Two new and noteworthy records of Lejeuneaceae (Marchantiophyta) from Jharkhand, India

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S.K. Singh* & S. Kumar
Botanical Survey of India, Eastern Regional Centre Shillong, Meghalaya, India
*Correspondence author: S. K. Singh; email:


Two species of Lejeuneaceae are reported for the first time form Jharkhand. A new combination Spruceanthus minutilobula (Udar & U.S. Awasthi) Sushil K. Singh is proposed.

Keywords Cololejeunea, Archilejeunea, Spruceanthus, Jharkhand, India


Jharkhand is one of the mineral rich Indian state carved out of the southern part of Bihar in 2000 with an area of 79,710 sq km. It is situated between 21°58′ to 25°18′ N Latitude and 83°22′ to 87°57′ E Longitude. The state is bordered by Bihar in North, Odisha in South, West Bengal in East and Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the West. Geographically it forms part of the Chotanagpur plateau province of the Deccan Peninsula. Administratively the state is divided in 5 division: 1. Palamu (3 districts), 2. North Chotanagpur (7 districts), 3. South Chotanagpur (5 districts), 4. Kolhan (3 districts), 5. Santhal Pargana (6 districts). According to satellite data of Oct.-Dec. 2006 (see also Kumar & Abbas, 2012), the forests cover is 28.72% of state’s geographic area. The area has a tropical climate with annual rainfall of about 900 mm and the temperature varies between 4 to 47°C. Due to diverse physiographic and climatic conditions, the state possesses a unique phyto-diversity sprawl in tropical dry deciduous, moist deciduous, dry peninsular and dry mixed deciduous forest.

The knowledge about floristic components of the State is inadequate and chiefly known through publications of Prain (1903), Duthie (1920), Haines (1921 – 1924), Raizada (1975), Mooney (1950), Singh et al. (2001), Sharma and Sarkar (2002) and Ranjan (2014). The documentation of floral elements of the state in pace and researchers of Botanical Survey of India are focusing to document the various component of plant diversity domiciled here. As far as studies on liverwort are concerned, no systematic attempt made for it. Only two species, Plagiochasma appendiculatum Lehm. & Lindenb. and Riccia bulbifera Steph. (=Riccia billardierei Mont. & Nees) are recorded from the State yet (Stephani, 1900; Bischler, 1979).

To fill this gap of knowledge, authors started recently (in 2015) collecting the liverwort species growing in the state. In present communication, two of them belonging to family Lejeuneaceae are described and their taxonomic status presented.

Taxonomic treatment

Cololejeunea latilobula (Herzog) Tixier, Bryophyt. Biblioth. 27: 156. 1985; G. Asthana & S.C. Srivast., Bryophyt. Bibliot. 60: 36. 2003; M. Dey & D.K. Singh, Epiphyll. Liverw. E. Himal. 158. 2012. Leptocolea latilobula Herzog in Hand.-Mazz., Symb. Sin. 5: 54. 1930. Leptocolea himalayensis Pande & R.N.Misra, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. India 13 (1): 27. 1943. Cololejeunea himalayensis (Pande & R.N.Misra) R.M.Schust., Beih. Nova Hedwigia 9: 177. 1963.

Plant bright green when fresh, yellowish in herbarium; shoots 6 – 8 mm long, 1.70 – 2.00 mm wide; branching irregular, throughout the plant; stem cross section oval – suborbicular in outline, 65.5 – 87.5 × 50.0 – 67.5 \mu m, 3 – 4 cells across the diameter; cortical cells in a layer of 5 – 10 cells, subquadrate – polygonal, 10.0 – 32.5 × 8.5 – 25.0 \mu m, slightly thick-walled; medullary cells 1 – 2, polygonal, 15.5 – 24.5 × 12.5 – 20.0 \mu m, slightly thick-walled. Leaves obliquely – widely spreading, imbricate; leaf lobes oblong – ovate, 0.53 – 0.87 mm long, 0.38 – 0.67 mm wide, apex rounded, margin entire bordered by 1 – 4 rows of hyaline cells, usually present on antical margin up to apex of leaf lobe, absent on postical margin; antical margin convex, postical margin straight or slightly arched at the base; hyaline marginal cells towards apex subquadrate – rectangular, 10.0 – 30.0 × 5.0 – 15.0 \mu m; chlorophyllous marginal leaf cells towards apex subquadrate – quadrate, or rectangular, 7.5 – 22.5 × 5.0 – 15.0 \mu m; median leaf cells pentagonal – hexagonal, 17.5 – 37.5 × 12.5 – 22.5 \mu m; basal leaf cells elongated, pentagonal – hexagonal, 25.0 – 70.0 × 17.5 – 32.5 \mu m; cells thin-walled without trigones and intermediate thickenings; cuticle punctate; oil-bodies not observed; leaf lobules lingulate – triangulate with inflated base, 1/3 as long as the lobe, 0.25 – 0.38 mm long, 0.11 – 0.16 mm wide, lobule apex and base narrow and wide at middle portion; first tooth large occupying the upper half of leaf lobule, apex retuse, hyaline papilla at the apex of first tooth, second tooth absent; stylus unicellular. Gemmae discoid, 67.5 – 85.5 × 77.5 – 105.5 \mu m, 19 – 28-celled, without adhesive cells. Androecial and Gynoecial branches not observed.

Habitat: Growing as epiphyte in shady places.

Specimen examined: India, Jharkhand, Sahibganj, Motijharna, Shiva cave, 25°12’53″? N, 87°44’27″? E, 35 m, 18.11.2015, Shashi kumar JKH01 (ASSAM)

Distribution: India [Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal (Pande & Misra, 1943 as L. himalayensis; Asthana & Srivastava, 2003, Kapoor et al., 2010; Singh & Barbhuiya, 2012; Dey & Singh, 2012; Srivastava, 2015; Singh & Singh, 2015)], China (Piippo, 1990), Fiji (Söderström et al., 2011), Myanmar (Zhu & So, 2001), Nepal (Pradhan & Joshi, 2009), Taiwan (Wang et al., 2011), Vietnam (Tixier, 1985), Africa (Wigginton, 2009).

Note: This is reported here for the first time from Jharkhand.

Spruceanthus minutilobula (Udar & U.S.Awasthi) Sushil K. Singh comb. nov.

Archilejeunea minutilobula Udar & U.S. Awasthi, Geophytology 11: 77. 1981.

Plants brownish-green when fresh, brown in herbaria; shoots 10 – 15 mm long, 1.1 – 1.4 mm wide, branching irregular; stem cross-section suborbicular in outline, 109.5 – 124.5 × 98.5 – 109.5 \mu m, 6 – 8 cells across the diameter; cortical cells in a layer of 11 – 12 cells, subquadrate – quadrate or rectangular, 17.5 – 39.0 × 14.5 – 26.5 \mu m, thin-walled; medullary cells 19 – 21, polygonal, 12.5 – 22.5 × 7.5 – 20.0 \mu m, slightly thick-walled. Leaves obliquely – widely spreading, imbricate – contiguous or rarely remote; leaf lobes ovate, 0.65 – 0.85 mm long, 0.56 – 0.75 mm wide, apex rounded, margin entire, antical margin convex, postical margin straight; marginal leaf cells towards apex quadrate – subquadrate, 10.0 – 20.0 × 5.0 – 12.5 \mu m; median leaf cells pentagonal – hexagonal, 17.5 – 36.5 × 12.5 – 25.5 \mu m; basal leaf cells elongated hexagonal – polygonal, 20.0 – 46.5 × 12.5 – 24.5 \mu m; cells thin-walled without distinct trigones and intermediate thickenings; cuticle smooth; oil-bodies 6 – 13 (–18) each cells, suborbicular, 2.5 – 3.5 \mu m, elliptical, 3.5 – 7.5 × 2.5 – 2.5 \mu m, surface smooth; leaf lobules inflated, ovate – rectangular or tringular, 1/5 – 1/6 as long as the lobe, 0.11 – 0.18 (–20) mm long, 0.10 – 0.15 (–17) mm wide, bidentate, first tooth unicellular, second tooth obsolete. Underleaves distant, (2–) 3 – 3.5 times as wide as stem, reniform, 0.24 – 0.30 mm long, 0.40 – 0.43 mm wide. Androecial and gynoecial branches not observed.

Habitat: Growing as epiphyte in shady places.

Specimen examined: India, Jharkhand, Sahibganj, Motijharna, Shiva cave, 25°12′ 53″? N, 87°44′ 27″? E, 35 m, 18.11.2015, Shashi kumar JKH02 (ASSAM)

Distribution: India [Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal (Udar & Awasthi, 1981; Das & Singh, 2007; Singh & Barbhuiya, 2012; Manju et al., 2012; Daniels & Daniel, 2013; Sandhya Rani et al., 2014; Asthana & Sahu, 2015)], endemic.

Note: Drastic changes took place recently in Archilejeunea (Spruce) Steph. and the genus is now splitted in to two genera Archilejeunea and Dibrachiella (Spruce) X.Q. Shi, R.L. Zhu Gradst. Several species formerly treated under Archilejeunea have been transferred to Spruceanthus Verd. chiefly on the basis of Molecular studies (see She et al., 2015a). Five taxa, Archilejeunea abbreviata (Mitt.) Vanden Berghen. A. apiculifolia Steph., A. apiculifolia var. dentifolia US. Awasthi & S.C. Srivast., A. mariana [non A. mariana (Gottsche) Steph.] and A. minutilobulaUdar & U.S. Awasthi (Udar & Awasthi, 1981, 1982, Awasthi & Srivastava, 1988; Manju et al., 2012) were known under the genus from India. Of these, A. abbreviata is now treated as Spruceanthus abbreviatus (Mitt.) X.Q. Shi, R.L. Zhu & Gradst., the latter three which are synonymous with polymorphic A. planiuscula (Shi et al., 2015b; see also Singh et al. 2016) now treated as Spruceanthus planiusculus (Mitt.) X.Q.Shi, R.L.Zhu & Gradst. The remaining species, A. minutilobula could not find mention in recent works on the genus (Shi & Zhu, 2015; Shi et al., 2015b), though it is morphologically distinct from all other former Archilejeunea known from India in its taxonomic character, hence its correct placement deemed necessary.

Following key features provided by Shi et al. (2015a) for differentiating Archilejeunea, Dibrachiella and Spruceanthus, the plants of A. minutilobula in bearing homogenous oil-bodies (on basis of fresh collection) and reduced to well developed leaf lobules, better matches with Spruceanthus, therefore, a new combination is made herein.


We are thankful to Director, Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata and Head of the Office, Eastern Regional Centre, Shillong for facilities and encouragement. One of us (Shashi Kumar) is also grateful to the Director, BSI, for financial assistance under ‘Flora of India’ project.



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