Muscol. Germ., 562. 1833
Phenology: Capsules mature early-mid fall.
Habitat: Tree bark, at base, soil, rock
Elevation: low to moderate elevations
Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Ala., Ariz., Ark., Colo., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Mexico, West Indies (Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica), Central America (Belize, Guatemala), Europe, Asia (India, e Russia, Turkey).
Anomodon attenuatus is a rather polymorphic species producing abundant sporophytes in North America. The attenuate branches, sometimes arcuate and seldom ascending, are distinctive. However, this character is sometimes lacking; in some specimens the branch apices become slightly capitate and incurved. Robust plants of A. attenuatus might be mistaken for those of A. viticulosus as both have acute leaf apices. They can be distinguished by their branch morphology: prostrate and complanate in A. attenuatus, ascending and robust in A. viticulosus. Also, the leaf shape is different in both species: lanceolate and with no constriction in A. attenuatus, broadly ligulate, abruptly narrowed from a broadly ovate base in A. viticulosus. The costa in A. attenuatus also lacks the thick, aligned papillae on the dorsal surface. A consistent character in fertile plants is the absence of gametangia beyond the most recent branching points (they are never formed in the youngest branches). The branching pattern is often of several orders of successive branching, in stepwise fashion; the endostome is papillose.