The gametophyte development and morphology of five Mexican species of Tectaria were documented and compared with what is know from literature reports of the Old world species of Tectaria. Both Old and New World species had the following characteristics in common: spores monolete, ellipsoidal and with a rugose surface; the perine is folded, brown to dark brown, with wing-like folds, and the laesurae measure 1/2 to 3/4 the length of the spore. The germination pattern is of the Vittaria-type and the developmental pattern of the prothallus is of the Aspidium-type. Gametangia are of the common type for the advanced leptosporangiate ferns. The presence of multicellular uniseriate hairs on the gametophytes may represent a synapomorphy for the family.