Ecology and distribution. Humid to semi-dry premontane, possibly in adjacent lowlands, on soil, soil covered rocks or concrete, not uncommon along stream banks. At elevations from 150-2300 m (Venezuela: 300-1220 m, Colombia: 150-1590 m, Ecuador: 245-1850 m, Peru: 300-800 m, Bolivia: 1429-2300 m). Southern United States, Mexico, Central America, West Indies, South America, in the Andes extending to Bolivia; Central and Eastern Asia (Nepal to Japan and New Guinea).
Barbula indica is characterized by the ovate to ovate-lingulate leaves to 1.8 mm, broadly acute to rounded (apiculate by a single pellucid cell) apices, entire, plane or slightly recurved (at midleaf) margins, percurrent to short excurrent (mucro), pluripapillose upper cells, and propagula often present in leaf axil. Barbula orizabensis is similar to B. indica but the margins are strongly recurved from the base to near the apex. This is a widespread species, common in throughout much of the tropics. Barbula creugeri Send. ex Müll. Hal. is a synonym. All records listed for B. indica in Tropicos require re-examination for the status of the proper variety, var. indica or var. gregaria.