Observation 68273: Graphis elegans (Borrer ex Sm.) Ach.

When: 2011-05-28

Collection location: Sintra, Portugal [Click for map]

Who: zaca

No specimen available

Specimen living on a smooth barked tree, which I think is a Fagus.
Chemical reactions: K+ yellow turning red, C-, KC-.
The spores are really nice: thick-walled, transversally 9-septate, at least all that I could see the interior, with the following average measures:
Me = 41.5 × 7.7 µm ; Qe = 5.5 (N=33).
The paraphyses are longer that the asci and terminate will a globose dark brown cell.
The slides were mounted in NH4OH with a drop of congo red.


Apothecial sections.

Proposed Names

-29% (1)
Recognized by sight
29% (1)
Recognized by sight
62% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: Sonoran Flora (see comment)

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Congratulations, Jason.
By: zaca
2011-05-30 15:48:40 CDT (-0500)

Firstly thank you for putting the keys to the “script lichens” accessible and all the notes on this specimen.
I think you was able “to hit the nail on the head”. After your reply I saw in Irish lichens the characteristics of the species Graphis elegans and, although the photos of the thallus doesn’t seems very similar to my specimen (where no furrows are visible), the photos from the microscopy are very similar to mine and, in particular, the form of the spores (which are mostly 11-sepate as far as I could see), their dimensions, the brown tips of paraphyses, all agree with what I have observed. I also saw the description of the species in CNALH and I think all the observed features match, in particular, the spot tests, the spores, and the paraphyses (the brown tips are mentioned there).
Thus I believe that G. elegans is a good choice.

Aha! Try _Glyphis instead…
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-05-30 09:13:36 CDT (-0500)

Generic key to “script” lichens (from Sonoran Flora):

1a. spores simple . . . Xylographa
1b. spores septate or muriform . . . 2

2a. spores multiply septate [or muriform] with lenticular to spherical cells, spore walls therefor irregularly thickened . . . Graphidaceae
2b. spores muriform or septate with blocky cells and spore walls evenly thickened . . . 3

3a. spores 1-septate and ~brown when mature . . . Melaspilea
3b. spores 3- or more-septate or muriform . . . 4

4a. ascomata with clear or pale hyphae only . . . “Chiodecton
4b. ascomata with at least some layers of black hyphae . . . 5

5a. ascomata with thalline margin . . . Roccellaceae
5b. ascomata without thalline margin . . . Opegraphaceae s. lato

Key to genera of Graphidaceae:

1a. mature spores brown . . . Phaeographis
1b. mature spores clear . . . 2

2a. ascomata at least partially carbonized (black and brittle) . . . 3
2b. ascomata not carbonized . . . 5

3a. ascomata fissurine (like a fissure or crack in thallus), margin rudimentary . . . ??? (illegible!)
3b. ascomata with distinct carbonized margins . . . 4

4a. disc open, cinnamon brown, granular, paraphyses tips brown . . Glyphis
4b. disc closed, if visible then dark brown or white pruinose, paraphyses tips hyaline to light brown but not granular . . . Graphis

5a. hymenium amyloid (I+ blue), paraphyses tips forming epihymenium, disc pruinose if visible, thallus ecorticate . . . Glaucinaria
5b. hymenium nonamyloid (I-), paraphyses tips warty or undifferentiated, thalline margin jutting over the hymenium, thallus corticate . . . 6

6a. spores thin-walled, ~elongate . . . Acanthothecis
6b. spores thick-walled, ovoid, 4-celled or muriform . . . Fissurina

Your spores are multiply septate with lenticular cells, therefor clearly in the Graphidaceae. Your spores are colorless, the ascomata have black walls, and your paraphyses have brown tips — that should make it Glyphis not Graphis (which supposedly has colorless paraphyses).

Problem is, Glyphis has no “secondary chemistry”, i.e., all species are K-. Reading more about Graphis, I see there are mistakes in the above keys (which I’ve now tried to remedy! arg). In particular, Graphis can have light brown paraphyses tips. The key seems to actually be the texture: Glyphis is supposed to have gelatinous thick-walled paraphyses which stick together, Graphis has… well, it doesn’t mention anything about the “anastomosing with swollen outer walls and brown-granular tips” paraphyses that characterize Glyphis.

Anyway. Going back to Graphis like we originally thought… According to the Sonoran Flora (if we still trust it as far as we can throw it), the only species with nonmuriform spores on wood with K+y-r thallus is Graphis elegans. I hesitate to look more closely… but yes, it specifically mentions that it is found in “oceanic regions of western Europe”. Let’s go with it! :)

Time has come … and, Jason, can you help me?
By: zaca
2011-05-29 15:14:31 CDT (-0500)

Last year I posted here a Lichen of the Graphidaceae family (see Observation MO50081). At the time I was not aware of the diversity of lichen in this group, I asked Jason some advise about prepararing a slide to observe under the scope and I promised that “Someday I will try”. Now, time has come and I decided to observe a recent collected specimen. As a consequence new problems arrised. In fact, I was able to observe a sufficient amount of spores, but it is hard to achive information about the genus to which the specimen belongs, because the keys I could find are to technical and use some keywords that I can hardly understand. Jason, can you give me some help with this?

Created: 2011-05-29 15:14:02 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2011-05-30 15:52:16 CDT (-0500)
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