Nature Profiles

Bryophytes of New Zealand

 

Liverworts

Schistochila sp (balfouriana perhaps) (Schistochilaceae)

sb
Pureora Forest, Taupo

Text coming soon!

Thanks to John Braggins for the ID.

 

 

Schistochila sp (appendiculata probably) (Schistochilaceae)

sa
Pureora Forest, Taupo

Text coming soon!

Thanks to John Braggins for the ID.

 


 

Schistochila nobilis (Schistochilaceae)

Image coming soon!

Roaring Billy Falls, Mt Aspiring NP

Text coming soon!

Thanks to David Glenny for the ID.

 

 

Zoopsis argentea (Lepidoziaceae)

za
Pureora Forest, Taupo

Zoopsis are tiny, branched liverworts with conspicuous large cells.  Eight species occur in New Zealand. 

Z.argentea is a common species, both in New Zealand and southern Australia.  

Thanks to John Braggins for confirming the ID.

 

 

Bazzania adnexa (Lepidoziaceae)

ba

This plant is one of New Zealand's most common Bazzanias, and is found in shaded forest, where it is often epiphytic.  The species is also common in eastern Australia. 

Thanks to David Glenny for the identification.

ba2
Pureora Forest, Taupo

 

 

Bazzania nitida (Lepidoziaceae)

bn
Pureora Forest, Taupo

Another common member of the genus in New Zealand.  This species has shiny, opaque, rounded leaves, unlike B.adnexa above. 

Worldwide, this is a very widespread species, occurring throughout the southern hemisphere, from Brazil to South Africa and Australia. 

Thanks to David Glenny for the identification.

 

 

Acromastigum colensoanum (Lepidoziaceae)

ac
Pureora Forest, Taupo

A.colensoanum is a common leafy liverwort in New Zealand's forests, where it grows in a range of damp habitats.  Its leaves have two equal lobes, and the plant is a bright grass-green colour. 

Acromastigum is closely related to Bazzania, but differs in the method of branching. Eight species are found in New Zealand.  A.colensoanum is also common in south-eastern Australia. 

Thanks to David Glenny for the identification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herzogobryum teres (Gymnomitriaceae)

ne
Mt Tongariro

This montane liverwort forms tiny worm-like growth in rocky in all the major mountain areas of New Zealand, as well the alpine areas of Tasmania and Victoria in Australia.  The branches appear cylindrical because the leaves are closely overlapping and pressed to the stems. 

Nothogymnomitrion and Herzogobryum are very similar in overall appearance, but Nothogymnomitrion has very ragged leaves and tends to lack the purplish tints of H.teres.  Within Tongariro National Park, Herzogobryum teres is less common than Nothogymnomitrion erosum (JB, personal communication, 2011).

Thanks to John Braggins for confirming the ID.

 

Jungermannia sp (perhaps)

tng
Mt Tongariro

Currently unidentified!  With Dicranella sp and Herzogobryum teres

 

 

Leiomitra lanata (Trichocoleaceae)

ll

ll

A beautiful, fairly large liverwort, this plant is common in damp forests throughout New Zealand.  Its highly divided leaves give it a very furry appearance. 

In Pureora Forest, fallen branches can be extensively covered in this species, as the fourth photo shows. 

L.lanata is the only member of the genus found in New Zealand, and is endemic.  There are 10 or so other species of Leiomitra found in tropical regions of the southern hemisphere.

ll

ll

 

 

Trichocolea mollissima or rigida (Trichocoleaceae)

tm

thPureora Forest, Taupo

Trichocolea species are instantly recognisable by their highly divided leaves which give the plants a woolly appearance when viewed close-up. 

Worldwide there are about 20 species, one of which is widespread in Europe (although restricted in the UK) - T.tomentella.  There are three species in New Zealand, which differ in habit and in the shape of the terminal cell in the leaf lobes. 

T.mollissima is a large species, and from a distance resembles a pale, tripinnate moss.  It is a common plant in forests throughout the North Island, as well as in Fiordland and on Stewart Island.  The species is also found in south-eastern Australia. 

Microscopical inspection is needed to distinguish T.mollissima and T.rigida - the cell surface ornamentation is different. 

Thanks to John Braggins for identification and information.

 

 

Balantiopsis diplophylla (Balantiopsaceae)

bd
Pureora Forest, Taupo

The highly divided leaves give this common liverwort a rather ferocious look when viewed closely! 

Like all most liverworts, there are two rows of leaves, but the larger upper leaves of B.diplophylla are folded, giving a more complex appearance to the stems. 

This widespread liverwort is also found in all southern Australian states except South Australia. 

Thanks to John Braggins for the identification.

bd

 

 

Chiloscyphus muricatus (Lophocoleaceae)

cm
Pureora Forest, Taupo

C.muricatus is a very small epiphytic liverwort of wet forests, and is widespread in Australia as well as New Zealand.  When viewed closely, the leaves resemble little tongues covered in rough spiky cells (papillae), and the leaf as a whole is shallowly bilobed.  This feature serves to distinguish it from other Chiloscyphus species. 

Thanks to John Braggins for the identification.

 

 

Aneura sp (Aneuraceae) with Heteroscyphus sp (possibly coalitus)

a

a
Large Aneura patch covering rotting log, Pureora Forest, Taupo

Aneura species require microscopic examination to distinguish between the numerous species in New Zealand. 

Heteroscyphus species also require close examination with a hand lens (see notes below), as most species look superficially similar or identical to the naked eye.  H.coalitus is a common member of the genus, distinguished by straight-sided trapezoidal upper leaves with a tooth at each corner and circular, toothed underleaves. 

Thanks to John Braggins for the identification.

an

a

 

 


Riccardia sp (Aneuraceae)

rs
Pureora Forest, Taupo

There are about 30 Riccardia species in New Zealand, all forming similar-looking flat, branched growths on various substrates. 

Several microscopic characters are necessary to distinguish between species, so it is impossible to determine the species present in these photos beyond genus level. 

Thanks to John Braggins for the ID and information.

rs

 

 

Metzgeria sp (probably furcata)

lvr
Soda Springs, Mt Tongariro

Text coming soon!

Thanks to David Glenny for the identification.

 

 

Hymenophyton flabellatum (Hymenophytaceae)

hf
Pureora Forest, Taupo

Looking very much like a filmy fern, this plant is nonetheless a large leafy liverwort.  It forms distinctive umbrella-shaped shoots on tree trunks and rocks on wet forest floors, and is a common species in New Zealand and south-eastern Australia. 

Thanks to David Glenny for confirming the identification.

 

 

Heteroscyphus coalitus (Geocalycaceae)

lrt
Rangatira Point, Taupo

Text coming soon!

Thanks to David Glenny for the identification of the Heteroscyphus.

he

 

 

Heteroscyphus sp (possibly supinus) (Geocalycaceae)

hs
Rangatira Point, Taupo

This patch of bryophytes and lichens was growing on a lake-splashed boulder by Lake Taupo, at the edge of remnant bushland.  The pallid shoots are Heteroscyphus, whilst the brown moss can't be identified from the photo. 

H.supinus is distinguished from other species on the basis of its spiny underleavesand inrolled ventral margin of the upperleaves.  It is found in New Zealand and Tasmania. 

Thanks to John Braggins for the identification.

 

 

Plagiochila sp (possibly stephensoniana) (Plagiochilaceae)

ps

psPureora Forest, Taupo

Plagiochilas are easy to identify as a genus, with their folded leaves arranged down the long stems.  As in Europe, however, identifying individual Plagiochila species can be much more tricky and usually requires a specimen to examine the cells under a microscope to be certain of what you're seeing.  Female perianths are also useful features to look for, but this patch is male! 

There are over thirty Plagiochila species in New Zealand too, so there are many possibilities to consider! 

Thanks to John Braggins for doing his best to suggest an identification (stephensoniana is based on the branching habit)!

 

 

Lejeunea sp (Lejeuneaceae) on Porina exocha (lichen)

l
Rangatira Point, Taupo

Lejeuneas are very small liverworts and can be tricky to identify, often requiring microscopic analysis, or at least viewing of the tiny underleaves with a lens. 

There are about 19 Lejeunea species in New Zealand. 

Thanks to David Glenny for the identifications.

 

 

Chiloscyphus sp (probably subporosus) (Lophocoleaceae)

cs

Like many small leafy liverworts, a good view of the underside of the stem is often vital in confirming identification of individual species.  The tentative ID of C.subporosus is based on the shape of the leaf lobes and sinus.

Thanks to John Braggins for the identification.

 

 

 

Heteroscyphus sp (normalis probably)

lvrr

chl
Rangatira Point, Taupo

Text coming soon!

Thanks to David Glenny for the identification.

 

 

Marchantia berteroana

lvr2
Rangatira Point, Taupo

mrch

Text coming soon!

Thanks to David Glenny for the identification.

mrch2

 

 

Telaranea sp

tlv
Pureora Forest

Text coming soon!

Thanks to David Glenny for the identification.

 

 

Mosses

Andreaea sp (Andreaeaceae)

as
Mt Tongariro

Andreaea species are easily recognised as a genus, but difficult to identify to species level without microscopic analysis of the leaves and / or capsules.  All are small dark patchy plants found growing on rock, especially at high altitudes, where they are one of the most prominent montane mosses. 

There are at least a dozen species found in New Zealand, and sadly it is impossible to determine which of these this photo shows.

 

 

Pogonatum subulatum (Polytrichaceae)

ps
Pureora Forest, Taupo

The thick, short, spiky leaves of Pogonatum are easy to recognise in the field, but the differences between species are often subtle and require closer examination. 

P.subulatum is very common in New Zealand, and is also widespread in eastern Australia. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for the identification.

 

 

Atrichum androgynum (Polytrichaceae)

aa
Pureora Forest, Taupo

The small shade-loving moss is common in New Zealand and Australia, as well as being found in Central & South America and southern Africa!  It has the typical form of a Polytrichaceae plant, and its thin slighly crumpled leaves are distinctive in non-fruiting plants. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for confirming the identification.

 

 

Dawsonia superba var. superba (Polytrichaceae)

lyc
Ship Creek, Westland

D.superba is a striking, large moss, common in wet forests in Australasia. 

There are several Dawsonia species in Australia, but only one in New Zealand, where var. superba is the form found (a different variety is present in Australia).  It grows in wet forest as stems up to 65cm tall, making it one of the world's tallest mosses. 

Thanks to David Glenny for the identification.

 

 

Dendroligotrichum tongariroense or Polytrichum sp (Polytrichaceae)

dd
Mt Arthur, Kahurangi NP

Text coming soon!

Thanks to Allan Fife for the identification.

 

 

Macromitrium sp (Orthotrichaceae)

mm
Wainui Falls, Abel Tasman NP

Text coming soon!

Thanks to Allan Fife for the ID.

 

 

Breutelia sp (Bartramiaceae), with Bunodophoron sp (lichen)

l

Text coming soon!

Thanks to David Glenny for the lichen identification.

 

 

Bartramia sp (Bartramiaceae) & Dicranaceae sp

bs
Soda Springs, Tongariro National Park

Text coming soon!

Thanks to Jessica Beever for the identifications.

 

 

Philonotis scabrifolia (Bartramiaceae)

ps
Soda Springs, Tongariro National Park

The tufted spiky-looking pale glaucous-green stems of this moss make it easy to identify. 

It is a common species of wet habitats across much of the southern hemisphere, from Australia to South America and southern Africa. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for the identification.

 

 

Hymenodon pilifer (Rhizogonaceae)

hp
Pureora Forest, Taupo

A common epiphyte of tree ferns, this small pale green moss (stems no more than 1cm long) is found throughout New Zealand's forests, as well in south-eastern Australia. 

Although the photo doesn't show it clearly, the leaves are not in rows - a feature which separates this species from other similar ones. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for the identification.

 

 

Rhizogonum distichum (Rhizogonaceae)

rd

Rhizogonum species are generally epiphytes of wet forests.  They are small mosses and generally similar in appearance, with subtle differences in leaf borders and the degree to which the nerve reaches the leaf apex. 

R.distichum is a widespread species from south-east Asia, through south-eastern Australia to New Zealand.  It has a distinctive toothed leaf apex (not obvious in this image). 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for the identification.

 

 

Calomnion complanatum (Calomniaceae)

cc
Pureora Forest, Taupo

Calomnion is the only genus in the family Calommniaceae, and only two of the nine Calomnion species are found in New Zealand - C.complanatum, which is also found in south-eastern Australia (where it is endangered), and C.brownseyi, which is endemic to the southern South Island. 

C.complanatum is a tree fern epiphyte of humid forests, as are the other members of the genus.  The genus is unusual in having a third row of circular leaves on the upper side of the stems, rather than underneath as is normal in other genera. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for the identification.

 

 

Racopilum sp (Racopilaceae)

rs
Pureora Forest, Taupo

rp3

Racopilum species are common in New Zealand's forests, with distinctive prickly-looking leaves on flattened branched stems.  Capsules are needed to be certain of which individual species is present.. 

The three specimens shown here may be the same or different species - it's impossible to tell from the photos. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for providing the identification.

rp2

 

 

Hypopterigiaceae

This genus of mosses is characterised by flattened shoots, with leaves in three rows.  Some species, such as Cyathophorum bulbosum (below) resemble liverworts or ferns, but have veins and lacks underleaves, confirming them as mosses.  The family includes the 'umbrella mosses', which are among the most conspicuous plants of the forest floor in damp forests throughout New Zealand.

Cyathophorum bulbosum

cb
Pureora Forest, Taupo

This large moss is also found in temperate Australia and Papua New Guinea - you can see a photo from the Otway Ranges in Victoria here

C.bulbosum is a easily mistaken for a small fern, but the lack of sori on the leaf underside will quickly confirm the plant as a moss. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for confirming the identification.

 

 

Hypopterygium sp

hy
Wainui Falls, Abel Tasman NP

The umbrella mosses are conspicuous mosses of every damp New Zealand forest, and easily identified, although separating individual species can be tricky. 

The genus contains seven species worldwide.

 

 

Dendrohypopterygium filiculiforme

df
Pureora Forest, Taupo

This large dark green 'umbrella moss' is endemic to New Zealand. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for the identification.

 

 

Canalohypopterygium tamariscinum

hd

hyp

This dark green 'umbrella moss' is endemic to New Zealand. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for the identification.

ct

hyp

 

 

Plagiomnium novae-zealandiae (Mniaceae)

pgm
Lake Matheson, Westland

Text coming soon!

Thanks to Allan Fife for the identification.

 

 

Cladomnion ericoides (Ptychomniaceae)

ce
Pureora Forest, Taupo

This little moss forms thin shoots in which the leaves are pressed against the stem.  Each leaf has a strong nerve and a recurved tip (see just below the centre of this photo). 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for providing the identification.

 

 

Racomitrium pruinosum (Ptychomitriaceae)

rp
Mt Tongariro

In upland areas this highly distinctive moss can cover large areas, carpeting the ground between larger vascular plants.  The colour is due to the long curly white hairpoint. 

The widespread R.lanuginosum is considered to be the same species by some authorities.

 

 

Racomitrium sp (Grimmiaceae)

rac
Arthur's Pass NP

rm
Mt Tongariro NP

Text to follow!

rm
Mt Tongariro

 

 

Racomitrium sp (pruinosuim or lanuginosum) (Grimmiaceae) with Cladonia lichen

rc
Arthur's Pass NP

Text coming soon!

Thanks to David Glenny for the ID.

 

 

Wijkia extenuata (Pylaisiadelphaceae), Thuidium furfurosum (Thuidiaceae) & Hypnum cupressiforme (Hypnaceae) with foliose lichen sp (Pseudocyphellaria homeophylla or asticta)

ps
Governor's Bush, Mt Cook NP

Wijkia extenuata is a common moss in many areas of New Zealand.  It forms dark green branched growths, often on wood. 

Most of the moss in this photo is W.extenuataThuidium furfurosum is similarly common, and forms pale yellowish-green lacy growths (just right of centre in this photo).  Just above the Thuidium stem is an area of Hypnum cupressiforme, one of the commonest mosses worldwide! 

Thanks to Allan Fife for the IDs.

 

 

Dicranoloma menziesii (Dicranaceae)

dm

dm2Pureora Forest, Taupo

Dicranoloma species are thin, wispy mosses found in a variety of habitats.  Small features are often necessary to identify them to species level, and D.menziesii is one of the easiest - it is the only Dicranoloma species in New Zealand to have such short setae (the stalk of the capsule), and the leaves are bristly when viewed under a lens. 

It is a common species species in New Zealand and is also found in south-eastern Australia. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for providing the identification.

 

 

Dicranoloma sp (maybe D.robustum) (Dicranaceae)

dd
Mt Arthur, Kahurangi NP

The genus Dicranoloma has characteristic wispy leaves, but species can be hard to tell apart without specimens to examine more closely.  New Zealand shares several species with south-eastern Australia, including D.robustum

Thanks to Allan Fife for the identification.

 

 

Dicranoloma fasciatum (Dicranaceae)

cry
forest near Monro Beach, Westland

Text coming soon!

Thanks to David Glenny for the identification.

 

 

Dicranoloma sp (Dicranaceae) & Racomitrium pruinosum (Ptychomitriaceae)

dr
Mt Tongariro

Text coming soon!

 

 

Campylopus introflexus (Dicranaceae)

ci
Craters of the Moon, Taupo

This moss is extremely common in the southern hemisphere, and an in the last 100 years has become firmly established in Britain too. 

The easiest way to identify it is by the long hair-point of the leaves, bent at right angles to the plane of the leaf, although this feature is variable. 

At Craters of the Moon this is a moss of cold ground, and avoids hot geothermal vents, where C.pyriformis (below) grows instead. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for the identification and information.

 

 

Campylopus pyriformis (Dicranaceae)

m2

This moss forms luxuriant patches around geothermal vents at Craters of the Moon.  This geothermal moss was formerly considered a separate species, C.holomitrium, but is now considered an environmental form of C.pyriformis

Thanks to Jessica Beever for the identification, information, and encouragement to visit the site!

cp
In situ on walls of thermal vent, Craters of the Moon, Taupo

 

 

Mesotus celatus (Dicnemonaceae)

mc
Mt Arthur, Kahurangi NP

Text coming soon!

Thanks to Allan Fife for the identification.

 

 

Dicnemon sp (calycinum or dixonianum) (Dicnemonaceae)

ds
Pureora Forest, Taupo

The presence of a nerve in the leaf identifies this Dicnemon as either calycinum or dixonianum, but perichaetal bracts are need to distinguish between the two, and can't be seen in this photo. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for providing the identification.

ds2

 

 

Ptychomnion aciculare (Ptychomniaceae)

py
Mt Arthur, Kahurangi NP

The spiky, crumpled leaves and red stems of this common forest moss help to identify it. 

P.aciculare can be found on a variety of substrates, and is widespread in New Zealand as well as wet areas of southern Australia. 

Thanks to Allan Fife for the identification.

pt

pc
Capsules, Pureora Forest, Taupo

 

 

Leucobryum javense (Leucobryaceae)

lc
Pureora Forest, Taupo

The chunky short, pointed leaves of Leucobryum species are often easy to recognise, especially when they have dried out a little to assume a ghostly whitish-green colour. 

Only one species of the genus is present in New Zealand, and L.javense is also a widespread species in southern Australia. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for confirming the identification.

lc

 

 

 

Achrophyllum dentatum (Hookeraceae)

ad
Pureora Forest, Taupo

The overlapping leaves of this large forest moss at first suggest a leafy liverwort, but on close inspection the shoots lack underleaves.  Although resembling a Distichophyllum species (see below), the toothed leaf margins distinguish this moss.

It is common in damp forests in New Zealand, and can also be found throughout south-eastern Australia. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for confirming the identification.

 

 

Achrophyllum quadrifarium (Hookeraceae)

aq
Pureora Forest, Taupo

Text coming soon!

Thanks to Jessica Beever for providing the identification.

 

 

Distichophyllum microcarpum (Hookeriaceae)

dm

dm2
Pureora Forest, Taupo

Unlike other Distichophyllum species, this moss has a strong nerve in each of its ovate, non-bordered, untoothed leaves. 

D.microcarpum is common in New Zealand's forests, as well as rainforests in south-eastern Australia. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for the identification.

dm

 

 

Hypnodendron comatum (probably) (Hypnodendraceae)

hcp
Pureora Forest, Taupo

Text coming soon!

Thanks to Jessica Beever for the identification.

 

 

Weymouthia cochlearifolia (Meteoriaceae)

wc
Pureora Forest, Taupo

Two Weymouthia species are abundant pendulous epiphytic mosses, which can form luxuriant curtains on tree branches in suitable habitat. 

W.cochlearifolia has very concave leaves (shell-like, hence the Latin name), whereas W.mollis is a much more slender, delicate species. 

Both species are widespread in New Zealand's forests, as well as in south-eastern Australia. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for confirming the identification.

 

 

Echinodium hispidum (Echinodiaceae)

eh1
Pureora Forest, Taupo

The dark green, rather scruffy long, hairy stems of this common moss make it easy to identify.  It is a moss of wet habitats, often growing near streams in forests.  it is found in New Zealand and south-eastern Australia. 

Thanks to Jessica Beever for providing the identification.

 

 

Trachyloma sp (Trachylomataceae)

ts
Pureora Forest, Taupo

Text coming soon!

Thanks to Jessica Beever for providing the identification.

 

 

Camptochaete sp (Lembophyllaceae)

cs
Pureora Forest, Taupo

Text coming soon!

Thanks to Jessica Beever for providing the identification.

 

 

Pseudotaxiphyllum falcifolium (Hypnaceae)

pf

Text coming soon!

Thanks to Jessica Beever for providing the identification.

pt
Pureora Forest, Taupo

 

 

Hypnum cupressiforme (Hypnaceae) & Dicranoloma robustum (Dicranaceae), with Steroecaulon stereocauloides (lichen)

l
Marian Falls, Fiordland NP

Text coming soon!

Thanks to Allan Fife for the bryophyte identifications and David Glenny for the lichen ID.

 

 

Canalohypopterygium sp

mrg
Rangatira Point, Taupo

Text to follow soon!

Thanks to David Glenny for the identification.