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Published In: Die Natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien 1(3): 706. 1905. (7 Mar 1905) (Nat. Pflanzenfam.) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 5/7/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 10/31/2017)
Plant Category: Moss

Notes     (Last Modified On 10/31/2017)
general taxon notes:
The Sematophyllaceae contain some 50 genera and nearly 1000 species, primarily of the tropics; 18 genera and about 100 species in the Neotropics. The family is generally distinguished by the ecostate leaves or rarely with costa short and forked, with alar cells usually conspicuously enlarged, mostly oval or oblong and thick-walled. A critical analysis and establishment of monophyletic taxa is needed on a worldwide scale for subfamilies and genera; this has, in part, been initiated by Hedenäs (1996). The family Hydropogonaceae is closely related to the Sematophyllaceae; Hydropogon shares a number of features suggesting placement in the latter family. Note: Hydropogonella and Hydropogon are now placed within the Sematophyllaceae, however the keys will have to be modified; the primary feature of these two genus is the immersed capsules, Hydropogon is typically epiphytic and pendent in flooded Amazon forest, Hydropogonella is apparently attached to rocks, exposed roots or logs in slow flowing streams, also from the Amazon basin.
      Identification requires leaves, a good sample of both stem and branch leaves to examine the variation in shape, as well if they are essentially mono- or dimorphic. Occasionally the papillae in several species of Trichosteleum are difficult to observe, such papillae can best be seen in the distial half of the leaf, along placations or on folded leaves. Although many of the species can be identified by leaves alone, sporophytes are essential with careful attention given to the peristome features.
Sematophyllaceae contiene unos 50 géneros y casi 1000 especies, principalmente tropicales; 18 géneros y ca. 100 especies en el Neotrópico. En Bolivia se registraron 13 géneros y 30-35 especies. La familia generalmente se distingue por las hojas ecostadas o rara vez con costa corta y bifurcada, con células alares conspicuamente agrandadas, generalmente ovales u oblongas y con paredes gruesas, y células exoteciales colenquimatosas en las cápsulas. La familia Hydropogonaceae (Hydropogonella e Hydropogon) está localizada dentro de Sematophyllaceae.
      Para la identificación de las Sematophyllaceae se requiere hojas de los tallo y las ramas para examinar la variación de forma, así observar si son mono- o dimorfas. Ocasionalmente las papilas de varias especies de Trichosteleum se observan con dificultad, tales papilas pueden observarse mejor en la mitad distal de la hoja, en los pliegues} o en hojas dobladas. A pesar que muchas especies pueden ser identificadas sólo por las hojas, los esporofitos son esenciales en algunos géneros con brindando mucha atención a las características del peristoma.

Reference List     (Last Modified On 10/31/2017)


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Plants small to somewhat large, forming loose to dense mats or short to ascending tufts, often glossy, light to dark green or yellowish-green to golden brown. Stems creeping or spreading to ascending, irregularly short or long branched, julaceous or homomallous, rarely complanate; central strand absent; pseudoparaphyllia foliose or filiform; paraphyllia absent; radiculose. Leaves crowded, occasionally distant, erect to erect-spreading, linear to broadly lanceolate, ovate, ovate-oblong, often concave, apex narrowly to broadly acuminate or acute, rarely obtuse, base undifferentiated or slightly rounded; margins plane to reflexed or recurved, entire to serrulate or serrate distally; ecostate or costate with costa short and forked or double, rarely single (Aptychella); laminal cells smooth or papillose, papillae single or several in a single row, walls firm; alar region typically differentiated, cells usually inflated, oval to oblong-oval, thick-walled, often reddish-orange or golden. Gemmae absent or if present then produced in distal portion of branches and stems in leaf axils (Aptychella), cylindrical; reduced branch leaves (flagellate branches) in Wijkia possibly serve in asexual reproduction. Autoicus, occasionally dioicous. Perichaetia lateral; leaves often differentiated, elongate. Seta elongate, smooth to distally papillose or roughened. Capsule exserted, rarely immersed, inclined or occasionally erect, urn ovoid or short cylindrical, symmetric or slightly curved and asymmetric, often constricted below mouth when deoperculate; exothecial cells generally collenchymatous; stomata usually present at base of urn, superficial; annuli absent or persistent; opercula mostly conic-long rostrate, usually oblique; peristome double, or reduced and often single (exostome present), exostome teeth 16, cross-striate below, distally papillose, trabeculate, usually with a zigzag median line, occasionally furrowed, or exostome single and smooth or papillose; endostome basal membrane generally high, segments keeled, cilia 1-3. Calyptra cucullate, smooth and naked. Spores spherical, smooth or lightly papillose.


Plantas pequeñas a algo grandes, formando matas laxas a densas o manojos cortos a ascendentes, verde claro a oscuro o verde-amarillentas a pardo doradas, a menudo brillantes. Tallos reptantes o patentes a ascendentes, ramificaciones irregularmente cortas o largas, juláceos u homómalos, rara vez complanados; cordón central ausente; pseudoparáfilos foliosos o filiformes; sin paráfilos; radiculosos. Hojas agregadas, ocasionalmente distantes, erectas a erecto-extendidas, lineales a anchamente lanceoladas, ovadas, ovado-oblongas, a menudo cóncavas, ápices angostamente a anchamente acuminados o agudos, raras veces obtusos, base indiferenciada o escasamente redondeada; márgenes planos a reflexos o recurvados, enteros a serrulados o distalmente serrados; ecostadas o acostilladas con costa corta y bifurcada o doble, rara vez simple (Aptychella); células de la lámina lisas o papilosas, papilas simples o varias en una sola fila, paredes firmes; región alar típicamente diferenciada, células generalmente infladas, ovales a oblongo-ovales, paredes gruesas, a menudo naranja rojizas o doradas. Sin yemas o si presente entonces producidas en la porción distal de ramas y tallos en las axilas de las hojas (Aptychella), cilíndricas; las hojas de las ramas reducidas (ramas flageladas) en Wijkia posiblemente sirven para la reproducción asexual. Autoicas, ocasionalmente dioicas. Periquecios laterales; hojas a menudo diferenciadas, alargadas. Seta alargadas, lisas a distalmente papilosas o rugosas. Cápsula excertas, rara vez inmersas, inclinadas u ocasionalmente erectas, urna ovoide o corto cilíndrica, simétrica o escasamente curvada y asimétrica, a menudo constricta bajo la boca cuando está desoperculadas; células exoteciales generalmente  colenquimatosas; estomas generalmente presentes en la base de la urna, superficiales; anillo ausente o persistente; opérculo generalmente largo-cónico rostrado, generalmente oblicuo; peristoma doble, o reducido y a menudo simple (exostoma presente), exostoma con 16 dientes, estrías cruzadas en el envés, distalmente papilosos, trabeculados, generalmente con una línea media en zigzag, ocasionalmente acanalados, o exostoma simple y liso o papiloso; membrana basal del endostoma generalmente alta, segmentos carinados, cilios 1-3. Caliptra cuculada, lisa y desnuda. Esporas esféricas, lisas o legeramente papilosas.


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1. Lamina cells papillose (in some species best observed on folded leaves), papillae over cell lumen … 2.

1. Lamina cells smooth or if papillose, papillae rather faint, projecting at cell angles… 3.

2. Leaf cells pluripapillose, papillae several in a row over cells lumen … Taxithelium

2. Leaf cells unipapillose, papillae single over cell lumen … Trichosteleum

3. Secondary stem and branch leaves dimorphic, branch leaves distinctly smaller and narrower than stem leaves … Wijkia

3. Secondary stem and branch leaves monomorphic, leaves generally of similar shape and nearly the same size … 4.

4. Leaves costate, rather elongate single or double (to 1/3 or more the lamina length); alar cells small, subquadrate; propagula commonly produced on terminal tips of stems and branches, or in leaf axils … Aptychella

4. Leaves ecostate or rarely costate, costa faint, short and forked, less than 1/4 the lamina length; alar cells either small and subquadrate or inflated and oval or oblong … 5.

5. Alar cells obliquely angled (ca.45°); exostome with a median furrow … Acroporium

5. Alar cells ± erect; exostome not furrowed, usually with a zig-zag median line or peristome single … 6.

6. Peristome single … 7.

6. Peristome double … 8.

7. Alar cells of leaf inflated and thick-walled, mostly oval to short oblong; leaves 0.8-1.3 mm long, ecostate; exostome teeth hyaline to white, separated and widely spaced … Meiothecium

7. Alar cells of leaf quadrate, few, thin-walled; leaves small, 0.5-0.7 mm long, costate, short and forked; exostome teeth often appearing in pairs, closely spaced … Pterogonidium
8. Peristome double and fully developed, exostome teeth brown, finely cross-striate, endostome basal membrane high, segments subequal to exostome teeth, keeled …9.

8. Peristome double with exostome or endostome, or both, variously modified and reduced; exostome often papillose or smooth; endostome basal membrane absent to moderately high … 10.

9. Leaves broadly to narrowly ovate or lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, acute to obtuse-rounded or short to long acuminate, often abruptly so; common throughout the Neotropics … Sematophyllum

9. Leaves ligulate, obtuse-rounded; confined to Amazon Basin ... Potamium

10. Exostome teeth paired; endostome represent only by cilia; Bolivia at 2200 m … Schroeterella

10. Exostome teeth not paired; endostome with basal membrane absent to present and low to moderately high, segments mostly narrow, cilia absent or rudimentary … Donnellia


1. Células de la lámina papilosas (en algunas especies se observa mejor en hojas dobladas), papilas sobre el lumen celular … 2.

1. Células de la lámina lisas o si papilosas, papilas bastante tenues, proyectándose en los ángulos de las células … 3.

2. Células de las hojas pluripapilosas, varias papilas en fila sobre el lumen celular … Taxithelium

2. Células de las hojas unipapilosas, papilas simples sobre el lumen celular … Trichosteleum

3. Hojas de los tallos secundarios y ramas dimorfas, hojas de las ramas conspicuamente menores y más angostas que las hojas del tallo … Wijkia

3. Hojas de los tallos secundarios y ramas monomorfas, hojas generalmente de forma similar y casi del mismo tamaño … 4.

4. Hojas con costa, bastante alargada simple o doble (ocupando 1/3 o más de la longitud de la lámina); células alares pequeñas, subcuadradas; propágulos comúnmente producidos sobre extremos terminales de tallos y ramas, o en las axilas de las hojas … Aptychella

4. Hojas ecostadas o rara vez con costa, costa tenue, corta y bifurcada, ocupando menos de 1/4 de la longitud de la lámina; células alares pequeñas y subcuadradas o infladas y ovales u oblongas … 5.

5. Células alares en ángulo oblicuo (ca.45°); exostoma con una surca media … Acroporium

5. Células alares ± erectas; exostoma no acanalado, generalmente con una línea media en zig-zag o peristoma simple … 6.

6. Peristoma simple … 7.

6. Peristoma doble … 8.

7. Células alares infladas y con paredes gruesas, generalmente ovales a corto oblongas; hojas de 0.8-1.3 mm de largo, ecostada; dientes del exostoma hialinos a blancos, separados  y muy espaciados … Meiothecium

7. Células alares cuadradas, pocas, con paredes delgadas; hojas pequeñas, 0.5-0.7 mm de largo, con costa, corta y bifurcada; dientes del exostoma a menudo aparentemente en pares, poco espaciados … Pterogonidium

8. Peristoma doble y completamente desarrollado, dientes del exostoma pardos, con estrías finamente cruzadas, membrana basal del endostoma alta, segmentos subiguales a los dientes del exostoma, carinados …9.

8. Peristoma doble con exostoma o endostoma, o ambos, diversamente modificado y reducido; exostoma a menudo papiloso o liso; membrana basal del endostoma ausente a moderadamente alta … 10.

9. Hojas anchamente a angostamente ovadas o lanceoladas a oblongo-lanceoladas, agudas a obtuso-rotundas o cortas a largo acuminadas, a menudo abruptamente; común en el Neotrópico … Sematophyllum

9. Hojas liguladas, obtuso-redondeadas; confinadas a la cuenca amazónica ... Potamium

10. Exostoma con dientes pareados; endostoma representado sólo por cilios; en Bolivia hasta 2200 m … Schroeterella

10. Exostoma con dientes no pareados; endostoma con membrana basal ausente a presente y baja a moderadamente alta, segmentos generalmente angostos, cilios ausentes o rudimentarios … Donnellia

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