A systematic revision of the tropical moss genus Papillaria was carried out by combining morphological studies with phylogenetic reconstructions based on molecular data from the plastid (trnL-F and rpl16) and the nuclear (ITS region) genomes. For the morphological study a set of qualitative and quantitative features was studied in over 2800 herbarium specimens, including the types, of all 55 previously accepted species in the genus. After revision, nine species of Papillaria were recognized, Papillaria crocea and P. flexicaulis which are broadly distributed in the tropics, P. africana that is endemic to Africa, P. laevifolia that is known from the Americas, and P. flavolimbata, P. funiformis, P. leuconeura, P. nitens, and P. zeloflexicaulis that are known from Australia and the Pacific Islands. The majority of the other previously accepted names do not belong to Papillaria s. s. but to the closely related genera Toloxis and Meteorium. We propose five new synonyms under P. africana as well as one new synonym for P. crocea and one for P. laevifolia. The revision reduced the number of Papillaria species in Africa from ten to one and in South America from thirteen to three. We extend the geographic range of P. crocea due to a new record from eastern South America (Brazil).
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Vol. 45 • No. 3