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tasmanian liverworts - lepidoziaceae

lepidozia serrulata

Lepidozia serrulata
1. habit A


This is a fairly recent addition to the genus as it was only described in 2004 from Stewart Island in New Zealand and considered endemic to that country. ALA records show that ED Cooper collected a specimen from the NE slopes of Mt. Sprent in the Derwent Valley back in 2007. Our specimens were collected in 2011.

Engel & Glenny¹ provide a description of the species so these notes are additional to that.

Two specimens were collected above 700m altitude. The first specimen (pix 2) was sterile, and growing on usually damp soil beside a roadside stream in the open although it was shaded partially by overhanging Leptospermum trees. It was semi-erect, growing in tufts.

The second fertile specimen (pix 1, mixed with L. procera) was prostrate, growing over rotting logs under protected permanent shade mainly of Nothofagus cunninghamii. Engel & Glenny state no androecia or gynoecia had been sighted without mentioning if sporophytes had been observed. We saw several populations with capsules around mid-November.

Leaves were 4-fid with lobes entire on some specimens but the others had teeth off the lobes. Likewise the underleaves were 4-fid with minimal branching on some and split into 3 spinose teeth in others (pix 3).

We returned to the site in mid-February and collected a few shoots with gynoecia (pix 7) from the protected site. Sample included a few perianths from the previous season (Ts is from near the tip). There were a few androecia on distal parts of flagellate branches almost devoid of leaves as well as a single stem with a pair of ventral androecia.
A collection from the open site yielded androecia on flagellate branchs (pix 8) as well as on short ventral intercalary branches. Spermatozoids were free swimming when the image was taken (pix 9).

We have examined very limited quantities of the species but the following is interesting. The first site yielded only androecial branches. Four samplings from the second site yielded one fertile lot with predominantly gynoecial shoots. We suspect the species may be dioicous.

Fertile specimens have been lodged with HO and SYD.

[2018/10/04 - We are now of the opinion we have conflated two different species and that the upright form (pix2) is a different species despite the similarities in leaf form. It will take us some time to determine what that is.]

Lepidozia serrulata leaves
2. habit B
Lepidozia serrulata leaves
3. leaves
Lepidozia serrulata cells
4. cells
Lepidozia serrulata capsule walls
5. capsule walls
Lepidozia serrulata capsule spore
6. spore
Lepidozia serrulata gynoecium
7. gynoecium
Lepidozia serrulata androecia
8. androecia
Lepidozia serrulata androecia
9. antheridia


[Thanks to EB for confirming id]

- ¹Engel, JJ & Glenny, D, A Flora of the Liverworts and Hornworts of New Zealand, Vol 1, p. 253-255; ISBN 978-1-930723-67-2
- Engel, JJ, 2004. Austral Hepaticae 36. A new species of Lepidozia from New Zealand, together with an assessment of subg. Austrolepidozia (Schust.) Schust. J. Hattori Bot. Lab. 96: 273–279.

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