Erect terrestrial ferns of small to medium size. Rhizome an ascending caudex with harsh black roots, clustered stipes, radially symmetric, dictyostelic, covered with harsh, dark, basally attached scales, often producing lateral underground runners. Stipe dark, basally scaly, +/- adaxially grooved, with 2 lateral vascular bundles and a central sclerotic strand, the fronds +/- uniform, stipitate, the lamina deeply bipinnatifid to pinnate, with subsessile or fully adnate pinnae, the pinnae close, generally harsh, stiffly sharp-toothed with several-times-forked veins, the lower veins anastomosing to form 1 or few series of areoles without included free veinlets, usually elongate parallet to the costa. Sori in 1 - 2( - 3) rows, discrete or +/- confluent, oblong or slightly curved, borne on the inside of the outer margin of the costal areoles, protected by an introrse indusium attached to the marginal side of the fertile vein; paraphyses lacking, annulus longitudina, interrupted, of 14 - 16 thickened cells. Spores monolete smooth, pale to dark brown.
Species in Papuasia
|1a.||Rachis with very fine hairs beneath; basal pinnae +/- gradually reduced in size, not noticably spaced out...||D. media|
|Rachis totally glabrous beneath; basal pinnae not very much reduced, the lower few pairs spread out when compared with the remainder of the frond...||D. scaberula|