Ecology: Open montane to páramo and puna, rare in the lowlands; often abundant in disturbed sites including trails and road banks, on soil, including clay and sand, and rocks. Common, at elevations from 200-3910 m (Venezuela: 200-3475 m, Colombia: 200-3700 m, Ecuador: 1800-3910 m, Peru: 1500-3400 m, Bolivia: 1400-3500 m). Distribution: Widespread in the Neotropics (absent in Amazon basin).
Campylopus richardii is readily distinguished by the blackish plants, leave with a hyaline awn, laminal cells thick-walled and strongly porose, and costa in cross-section with ventral and dorsal stereid band. The only other common Campylopus with hyaline leaf tips is C. pilifer which differs in have cell walls entire (not porose) and is strongly lamellose on dorsal surface of costa. Synonyms include Campylopus atratus Broth., C. caracasanus (Müll. Hal.) Paris, C. muelleri (Hampe) A. Jaeger, C. steyermarkii E.B. Bartram.