This family contains a group of plants which may appear diverse, but they have similarities in the basic shape of the leaves and underleaves, which are divided into 3 or 4 lobes. The underleaves are smaller than the lateral leaves.

Genus: Telaranea

These plants are very tiny indeed. They form fine mats on soil or rotting logs in wet areas. The "fronds" in this image are less than 1 cm wide, and you would need a hand lens or a microscope to see that they have this lacey look. They tend to all look alike until examined microscopically.


Telaranea centipes


Telaranea gottscheana

This species forms mats or low clumps on earth or rotting logs in the forest.

The underleaves tend to have the same number of segments as the leaves - four on the main stem and three on the branches.


Telaranea herzogii

This species is very tiny! It is the fine threads amongst the much larger bryophytes in the image. I only spotted it when looking through the microscope.


A microscope image, showing the tiny leaves of T. herzogii consisting of two spines coming from a base.


Telaranea patentissima

Found on damp shady banks, often where the soil is a clay. This is one of the smaller of the Telaranea species.


An image taken through the microscope which illustrates that although the Telaraneas can look very much alike, they differ microscopically. Compare this image with the one of T. tetradactyla below.


Telaranea praenitens

Found on soil or logs in the bush.


Telaranea tetradactyla

See below for more close up images of this species.


This image shows two perianths - structures formed from modified leaves and which contains the developing sporophyte (the top of which is the black bit).


This image shows a mature sporophyte where the capsule has split into 4 valves to release the spores. You can also see perianths and developing sporophytes.


This image show a closeup of the leaves and underleaves.


liverwort index