BFNA Title: Catoscopium
Dale H. Vitt
Plants acrocarpous. Stems erect. Leaves erect, lanceolate, leaf cells smooth. Seta terminal, slender-elongate, dark red. Capsules small, glossy, black, inclined to horizontal, smooth, ovoid, strongly asymmetric and curved, with mouth pointed downward; stomates none; peristome diplolepidous; endostome segments reduced to a low membrane; exostome teeth 16, short, irregular, fragile.
Genus 1; North Temperate areas.
Catoscopium Bridel, Bryol. Univ. 1: 112. 1826 * the mouth of the capsule is directed downward and hence “looks down”
Plants erect, cushion forming. Stems slender with reddish tomentum. Leaves lanceolate, acuminate, distal laminal cells ± quadrate, smooth, basal cells longer, smooth. Seta erect, black. Capsule asymmetric, ± inclined, peristome reduced.
Species 1; North America, Europe, Asia.
1. Catoscopium nigritum (Hedwig) Bridel, Bryol. Univ. 1: 368. 1826
Plants to 6 cm high. Stem leaves erect-spreading, three-ranked, flexuose when dry, 0.8--1.5 mm, lanceolate, acuminate; margins narrowly recurved, entire; distal laminal cells quadrate to short-rectangular, smooth; basal laminal cells oblong to elongate, smooth. Sexual condition dioicous. Perichaetial leaves somewhat larger than vegetative leaves. Seta 8--24 mm. Capsule 0.6--1 mm, small, shiny; urn ovoid, inclined to horizontal; endostome teeth truncate, lanceolate, incurved. Calyptra cucullate. Spores 33--48 µm.
Confined to small mounds at the edges of pools in calcareous rich fens; low elevations; Greenland; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld., N.W.T., Nunavut, Ont., Que., Sask., Yukon; Alaska, Colo., Ind., Iowa, Mich., Minn., Mont., N.Y.
The dense turfs of reddish-black stems with erect, lanceolate leaves characterize this species. When collections are fertile, the small, shiny, black capsules with small mouth, reduced peristome, and inclined posture clearly define the species.