The identification of some thousands of ferns from New Guinea by the late Dr A. H. G. Alston (1940) resulted in the description of but comparatively few new species. His conclusion, that the fern flora of New Guinea ‘is now fairly well known’ may be right in a general way, but continuous collecting performed after his paper was published proved the existence of many more novelties. One of these is a new species of Todea, a representative of the Osmundaceae, a primitive family of ferns, which dates back to the Palaeozoicum (Hirmer, 1938). A recent study by Hewitson (1962) about the comparative morphology of the living Osmundaceae inspired me to make some remarks on the delimitation of the other recent genera.