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Published In: Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 36: 221. 1946. (J. Washington Acad. Sci.) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

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Globulinella has two species (G. globifera and G. benoistii (Thér.) Magill) that occur from southwest Texas to Ecuador. It is a genus of very small plants that have tumid stems with a well-developed central stand, broadly rounded, cucullate leaves, smooth, thick-walled upper leaf cells, and surface costal cells that bulge on the upper ventral surface. An interesting sporophytic feature of the genus is its well-developed, vesiculose annulus that often adheres to the capsule mouth after dehiscence. At least one of its species (G. globifera) has naked, lateral archegonia. This unusual character is an occasional feature of some mosses (e.g., Fissidens) and commonly encountered in Splachnobryum.

Although G. globifera has only a dorsal stereid band in its costa, Zander (1993) reported a weak ventral stereid band in some collections of  G. benoistii. This observation suggests a relationship between Globulinella and Plaubelia which also has a ventral stereid band that is absent or weakly developed. In addition, Plaubelia and Globulinella have similar peristomes, spathulate to oblong leaves with rounded to obtuse apices, and mammillose-bulging upper ventral cells on the surface of the costa.  Plaubelia differs from Globulinella in having leaf cells mammillose-bulging on the ventral surface but smooth to pluripapillose on the dorsal surface, and a non-spurred costa.

The nomenclatural tangle surrounding Globulina and Globulinella was straightened by Zander (1993). In a confusing way, Steere (Steere & Chapman 1946) proposed the new genus Globulinella, as a substitute for Globulina C. Müll. hom. illeg., but then excluded the type of Globulina. Although he did not provide a description for a new genus, he directly refers to a single species (G. globifera) and its description can serve as the generic one. As pointed out by Zander (1993) Globulina C. Müll. is a synonym of Bryoerythrophyllum, while Seligeria subg. Globulina C. Müll. and Globulinella are synonymous since they share the same type.

Magill (1977) provided a review of Globulinella which includes a key to the species.


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Globulinella Steere in Steere & Chapman, J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 36: 221. 1946.

Seligeria subg. Globulina C. Müll., Gen. Musc. Frond. 306. 1901 [1900]. 

Plants small; stems simple or forked, epidermal cells short-rectangular, sclerodermis weakly or strongly present, central strand well-developed. Axillary hairs with hyaline to light-brown basal cells. Leaves oval, oblong or elliptic, spreading at base, rosulate, appressed-imbricate when dry, erect to erect-incurved when wet; apices obtuse, cucullate; margins entire, plane to erect; costa stout, subpercurrent, often spurred above, upper ventral surface cells quadrate to short-rectangular, enlarged above, guide cells and one (dorsal) or rarely two stereid bands present; leaf cells smooth, upper cells round, quadrate, short-rectangular, triangular or oblate, thick-walled, basal cells quadrate, short- or long-rectangular, hyaline, alar cells not differentiated. Dioicous. Perichaetia and perigonia terminal; perichaetial leaves enlarged, somewhat sheathing. Setae smooth. Capsules oblong, erect, smooth; exothecial cells short-rectangular, firm-walled; stomata in neck; opercula conic-rostrate; annuli well-developed; peristome teeth 16, yellow, erect, inserted within the mouth, spiculose. Calyptrae yellow, cucullate, smooth.

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