All of our Plagiochila species like a humid, sheltered situation, but P. punctata is restricted to strongly Atlantic (hyperoceanic) habitat where there is little chance of desiccation or temperature extremes. Only P. exigua is even more demanding. Seek P. punctata in deep wooded ravines in the north and west, on boulders and trees in the spray zones of waterfalls and cascades. If you have lots of Filmy-ferns Hymenophyllum nearby you could be in the right kind of habitat.
Although typical-looking plants are distinctive, P. punctata frequently shares habitat with P. spinulosa and sometimes there’s an overlap in size. However, look at the leaf bases – they are barely decurrent in P. punctata and obviously so in P. spinulosa. P. punctata also often looks very scruffy, owing to its tendency to drop leaves (as vegetative propagules) leaving bare or partially foliated stems.Read the Field Guide account