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tasmanian liverworts - lepidoziaceae

telaranea herzogii

Telaranea herzogii
1. Telaranea herzogii stem with uniseriate leaves

 

This is probably the smallest plant to be found on the Blue Tier with stems a scant 0.05 mm wide. The leaves comprise of a pair of lobes of single cell width barely joined at the base. It sports minute underleaves which are just visible in the image above.

We first discovered this tangled within a small sample of Zoopsis argentea under a dark ledge near a stream; a subsequent collection yielded the perianth (pix 3). Sporophytes were sighted in late September. Asexual reproduction is reportedly unknown for the species.

A second similar looking species reported for Tasmania, T. inaquelis, has the 2 leaf lobes of unequal length. It has been recorded from the Gordon River in the west as well as from NZ. We have no idea if this is found on the Blue Tier. A third species, T. tasmanica, with bi-/tri-lobed leaves, have paired cells at the leaf base where it joins the stem. It is endemic to Tasmania.

We collected a specimen that resembles T. tasmanica in having uniseriate leaf lobe cells that terminate in biseriate cells at the base. This was growing amongst a healthy colony of Riccardia colensoi in a seepage. It differs from type description in having some leaves with disks 1.5 cells high rather than 0.5 cells. However we observed both kinds of leaves occuring on the same stem so we are inclined to write this off as an abberation of Telaranea tasmanica. Leaves sported bi- and tri-fid lobes and had 2-4 grape-cluster type oil bodies.

branching
2. branching
perianth
3. perianth
sporophyte
4. sporophyte
Telaranea tasmanica
5. T. tasmanica leaf

References
- Engel JJ & Smith Merrill GL (2004) Austral Hepaticae. 35. A taxonomic and phylogenetic study of Telaranea (Lepidoziaceae), with a monograph of the genus in temperate Australasia and commentary on extra-Australasian taxa. Fieldiana Botany, New Series 44. University of Illinois provides several free versions of this monograph - the pdf file is around 30MB
- Engel JJ & Glenny D A Flora of the Liverworts and Hornworts of New Zealand, Vol 1, p. 350-357; ISBN 978-1-930723-67-2

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