Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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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.

Scapania paludicola

Range & Status

The range is mainly circumboreal and continental. It is reported from numerous European countries from the Arctic (Svalbard, Scandinavia) south to Italy and Bulgaria. Known elsewhere from N. Asia, Japan, N. America and Greenland. First recognised as British by Paton (1981), with records from E. Cornwall and Yorkshire. Since then it has been found at several sites in N. Wales.

Regional Distribution

Known only from a specimen collected in a mire SE. of Temple on Bodmin Moor (SX17) in 1964. Not found on a return visit to the site, but possibly still present.

Habitat & Ecology

The Cornish record was from a bog, where it was associated with Sphagnum papillosum Lindb. Elsewhere the species occurs in lowland and subalpine bogs, acid mires, rough pastures and on wet heaths, often growing among Sphagnum such as S. papillosum and S. palustre L. These habitats are much more widespread in Britain than is Scapania paludicola , so that it is difficult to account for its rarity. The species is dioicous and only male plants have been found in Britain.


Potentially at risk from thoughtless collection of specimens and loss of habitat. However, hydrological and other changes to the bogs in which it grows may be the greatest risks.




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.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.