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tasmanian liverworts - lejeuneaceae

metalejeunea cucullata (formerly lejeunea T500)

Metalejeunea cucullata habit
1. Metalejeunea cucullata habit

 

This tiny Lejeuneacea was discovered as an epiphyte on Tasmanian Leatherwood in the Tarkine. It is barely visible to the naked eye, and not much better with a x10 hand lens. The image of a leafy shoot in pix 2 is less than 0.35 mm wide.

There is one rounded underleaf (pix 4) per pair of remote lateral leaves; lobule area is approximately half of leaf area; we did not observe oscelli on our specimen but believe there could be one or two near base of leaf; branching sparse; several oil bodies per cell present but they had started to disintegrate at time of study. A distinguishing feature is the collar of border cells terminating with the lobule teeth (pix 2 & 3).

This is a pantropical species found across the world. Only two collections seem to have been made in Tasmania in the past. In 1987 Moscal collected 2 specimens in Blackmans Bay where he claims it was common. There have been no records since. We suspect the explanation for the scarcity may be due to the diminutive size of this liverwort.

Lejeunea T500 shoot
2. shoot
Lejeunea T500 lobule tooth
3. lobule tooth
Lejeunea T500 underleaf
4. underleaf

 

We are grateful to MR for providing identification.

A specimen has been lodged with HO.

 

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191216-1, 4, 1, 120, 153