Description from Flora of China
Microlepia caudiformis Ching; M. chingii B. S. Wang; M. speluncae (Linnaeus) T. Moore var. hancei (Prantl) C. Christensen.
Plants terrestrial. Rhizome creeping, gray-brown, densely villous with gray-brown, transparent, segmented hairs. Fronds distant; stipe brown-straw-colored or brown-yellow, slightly shiny, 30-40 cm, 2.5-4 mm in diam. at base, glabrous except for slightly scabrous base; rachis, rachillae, and stalk concolorous, scabrous, sparsely gray slender hairy (more so on pinna rachis). Lamina green or yellow-green when dried, 3-pinnatisect, ovate-oblong in outline, 50-60 × 25-30 cm, herbaceous, both surfaces and veins sparsely bristly, apex acuminate; pinnae 10-16 pairs, alternate, 8-10 cm apart, almost spreading, with stalk ca. 3 mm, narrowly winged bilaterally, basalmost pair narrowly triangular, slightly shorter, ca. 10 cm, ca. 5 cm wide at base, middle pinnae 2-pinnatisect, broadly lanceolate, 13-20 × 5-8 cm; pinnules 14-18 pairs, broadly lanceolate, ca. 2.5 × 1-1.4 cm, anadromous, ca. 1.5 cm apart, sessile, equally wide at base, basiscopic pinnules slightly oblique, basal acroscopic pinnules parallel with rachis, slightly broad at base, asymmetrical, basiscopically cuneate, acroscopically truncate, parallel with or covering rachillae, gradually shorter upward, interval pinnatisect almost to small pinna rachis, apex obtuse; lobes 5-7 pairs, basal acroscopic lobe oblong, ca. 7 × 4-5 mm, basiscopic lobes subovate, ca. 5 × 3 mm, progressively shorter distally, base decurrent, somewhat connate, margin narrowly notched, apex obtuse-rounded. Veins abaxially slightly prominent, adaxially obscure, lateral veins slender, pinnate, not reaching margin. Sori orbicular, near acroscopic notch at pinnule bases; indusium gray-brown, nearly reniform, membranous, occasionally hairy.
Bentham (Fl. Hongkong. 461. 1861) misidentified material of Microlepia hancei as Davallia polypodioides (Swartz) D. Don, now a synonym of M. speluncae. The Ferns of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia website (Lindsay & Middleton, http://rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk/thaiferns/ factsheets/index.php?q=Microlepia_speluncae.xml; accessed 28 Mar 2012) treats M. hancei as a synonym of M. speluncae.
Forests, damp places beside streams, roadsides, shrublands; sea level to 1500 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, ?Cambodia, India, Japan (including Ryukyu Islands), ?Laos, Nepal, Vietnam].