Art. LIII.—New Zealand Musci : Notes on a New Genus.
[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 3rd July, 1895.]
For a considerable number of years I have been practically interested in the New Zealand Musci, and have travelled over a large portion of New Zealand, and been successful in discovering a great number of different species of mosses at present unknown to science. I am now busily occupied in
describing and naming these new mosses, and classifying them in their proper genera. While doing this I have come across a certain moss, collected by me in the upper waters of the River Conway, near Palmer's Pass, Marlborough, which is the subject of this paper. It was growing in patches together with Dicranum tasmanicum and several other mosses. At first sight the capsulès of this moss bore a striking resemblance to those of D. tasmanicum, but on closer inspection I found that it differed in almost every particular from that moss.
The new species is a small pale-green moss, growing in dense patches, and is usually incrusted with a considerable quantity of calcareous matter, owing to the constant percolation of the water through it. The capsule is ovate, with a small mouth; but the interesting point about this moss is its peristome, which has four triangular irregularly - perforated teeth, the perforations being covered by an extremely thin transparent membrane, which is readily seen on staining the peristome.
In the literature available here I have been unable to find any genus in which this plant can be suitably placed; it is therefore proposed that a new one should be created to properly locate it. I have named the new genus Tetraco-cinodon, in reference to its peristome, and this particular plant T. hectori, after Sir James Hector.
Tetracocinodon, gen. nov.
Capsule ovate. Operculum conico-rostrate, oblique. Peristome single. Teeth four, triangular, perforated, with or without a thin transparent membrane over the perforation. Calyptra cucullate.
Tetracocinodon hectori, sp. nov.
Plants small, pale-green, growing in patches, from ¼in. to ½in. high. Stems nearly simple. Branches short. Leaves small, inserted all round the stem, erecto-patent, linear, acute or obtuse, slightly concave. Margins entire. Nerve continuous. Areola—upper small, subrotund; lower oblong, crisped when dry after the lime is washed out, otherwise scarcely altered. Perichætial leaves small erect; innermost smallest, ovate-acute; outer one oblong, tapering into a long, subulate point about half the length of the leaf, nerved, concave. Margins and back minutely papillose. Fruitstalk ½in. high, slightly flexuous, sometimes spirally twisted. Capsule ovate. Mouth small. Operculum narrow, oblique, conico-rostrate, longer than the capsule. Peristome single. Teeth four, triangular, irregularly perforated from immediately below
the apex to near the base, dividing it into from four to five divisions which remain united at the tip; the divisions also being minutely perforated, the perforations having an extremely thin transparent membrane over them. Calyptra very narrow, cucullate.
Hab. Limestone rocks, head-waters of River Conway; February, 1894. Collected by R.B.