Neckera urnigera, photographed by Michael Lüth.

Belongs within: Hypnales.

The Neckeraceae is a family of about two hundred species of moss found predominantly in tropical regions. Most species are epilithic or epiphytic, though some are aquatic. Molecular analyses suggest a relationship between the Neckeraceae and mosses of the family Lembophyllaceae (Olsson et al. 2009). Members of the type genus Neckera have pinnately or bipinnately branched secondary stems and complanate leaves, and are found growing on trunks of trees or rocks (Dixon 1924).

Characters (from Olsson et al. 2009): Usually large, glossy plants with creeping stolons bearing very small leaves and tufts of rhizoids; more or less frondose (rarely dendroid) stems with or without distinct stipes, mostly complanate. Leaf cells almost always smooth, relatively short and firm-walled; marginal cells in at least 1-2 rows with at least some quadrate to rectangular cells shorter than the corresponding inner laminal cells, even when leaf cells are generally elongate.

    |  i. s.: ‘Glossadelphus’ dimorphus Dixon 1942 SK02
    |--Caduciella Enroth 1991 SK02
    |    `--C. mariei (Besch.) Enroth 1991 SK02
    |--Touwia Ochyra 1986 SK02
    |    `--T. laticostata Ochyra 1986 SK02
    |--Himantocladium (Mitt.) Fleischer 1908 SK02
    |    |--H. cyclophyllum (Müll.Hal.) Fleischer 1908 [incl. H. loriforme (Bosch & Sande Lac.) Fleischer 1908] SK02
    |    |--H. implanum B57
    |    `--H. plumula (Nees) Fleischer 1908 SK02
    |--Neckeropsis Reichardt 1868 SK02
    |    |--N. lepineana (Montagne) Fleischer 1908 [=Neckera lepineana] SK02
    |    `--M. nanodisticha (Geh.) Fleischer 1908 [incl. N. sparvelliae] SK02
    |--Pinnatella Fleischer 1906 SK02
    |    |--P. alopecuroides (Mitt.) Fleischer 1906 (see below for synonymy) SK02
    |    `--P. huehliana (Bosch & Sande Lac.) Fleischer 1906 SK02
    |--Porotrichum (Brid.) Hampe 1863 JR-SM-G05, SK02
    |    |--P. angustifolium [=Thamnium angustifolium Holt 1886] D24
    |    |--P. cobanense (Schwaegr.) Muell. 1879 JR-SM-G05
    |    |--P. fasciculatum J87
    |    `--P. insularum J87
    |--Homaliodendron Fleischer 1906 SK02
    |    |--H. decompositum (Brid.) Wagn. 1952 JR-SM-G05
    |    |--H. exiguum (Bosch & Sande Lac.) Fleischer 1908 SK02
    |    |--H. flabellatum (Smith) Fleischer 1906 (see below for synonymy) SK02
    |    `--H. sphaerocarpum N02
    |--Homalia Brid. 1827 D24, SK02
    |    |--H. auriculata [=Pendulothecium auriculatum] SK02
    |    |--H. falcifolia Hooker & Wilson 1854 [=Pseudotaxiphyllum falcifolium] SK02
    |    |--H. punctata (Hooker & Wilson) Wijk & Margad. 1960 (see below for synonymy) SK02
    |    `--H. trichomanoides [=Hypnum trichomanoides] D24
    |--Thamnobryum Nieuwl. 1917 [incl. Thamnium Schimp. 1852 (preoc.)] SK02
    |    |--‘Thamnium’ decumbens D03
    |    |--T. ellipticum (Bosch & Sande Lac.) Schultze-Motel 1973 SK02 [=Thamnium ellipticum B57]
    |    |--‘Thamnium’ latifolium A49
    |    |--T. maderense VHJ03
    |    |    |--T. m. var. maderense VHJ03
    |    |    `--T. m. var. alopecurum VHJ03 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--‘Thamnium’ novae-walesiae Kindb. 1902 [=Hypnum novae-walesiae (nom. inv.)] SK02
    |    |--T. pandum (Hooker & Wilson) Stone & Scott 1973 (see below for synonymy) SK02
    |    |--T. pumilum (Hooker & Wilson) Nieuwl. 1917 (see below for synonymy) SK02
    |    `--T. subseriatum N02
    `--Neckera Hedw. 1801 SK02
         |--N. aurescens Hampe 1856 [incl. N. leptotheca] SK02
         |--N. brownii A49
         |--N. cephalonica FHH01
         |--N. chilensis D03
         |--N. crispa FHH01 [=Hypnum crispum D24]
         |    |--N. c. var. crispa D24
         |    `--N. c. var. falcata D24
         |--N. douglasii VH02
         |--N. heteromalla SK02 [=Cryphaea heteromalla SK02; incl. C. arborea D24]
         |    |--N. h. var. heteromalla D24
         |    `--‘Cryphaea’ h. var. aquatilis D24
         |--N. intermedia FHH01
         |--N. leichhardtii Hampe 1870 SK02
         |--N. pennata Hedw. 1801 SK02 (see below for synonymy)
         |--N. pumila D24
         |    |--N. p. var. pumila D24
         |    `--N. p. var. philippeana D24
         |--N. scabridens D03
         `--N. urnigera Muell 1850 JR-SM-G05

Nomina nuda: Homalia baileyana Müll.Hal. ex Bailey 1886 SK02
             Neckera baileyana Müll.Hal. ex Bailey 1886 SK02
             Neckera hodgkinsoniae Müll.Hal. ex Bailey 1883 SK02
             Neckera tasmanica Schimp. 1850 non N. pennata var. tasmanica SK02
             Porotrichum molle Broth. ex Bailey 1891 SK02
             Porotrichum spininervis Hardy 1906 SK02

Homalia punctata (Hooker & Wilson) Wijk & Margad. 1960 [=Pendulothecium punctatum; incl. H. pulchella (nom. illeg.)] SK02

Homaliodendron flabellatum (Smith) Fleischer 1906 [=Thamnium flabellatum; incl. Neckera australiae (n. n.), Homaliodendron dendroides] SK02

Neckera pennata Hedw. 1801 SK02 [=Fontinalis pennata D24; incl. N. hymenodonta SK02, N. pennata var. tasmanica SK02]

Pinnatella alopecuroides (Mitt.) Fleischer 1906 [incl. P. subalopecuroides var. condensata (n. n.), P. intralimbata Fleischer 1906, P. subalopecuroides Broth. & Paris 1909] SK02

Thamnobryum maderense var. alopecurum VHJ03 [=Hypnum alopecurum D24, Porotrichum alopecurum D24, Thamnium alopecurum D24]

Thamnobryum pandum (Hooker & Wilson) Stone & Scott 1973 [=Isothecium pandum, Thamnium pandum; incl. Thamnium eflagellare, Thamnium flagellare, Hypnum pterobryoides] SK02

Thamnobryum pumilum (Hooker & Wilson) Nieuwl. 1917 [=Isothecium pumilum, Microthamnium pumilum, Thamnium pumilum; incl. Homalia acuminata (nom. inv.), Rhizogonium gracillimum, Mnium gracillimum (preoc.), Porotrichum gracillimum, Thamnium gracillimum, Thamnium homalioides, Porotrichum homalioides (nom. inv.), Neckera rivalis, Isothecium rivale (nom. inv.), Thamnium rivale (nom. inv.), Porotrichum tenerascens (nom. inv.), Thamnium tenerascens (n. n.)] SK02

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A49] Allison, K. W. 1949. Description of a new species with notes and localities for some Otago and Southland mosses. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 77 (2): 278–283.

[B57] Bartram, E. B. 1957. Additional Fijian mosses, III. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 46 (12): 392–396.

[D24] Dixon, H. N. 1924. The Student's Handbook of British Mosses 3rd ed. V. V. Sumfield: Eastbourne.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. Patagonian and Fuegian mosses. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 63–126. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[FHH01] Frey, W., M. Hofmann & H. H. Hilger. 2001. The gametophyte-sporophyte junction: unequivocal hints for two evolutionary lines of archegoniate land plants. Flora 196: 431–445.

[JR-SM-G05] Johansen, R. M., A. P. Retana-Salazar & A. Mojica-Guzmán. 2005. A review of the New World bryophyte-feeding genus Wegenerithrips Johansen 1983 (Insecta, Thysanoptera, Thripidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 85 (1): 61–83.

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum—Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1–136.

[N02] Negi, H. R. 2002. Abundance and diversity of moss communities of Chopta-Tunganath in the Garhwal Himalaya. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99 (3): 418–433.

Olsson, S., V. Buchbender, J. Enroth, S. Huttunen, L. Hedenäs & D. Quandt. 2009. Evolution of the Neckeraceae (Bryophyta): resolving the backbone phylogeny. Systematics and Biodiversity 7 (4): 419-432.

[SK02] Streimann, H., & N. Klazenga. 2002. Catalogue of Australian Mosses. Flora of Australia Supplementary Series 17. Australian Biological Resources Study: Canberra.

[VH02] Vanderpoorten, A., L. Hedenäs, C. J. Cox & A. J. Shaw. 2002. Phylogeny and morphological evolution of the Amblystegiaceae (Bryopsida). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 23 (1): 1–21.

[VHJ03] Vanderpoorten, A., L. Hedenäs & A.-L. Jacquemart. 2003. Differentiation in DNA fingerprinting and morphology among species of the pleurocarpous moss genus, Rhytidiadelphus (Hylocomiaceae). Taxon 52: 229–236.

Last updated: 7 January 2018.

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