Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z restore

Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Sematophyllum substrumulosum - Bark Signal-moss

Range & Status

Occurs in Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira and S. Europe, reaching Greece in the east and the Netherlands, Belgium, France, SW. Ireland and S. Britain in the north. Reported new to the British Isles from the Isles of Scilly based on specimens collected from 1996 onwards (Holyoak, 1996), but a specimen collected in 1964 in W. Sussex was later identified as this species (Een, 2004). Matcham et al . (2005) suggest it might be an overlooked native species in Britain. However, it seems more likely to be a recent arrival since it appears to be rapidly expanding its range as a colonist in W. Europe having reached the Netherlands

(van Zanten, 2003), Belgium (de Beer & Arts, 2000), SW. Ireland and S. Wales only in the last decade, and it shows signs of continuing range expansion in the Isles of Scilly and into mainland Cornwall.

Regional Distribution

Now known from numerous sites in the Isles of Scilly, two on the Lizard Peninsula (found in 2006 in SW61Y and SW71J) and two sites in E. Cornwall (found in SX05L in 2004, SW83M in 2005).

Habitat & Ecology

Most records in Scilly are on old bark of Monterey Pine Pinus radiata , but small patches have been found on peaty soil on heathland and cliff slopes far from any trees. Recent records from the Lizard are from a sloping stem of Gorse Ulex europaeus in an open roadside hedgerow, and a dead stump of Lawson' s Cypress Chamaecyparis lawsoniana in the edge of a coniferous plantation. The species is autoicous and produces capsules freely, with spores maturing in August, September and later.


Several of the populations in Scilly could be at risk from forestry operations, but the species appears to be increasing and it is not threatened overall.



Click here to see Dr. David Holyoak's Bryophyte Flora for this species


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.