Mosses belong to several classes. These include bryopsida, polytrichopsida, oedipodiopsida, andreaeopsida, tetraphidopsida, andreaeobryopsida, sphagnopsida and takakiopsida. Some of these classes are difficult for the layperson to distinguish.
One way to identify a class of moss is to study its sporophyte, which is a body that emerges after the union of the sperm and egg. The sporophyte is a long stalk with a lidded capsule on top. Beneath the lid and around the edge of the capsule are teeth that may be in a single or double row, though some capsules lack teeth. The shape and the number of teeth can help identify the type of moss.