Sunday, 7 December 2014


During a quiet 15 minutes whilst bird-ringing in Mewslade Valley yesterday I looked at some cliff turf by one of my nets. Encalypta vulgaris with newly emerging capsules proved to be locally frequent in the short turf along with associates such as Aphanes sp., Polytrichum juniperinum, Pseudocrossidium hornschuchianum, Riccia sorocarpa and Trichstomum brachydontium. Whilst this is not a new site for the E. vulgaris, it is an extension to the colony on one of the outcrops I’d looked at last winter and previous observations suggest it is probably scattered throughout the valley wherever there is suitable habitat.
Also growing here was this little Tortula with unripe capsules making id a little problematic. I think it’s a tossup between modica and viridifolia and I’m inclined to go for the latter as some of the hair-points were >500 ┬Ám, although the leaves aren't as rounded as depicted in Smith. Other features noted included no apparent peristome (dissected), smooth cells, recurved leaf margins.  Any thoughts on this welcome?


  1. I think it might be T lanceola, as the nerve is too long for T modica. Could be T viridifolia though: need capsules for ID.

  2. Both the calyptra and operculum came off cleanly on the two capsules I pulled apart then squashed under the microscope and there was no sign of a peristome. I wont enter this as a record, just curiosity got the better of me!

  3. Just checked and I recorded both viridifolia and lanceola here back in Feb in any case, so all a bit academic from a mapping viewpoint.