stems creeping, irregularly but freely branched, the branches sometimes becoming flagellate, these in turn sometimes becoming stems; in cross-section with small thick-walled cells surrounding larger thinner-walled cells, central strand present; pseudoparaphyllia filamentous to subfoliose; axillary hairs with 1-2 short brown basal cells and 2 hyaline distal cells. Stem and branch leaves similar but stem leaves smaller, erect- to wide-spreading, little altered when dry, long-lanceolate, gradually long-acuminate, plicate, concave, subauriculate at base; margins serrate to serrulate throughout, plane to narrowly recurved below; costa none; cells linear, smooth, thick-walled, porose; alar cells scarcely differentiated. Asexual propagula of microphyllous flagellate branches and sometimes of uniseriate propagula, colored, with roughened walls. Dioicous. Peri-chaetia along stems; leaves erect with spreading apices, oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, concave, not plicate; margins serrate to serrulate above, entire below, plane to narrowly recurved below; costa none; cells linear, smooth, thick-walled, porose. Setae elongate, smooth, reddish; capsules erect, cylindric; exothecial cells short-rectangular, firm-walled, not collenchymatous; annulus differentiated; operculum obliquely rostrate; peristome attached near the mouth, exostome teeth not shouldered, scarcely bordered, on the front surface with a straight median line, finely papillose throughout, scarcely trabeculate at back; endostome with a low basal membrane, segments slender, keeled, not or scarcely perforate, ca. as long as the teeth, cilia none. Spores spherical, finely papillose. Calyptrae cucullate, naked, ± smooth.
Discussion:Discussion. Lepyrodontopsis is a monospecific genus characterized by plants with branch apices often becoming flagellate. The leaves are lanceolate, plicate, and ecostate. The setae are elongate and the capsules erect with a papillose exostome. I (Buck, 1981) initially placed the genus in its own family, in part based on erroneous observations. My claims of costate perichaetial leaves and a striate exostome were based on sporophytic material of Palamocladium leskeoides, mixed with Lepyrodontopsis. With a true understanding of sporophyte morphology, there is no convincing argument to keep the genus out of the Meteoriaceae. Admittedly the leaf shape is not typical, but with so much variation in the surely heterogeneous Meteoriaceae, this does not unnecessarily stretch the already distended family definition. In time, once the Meteoriaceae are sorted into natural lineages, the Lepyrodontopsidaceae may be rerecognized. But until then, it seems reasonable to keep it with what seem to be probable relatives.