Lepyrodon tomentosus (Hook.) Mitt.

  • Authority

    Buck, William R. 1998. Pleurocarpous mosses of the West Indies. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 82: 1-400.

  • Family


  • Scientific Name

    Lepyrodon tomentosus (Hook.) Mitt.

  • Description

    Species Description - Plants in dense, golden-green tufts, ca. 1 cm tall. Primary stems creeping, slender, obscure, embedded in dense tomentum, the stem apex turning ca. 90° and giving rise to erect secondary stems, the creeping stem continuing from a bud developing near base of the secondary stems; in cross-section with 1-2 rows of small thick-walled cells surrounding large firm-walled cells, becoming thinner-walled internally, central strand of small thin-walled cells; rhizoids finely roughened, highly branched and forming a dense tomentum on creeping stems; paraphyllia none; pseudoparaphyllia seemingly none; axillary hairs with 1(-2) short-rectangular brown basal cells and 2 elongate hyaline distal cells. Primary creeping stem leaves small, embedded in tomentum, ovate to oblong-ovate, 0.7-1 mm long, gradually to abruptly acuminate, not plicate; margins serrulate throughout, plane; costa none; cells ± linear, to ca. 60 µm long, lumina ca. 3 µm wide, smooth, very thick-walled with walls ca. same width as lumina, strongly porose; alar cells differentiated in extreme angles, hyaline, firm-walled, not porose, with 2-4 short-rectangular cells across insertion and 2-3 up the margins. Secondary stem leaves erect, little altered when moist, lanceolate, ca. 5 mm long, gradually piliferous, the apex sometimes flexuose, strongly pluriplicate, strongly concave at base; margins sharply serrulate above, subentire below, plane or irregularly erect above, often narrowly incurved below on one or both sides; costa single, slender, ending 1/4-1/3 the leaf length, often obscured by plicae, in section 2-5 cells wide, 2-4 cells thick, homogeneous, in juvenile material sometimes short or absent; cells linear, subflexuose, smooth, thick-walled, porose, becoming shorter and broader toward the insertion; alar cells differentiated in small areas in extreme angles but difficult to observe because of leaf base concavity, subquadrate to short-rectangular, firm-walled, not porose, with 35 cells both across insertion and up the margins. Asexual propagula sometimes by microphyllous flagellate branches. Dioicous; male plants small, intertwined with female plants, to ca. 1 cm tall; leaves lax, lanceolate, ca. 1 mm long, gradually long-acuminate, concave, not plicate; margins laxly serrulate throughout, plane; costa single, very weak, sometimes forked, <1/4 the leaf length; cells linear, smooth, very thick-walled, porose; alar cells differentiated as 2-3 subquadrate cells in extreme angles; perigonia axillary, bracts ovate-lanceolate to ovate, with margins crenulate to serrulate above, ecostate, and cells long-hexagonal, firm-walled, not at all porose. Perichaetia lateral, toward bases of erect stems, embedded in tomentum; inner leaves oblong-ovate, ca. 2.5 mm long, gradually long-acuminate, hair-pointed, concave; margins toothed above, most strongly so at base of acumen, entire below, plane; costa weak, single, double or absent; cells linear, smooth, very thick-walled, porose, becoming rectangular, thinner-walled and scarcely porose toward insertion. Setae erect, smooth, pale yellow, ca. 1 cm long, arising from a densely hairy vaginula, the hairs straight, with 2-4 short brown basal cells and 3-6 elongate thick-walled hyaline distal cells; capsules erect and symmetric, cylindric, with a well-defined neck, ca. 3 mm long; exothecial cells ± isodiametric, ca. 23 µm, firm-walled, becoming smaller toward the mouth, stomata immersed; annulus of ca. 2 rows of very thick-walled subquadrate cells, ca. 40 X 25 µm, tardily deciduous; operculum obliquely rostrate; peristome seemingly single, of endostome only, pale, smooth or finely roughened throughout, basal membrane of medium height, perforate, segments flat, perforate, irregular, cilia none or rudimentary. Spores spherical, papillose, 14-17 µm diam. Calyptrae cucullate, naked [extralimitally to sparsely erect-hairy], smooth.

  • Discussion

    1. Lepyrodon tomentosus (Hook.) Mitt., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 12: 422. 1869; Leucodon tomentosus Hook., Musci Exot. 1: 37. 1818; Neckera tomentosa (Hook.) Müll. Hal., Syn. Musc. Frond. 2: 111. 1850. Plate 69, figures 1-7 Neckera sub orthosticha Müll. Hal., Syn. Musc. Frond. 2: 112. 1850; Leucodon suborthostichus (Müll. Hal.) De Not., Mem. Reale Accad. Sci. Torino II, 18: 440. 1858 [1859] (p. 2 in ?preprint, 71858); Lepyrodon suborthostichus (Müll. Hal.) Hampe, Flora 45: 455. 1862, comb, inval, Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot. V, 4: 367. 1865. Lepyrodon tomentosus fo. longipila Thér., Rev. Bryol. Lichénol. 14: 18. 1944, nom. illeg. Discussion. Lepyrodon tomentosus is very distinct in its densely tufted, acrocarpous-like habit, large, plicate leaves with a weak costa and strongly incrassate and porose cells, and endostomial peristome. This species is distributed over a very wide range and, in fact, may represent a species complex. For example, some northern South American material has perichaetial leaves that are only cuspidate, not at all gradually hair-pointed. Similarly, the only calyptrae seen in the West Indies are naked, but in northern South America erect-hairy ones have been observed. Brotherus (1925: 109) reported that male and female plants are similar. This is certainly not the case in the only fertile West Indian specimen. However, I have not tried to locate male plants from South American material. Ideally, vegetative characters can be found to correlate with these reproductive ones since plants are rarely fertile.

  • Distribution

    Range. Reportedly from Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama, Venezuela and Colombia south to northern Chile, southeastern Brazil; Hispaniola

    Mexico North America| Costa Rica South America| Panama Central America| Venezuela South America| Colombia South America| Ecuador South America| Peru South America| Bolivia South America| Brazil South America| Chile South America| Dominican Republic South America|