A survey is given of the taxonomy, life history and geography of Catenella caespitosa (With.) L. Irv. basedon study of living specimens, culture experiments, study of herbarium material and literature. This species is conspecific with Catenella repens (Lightf.) Batt. and Catenella opuntia (Good. & Woodw.) Grev. and several other taxa. Fragmentation is the most common mode of propagation of C. caespitosa. However, reproduction by tetraspores and by carpospores is also observed. The species is found in the tropics as well a in temperate climates.