In this inaugural blog post, it seems appropriate to talk about the fern I've chosen for my header image. It is a species of Campyloneurum from Costa Rica, where I'm currently taking a course on Tropical Ferns & Lycophytes through the Organization for Tropical Studies, a consortium of colleges and universities from around the world.
Campyloneurum is a genus in the Polypodiaceae, and this species was collected at Las Cruces Research Station, which is maintained by OTS near San Vita, Costa Rica, close to the Panamanian border. Campyloneurum is an epiphyte with simple, entire leaves, veins that form a net (said to be anastomosing), and round sori that lack the covering called an indusium which is found over each sorus in many ferns. In this picture each large round clump is a sorus, and the smaller orange glassy-looking things that are piled up to make it are the sporangia. These contain the spores, and they will dry and split open when the spores are mature and ready to be dispered.