Observation 121500: Aspilidea Hafellner

When: 2012-12-24

Collection location: Serra de São Mamede, Portugal [Click for map]

Who: zaca

No specimen available

This specimen was growing on an abandoned piece of porcelain toilet. The photos are all I have from this observation, but after red the description in the “British Flora” and see the photos in “Stridvall” of the species Buellia aethalea I believe this is it.


2014-10-25-Revisited: Main specimen (close-up);
2014-10-25-Revisited: Main specimen;
2014-10-25-Revisited: New specimen;
2014-10-25-Revisited: A broken thallus;
2014-10-25-Revisited: Main specimen sample;
Microscopy: Apothecial section;
Microscopy: Alga;
Microscopy: Asci;
Microscopy: Asci (set);
Microscopy: Spores.
Microscopy: Details (Asci and moniliforme paraphyses).
Microscopy: Details (Asci and moniliforme paraphyses).

Proposed Names

-87% (1)
Used references: “British Flora”: The Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland, Smith et al., The Bristish Lichen Society, 2009; Stridvall.
29% (1)
Recognized by sight
58% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: See the comments
Based on microscopic features
Based on chemical features

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
also thanks to Jason
By: Richard Droker (wanderflechten)
2017-11-22 18:08:29 PST (-0800)

Thanks to Jason for information on large variation. Look forward to seeing Tim’s paper.

Looking at photos online, including Jason’s on waysofenlichenment, find some that are relatively similar in appearance to the one I misidentified.

I’ll post what seems to me a typical (and very abundant) B. alpina in the WA Cascades.

Dear Richard,
By: zaca
2017-11-14 13:40:03 PST (-0800)

Thanks for the update about your specimen.

Bellemerea alpina is heterogeneous
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2017-11-14 12:46:03 PST (-0800)

I believe Tim Wheeler has a paper in the queue doing a phylogenetic revision of the group. In any case, I find a great deal of variation in norstictic-containing Bellemerea. So I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you ran across an anomalous specimen.

my specimen was most probably incorrectly identified
By: Richard Droker (wanderflechten)
2017-11-14 12:39:46 PST (-0800)

Cleaning up my old e-mail I came across your original message, which prompted me to let you know of a message I got from Bruce McCune -“I was looking at images of Aspilidea myrinii on the web and saw yours, that I think is Bellemerea alpina.” I assume Bruce is right. Perhaps I’ll look at the specimen again just to make sure, as it looked different from the B. alpina which I commonly see.

Some more details.
By: zaca
2015-09-14 10:56:26 PDT (-0700)

I was looking again to the photos taken from the microscopy and found that the paraphyses are more or less well visible, being moniliforme not or slightly enlarged at the apices. I upload two photos more.
For the hymenium I measured ~130-140 um tall.

Dear Richard,
By: zaca
2015-09-14 03:19:07 PDT (-0700)

Thanks for your comment and for the update of the data related to Aspilidea myrinii on flickr. It seems to me that, definitely, the spores of my specimen are to big for that species.

I did perform the spot tests and the result was K+ yellow to red (very quick). I didn’t observed it under the micro, but I’m confident about the result.

The substract over which this specimen grew is a very improbable one, due to the polishment of the porcelain. It is curious that when I revisited the specimen (October 2014) I also found a Xanthoparmelia living on glass (see observation 186897), another improbable substract, again due to the inexistence of points for the fixation of a lichen.

Presently I don’t have the specimen with me (only in some weeks time), but I intend to go back to the microscopy and collect more data from it.

Thanks again,

interesting lichen – wish I knew
By: Richard Droker (wanderflechten)
2015-09-13 20:57:20 PDT (-0700)

I’ve added data for my specimen, see https://www.flickr.com/photos/29750062@N06/19234283350/

If you haven’t done so the norstictic acid K reaction would be useful.

I like finding lichens on unusual substrates. Also, great photos. I really like the 3rd one in particular.

I had no other sources …
By: zaca
2015-09-09 14:19:50 PDT (-0700)

all I knew was given at the previous message. I just found that species very similar to my specimens and, since these are gorgeous, I didn’t yet quit to find a name for them.
Thanks, Jason, for your comment and the references therein.

Nice! Gorgeous species
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2015-09-09 13:40:39 PDT (-0700)

And, I can’t help but notice that Aspilidea myrinii was once placed in Aspicilia… :) Do you have any literature on this genus? I can’t find anything useful. It looks like the genus was described in some (minor?) checklist of Austrian lichens:

Hafellner, J. & R. Türk. 2001. Die lichenisierten Pilze Österreichs – eine Checkliste der bisher nachgewiesenen Arten mit verbreitungsangaben. Stapfia 76: 1-167.

And it’s “neotypified” (the original description didn’t mention a type) in Nordin et al’s 2010 paper:

Nordin, A., S. Savić & L. Tibell. 2010. Phylogeny and taxonomy of Aspicilia and Megasporaceae. Mycologia 102(6): 1339-1349.

I have this paper, and it isn’t particularly helpful. It just shows that Aspilidea is not actually that closely related to Aspicilia after all. (Darn!)

I never forgot the old “thorn in my side”…
By: zaca
2015-09-09 09:16:08 PDT (-0700)

Recently I found some information that can be relevant for this observation. At the following websites
https://www.flickr.com/... [By Richard Droker]
http://mycologie.catalogne.free.fr/cadre.htm [by Serge Poumarat]
I found photos of the species Aspilidea myrinii, complemented with some more information at
As can be seen the photos are very similar to those of my specimen. The existence of a black prothallus in my specimens was intriguing for me, but the photos by Richard Droker also present such feature; the radiating pattern in my specimens can be a consequence of the very polished material (porcelain) where they grew. The description of the above cited species at AFL only is not a perfect match (including the chemistry that I forgot to mention in my previous messages) because my spores are a bit bigger than those given at AFL (12-20 × 7-11 µm). Thus, I thought that if not the species at least the genus was found. The problem now is that I could not find any other species in this genus (none appears at Index Fungorum). Regarding this observation I will propose Aspilidea, which is by far more informative than Lichen.

Jason, at first I was a bit surprised …
By: zaca
2014-11-28 13:45:30 PST (-0800)

with your proposal, but then I realised that no other is better.
I will comeback to the microscopy one of this days, but really I don’t know what to expect: aacording to the British Flora, the genus Koerberiella is characterized by the I- reaction on the spores walls and, on the other hand, the Porpidia-like ascus has an I+ reaction on the thollus.
I was a bit desapointed when I saw there the description of the monotypic genus Koerberiella (K. wimmeriana is the species referred), because it is explicitly mentioned that apothecia are non-pruinose and this is not the case of my specimens. However I did a search on the web and found a photo of K. pruinosa Nav.-Ros. & Hafellner (see http://liquenesdealmeria.blogspot.pt/...), which if the name is consistent should be pruinose. However, I was not able to find a description of it.
Let me also mention that at the same site I found photos of a species that I’m used to oberve here, Aspicilia contorta whose squamulas almost desappeared and the areolas are very much similar to those of my specimen (see http://liquenesdealmeria.blogspot.pt/...). So, it is my feeling that, at the end, your guess should work.

Genus related to Aspicilia or Porpidia maybe?
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-11-27 09:01:08 PST (-0800)

The apothecia clearly have algae in the rims. Lecanora would be too obvious… and wrong, I think, because the Melzers should have turned everything blue. The Melzers (lack of) reaction suggests Aspicilia to me. I think there might be other related genera to consider, too. (Because it really doesn’t look like Aspicilia.) Are you getting good at reading ascus stains?? Another option you might consider are the ones with Porpidia-type ascus. There are a few genera in that group with aspicilioid or lecanorine apothecia: Koerberiella, Bellemerea, Amygdalaria(?) (I was just looking at these in the British Flora, but forget the list of genera with thalline margins. Check the notes under Koerberiella and follow the leads found there.)

By: zaca
2014-11-01 11:41:52 PDT (-0700)

Almost two years later I returned to the place of this observation. The abandoned material of some works still stands there, including (I think) the piece of porcelain where the specimen of this observation grows. Meanwhile the specimen developed and lost some of the small specimens at the periphery, but comparing carefully the photos is possible to recognize it. This time I didn’t hesitate and brought home the part of the big piece containing the specimen, though I had to destroy some of the specimens.
Passing to the microscopy the big surprise occured even observing the apothecial section. What I was seeing as nothing to do with Buellia. I think this is a typical example of what can happen when trying to identify a lichen only from the photos.

What it is? … I don’t know. The spores are somewhat strange, because they look muriform, at least at maturity, but adding a bit of Melzer to the preparation one ends with simple spores. Their dimensions are:
(17.8) 19.8 – 26.5 (28.2) x (9.7) 11 – 13.8 (16) um
Q = (1.6) 1.62 – 2.27 (2.3) ; N = 30
Me = 23.7 × 12.4 um ; Qe = 1.9.

Created: 2012-12-29 05:28:14 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2015-09-14 10:58:53 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 182 times, last viewed: 2018-04-07 06:56:45 PDT (-0700)
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