Anomobryum apiculatum (Schwägr.) D.Bell & Holyoak is a widespread moss from tropical and subtropical areas of the world. It has been also reported from Europe. However, the recent re-evaluation of those records indicate they have been mistaken with unrelated Bryum Hedw. species and thus, its actual presence in Europe is doubtful. During independent bryological surveys, samples from two distant Mediterranean localities in Spain and Israel were collected. These samples differed from any other Bryaceae Rchb. species reported to date but matched the morphological traits described for A. apiculatum, which is here newly reported for Spain and Israel. A detailed morphological study of specimens from the two localities revealed conspicuous variation at vegetative traits related to leaf arrangement and shape. This variation in vegetative traits contrasted with the similarity of tubers. Plants from both populations showed rhizoidal and axillary tubers of the distinctive features described for A. apiculatum s.l., including their large size (166-359 µm), brown to dark-brown colour and strongly protuberant cells. Tuber traits make A. apiculatum readily distinguishable from all other tuberous species of Bryum s.l. in the Mediterranean, including Ptychostomum rubens (Mitt.) Holyoak & N.Pedersen. This latter species also occurs on disturbed soil, and has axillary and rhizoidal tubers with protuberant cells, but with distinctive red colouration. Its leaves have a conspicuous limbidium, and are dentate in the upper part, contrasting with the entire margin and absence of limbidium in those of A. apiculatum. These traits allow a clear differentiation between both species.
Mediterranean, bryophytes, tropical mosses, Bryum, new records