North America, Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, Indian Ocean Islands, primarily in tropical and subtropical regions.
Genera 7, species 16 (1 in the flora).
Four fossil species of Rhachitheciaceae have been reported from Europe.
Rhachitheciaceae also includes the genera Hypnodontopsis Z. Iwatsuki & Noguchi, Jonesiobryum B. H. Allen & Pursell, Rhachitheciopsis P. de la Varde, Tisserantiella P. de la Varde, Uleastrum W. R. Buck, and Zanderia Goffinet. Previously considered allied to the Orthotrichaceae, and including genera formerly assigned to that family or the Pottiaceae, the Rhachitheciaceae have recently been transferred to the Dicranales (B. Goffinet 1997).