Monographs Details: Austinia
Authority: Buck, William R. 1998. Pleurocarpous mosses of the West Indies. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 82: 1-400.
Description:Genus Description - Plants very small and slender, in somewhat lustrous, green, compact mats. Stems creeping, freely and irregularly branched; in crosssection with all cells ± thick-walled, or, with small thick-walled cells surrounding slightly larger somewhat thinner-walled cells, central strand none; rhizoids not tufted, arising all along undersides of stems; pseudoparaphyllia broadly foliose; axillary hairs difficult to demonstrate, with 1-2 short hyaline basal cells and a single somewhat elongate hyaline distal cell. Stem and branch leaves similar, crowded, erect to erect-spreading, ovate-lanceolate, short- to long-acuminate, slightly concave, short-decurrent; margins serrulate above, serrulate-crenulate below, plane; costa single, slender, ending slightly below midleaf, individual cells prorulose but costa not projecting at apex; cells rhombic to oblong-hexagonal, smooth; alar cells gradually differentiated, subquadrate, not reaching the costa. Asexual propagula none. Autoicous. Perichaetial leaves sheathing, lanceolate, acuminate; margins serrulate above or nearly to base, plane; costa none or single and weak; cells oblong-hexagonal to oblong-rhomboidal, smooth. Setae elongate, slender, smooth, reddish brown; capsules erect, symmetric, short-cylindric, reddish brown; exothecial cells quadrate to rectangular; annulus not differentiated; operculum conic to rostrate; columella cylindric, not expanded at apex, short, ending below midurn; peristome single (endostomial), attached at the mouth, endostome with a low basal membrane, segments scarcely or not keeled, perforate, occasionally bifid above, cilia none. Spores spherical, papillose. Calyptrae cucullate, naked or with a few erect hairs, slightly roughened above.
Discussion:Discussion. Austinia is scarcely more than a small Helicodontium. The plants are smaller, with a shorter costa and a less complex stem anatomy. A peristome consisting only of endostome provides the monospecific genus with its sole claim to generic rank.