Schistostegaceae Schimp., Coroll. Bryol. Eur. 1855.
Plants small, delicate, light green, in loose tufts. Protonemata well developed, persistent, luminous in dark places. Leafy stems erect-flexuose, unbranched. Sterile stems frondiform, naked below, foliate above; leaves widely spreading, distichous-complanate, oblong to oblong-lanceolate, somewhat asymmetric, acute to acuminate, decurrent and confluent at the base, ecostate; margins plane, entire, slightly bordered; leaf cells oblong-rhomboidal to rhomboidal, thin-walled, smooth. Fertile stems with leaves arranged in 4–5 rows; leaves smaller than those on sterile plants, erect-spreading, lanceolate, clustered at top of the stems, ecostate; margins entire, unbordered, thin-walled, lax, oblong-rhomboidal. Dioicous. Male and female plants grow together on the same protonema. Setae erect, elongate, slender, more or less flexuose; capsules small, ovoid to subglobose, erect, symmetric, smooth; annuli absent; peristome none. Calyptrae minute, conic-mitrate. Spores small, spherical, smooth.
The family consists of a single monotypic genus, Schistostega Mohr. The genus, well known as a luminous moss, was just recently found from China in Changbai Mountain, Jilin province, by a joint Chinese-Canadian expedition team.