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Published In: Muscologia Britannica 80–81, pl. 3 [near upper left], 22 [lower center left & right]. 1818. (Muscol. Brit.) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/25/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 10/8/2017)
Plant Category: Mosses
General Reference:

Notes     (Last Modified On 10/8/2017)

Daltonia is characterized by the small to somewhat medium sized tufted plants; ovate or oblong-lanceolate to linear-lanceolate leaves; entire or rarely serrulate, weakly to strongly bordered margins that are plane or recurved; rather thick-walled, often oval or fusiform, rarely subquadrate upper cells; differentiated basal and insertion cells; and the roughened to papillose, rarely smooth seta. Low to high montane forest in the tropical Andes; epiphytic, rarely on rocks. Daltonia seldom forms abundant populations, rather these inconspicuous plants occur as a few individuals or small tufts on bamboo (at branching nodes) or on branches of shrubs or small trees. It is rather common to find two or three species growing intermixed, e.g. D. gracilis and D. longifolia. Daltonia contains some 60 species primarily pantropical in distribution; 22 species in the Neotropics. The tropical Andes is one of the major centers of diversity for this genus, in terms of species numbers and endemics. Daltonia remains poorly collected in the tropical Andes largely due to the small plant stature and equally small population size. The treatment provided by Bartram is functional, however it is apparent that the distinctness of several species is not always clear, and several additional species have been describe since that study; a reassessment of the genus is warranted. The recent study by Majestyk (2011) requires further evaluation of species concepts adopted. Keys adapted and modified from Bartram (1931).


Daltonia se caracteriza por las plantas fasciculada pequeñas hasta algo medianas; hojas ovadas u oblongo- hasta lineo-lanceoladas; márgenes enteros o rara vez serrulados, débilmente hasta marcadamente bordeados, planos o recurvados; con paredes muy gruesas, células superiores a menudo ovales o fusiformes, raras veces subcuadradas; células basales y de la inserción diferenciadas; y setas rugosas hasta papilosas, rara vez lisas. Daltonia rara vez forma poblaciones abundantes; más a menudo estas plantas inconspícuas crecen como pocos individuos, en manojos pequeños en nudos de bambú o sobre ramitas y ramas. Es bastante común encontrar dos o tres de estas especies creciendo entremezcladas, p.ej., D. gracilis y D. longifolia. Daltonia tiene unas 60 especies de distribución principalmente pantropical; con ca. 22 especies en el Neotrópico. Los Andes tropicales son uno de los mayores centros de diversidad de este género. Daltonia ha sido poco colectado en los Andes tropicales en gran parte debido a su pequeña estatura y poblaciones también pequeñas.


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Plants mostly small to somewhat medium sized, usually forming small tufts, occasionally solitary, glossy pale green to golden-brown or yellow. Primary stems short creeping, inconspicuous. Secondary stems erect or suberect, several branched. Leaves crowded, broadly lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, apex short to long acuminate, rarely cuspidate, base rounded; margins plane or recurved one or both sides, entire or apices rarely serrulate, weakly to strongly limbate; costae single, 1/2-4/5 lamina length; laminal cells smooth, upper and median cells oval to fusiform or linear, thick-walled, smooth; basal and insertion cells linear to oblong or rectangular, often yellowish-brown to golden; marginal cells long linear, forming a distinct border of few to many rows. Autoicous. Perichaetia lateral; leaves much smaller than stem leaves, oblong- to ovate-short lanceolate. Setae elongate, slender to stout, smooth to more commonly papillose-roughened throughout or distally. Capsules erect to suberect, urn ovoid; exothecial cells collenchymatous, or walls equally thickened; stomata on neck or urn base, superficial; opercula conic-short rostrate; peristome double, exostome teeth 16, narrowly lanceolate, papillose, not furrowed; endostome basal membrane low, segments 16, linear, lightly to strongly papillose, keeled and perforate. Calyptrae campanulate, base fringed with hairs, distally smooth to somewhat roughened. Spores spherical to ovoid, mostly lightly papillose.


Plantas generalmente pequeñas hasta algo medianas, generalmente formando manojos pequeños, ocasionalmente solitarias, de color verde-pálido brillante hasta pardo-dorado o amarillo. Tallos primarios corto-reptantes, inconspícuos. Tallos secundarios erectos o suberectos, varias veces ramificados, espiralmente foliosos. Hojas agregadas, anchamente lanceoladas hasta lineo-lanceoladas, ca. 2-4 mm de largo, ápices cortos hasta largo-acuminados, rara vez cuspidados, base redondeada; márgenes planos o recurvados en uno o ambos lados, ápices enteros o rara vez serrulados, débilmente a marcadamente limbadas; costa simple, ocupando 1/2-4/5 de la longitud de la lámina; células de la lámina lisas, células superiores y mediales ovales hasta fusiformes o lineales, con paredes gruesas, lisas; células basales y de la inserción lineales hasta oblongas o rectangulares, a menudo pardo-amarillentas a doradas; células del margen largo-lineales, formando un borde conspicuo  de pocas a muchos filas. Autoicas. Periquecios laterales; hojas menores que las hojas del tallo, oblongas hasta ovadas corto-lanceoladas. Setas alargadas, hasta 7-15 mm de largo, delgadas hasta robustas, lisas a más comúnmente papiloso-rugosas en toda la superficie o en la parte distal. Cápsulas erectas hasta suberectas, urna ovoide; células exoteciales colenquimatosas, o paredes igualmente engrosadas; estomas en el cuello o la base de la urna, superficiales; opérculo corto-cónico rostrado; peristoma doble, exostoma con 16 dientes, angostamente lanceolados, papilosos, no acanalados; membrana basal del endostoma baja, con 16 segmentos, lineales, ligera hasta marcadamente papilosos, carinados y perforados. Caliptra campanulada, base ciliada, distalmente lisa hasta algo rugosa. Esporas esféricas hasta ovoides, por lo general finamente papilosas.


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1. Leaf margins plane … 2.

1. Leaf margins recurved (revolute) … 4.

2. Upper laminal cells short, oval-rhomboidal, 1: 2 or less; seta stout; propagula present … D. pulvinata

2. Upper laminal cells oval, 1: 3 or more, ± porose; seta slender; propagula absent … 3.

3. Leaves oblong-ligulate, to 3.5 mm long … D. longifolia

3. Leaves lanceolate, 2.5-3mm long … D. brasiliensis

4. Leaves laxly imbricate; stems slender and elongate (to 4 cm long) … D. macrotheca

4. Leaves densely imbricate; stems shorter … 5.

5. Costa ending near midleaf or just beyond; upper cells linear or not … D. brevinervis

5. Costa longer, 3/4 or more lamina length; upper cells not linear … 6.

6. Leaves ovate; costa ± subpercurrent; median and upper laminal cells subquadrate to quadrate … D. jamesonii

6. Median and upper laminal cells linear to oblong or rhombic … 7.

7. Basal leaf cells linear, firm; border indistinct below … 8.

7. Basal leaf cells oblong; border distinct to insertion … 9.

8. Leaves lanceolate, 0.4-0.5 mm wide; propagula present … D. lindigiana

8. Leaves linear-lanceolate, 0.3 mm wide or less; propagula mostly absent … D. stenophylla

9. Plants robust; leaves 3-4mm long, border wide … 10.

9. Plants slender; leaves less than 3 mm long; border narrow … 13.

10. Seta smooth … 11.

10. Seta papillose (rough) above … 12.

11. Base margin forming a border of 10-15 rows of cells … D. bilimbata

11. Base margin forming a border of 7-9 rows … D. pellucida

12. Juxtacostal basal cells not differentiated … D. peruviana

12. Juxtacostal basal cells differentiated, cells long linear, similar to border (marginal) cells … D. latolimbata

13. Seta smooth … 14.

13. Seta papillose (rough)distally … 15.

14. Leaves linear-lanceolate; basal cells oblong-linear, delicate and hyaline … D. tenuifolia

14. Leaves oblong-ligulate; basal cells short oblong, firm and pellucid … D. trachyodonta

15. Leave linear-lanceolate, basal cells up to 50 µm long, oblong-linear … D. gracilis

15. Leaves lanceolate, basal cells 35 µm or less long, oblong … D. ovalis



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