Specimen growing on base of palm frond.

Thallus endophloedal, pale yellowish; photobiont chlorococcoid/trentepolhioid? (cells solitary or in clumps, yellowish-green, round to ovoid, diam 8.8 mm mean, range 6.3-13.0 mm), in scattered clumps within substrate and below apothecia. Hexagonal, hyaline crystals present; K-, KC-, UV-, I+ orange, PD- (may be independent of fungus; algae reported as often strongly associated w/ P. atrata).
Apothecia growing on exposed phloem fibers, scattered, lecideine, excipular rim prominent, cracked, sessile, constricted at base; diam. 0.6 mm mean, range 0.4-1.0 mm) Disk black, not pruinose, flat to somewhat convex.
Exciple continuous below hypothecium, thickness 40 um lateral, up to 105 um below.
Epithecium blue-black, 25 um thick, K+ greenish; Hymenium hyaline, not inspersed, 155 um high; paraphyses moniliform, branched near tips, colored tips conglutinate and forming a thick epithecium; K-, I and K/I+ pale blue turning orange; Subhymenium hyaline, 20 um wide, K-, I-, K/I-; Hypothecium grayish or hyaline, 40 um wide, K+ green, I-, K/I-.
Asci height 99 um mean, range 85-109 um; width 15 um mean, range 13-15.5 um, 8-spored, tip I- or I+ pale blue, K/I- or + pale blue, tholus I-, K/I-.
Ascospores hyaline, 8-10-celled, curved or straight, tapered at one end; locules round; K/I+ orange; 39.0-46.8 × 7.8 um
Pycnidia (from separate fungus?) abundant, scattered, most abundant near apothecia, sessile, black, diam 58 mm, range 26-112 mm; conidia simple, hyaline, elongate, ~0.5-1 um.


“thallus” w/ apothecia and patches of endosubstratal algae.
Spores in water.
Asci in water.
Spores in K/I
“thallus” squash with algae and 2 pycnidia
Pycnidium with conidia
Ascomatal section with underlying algae
Ascoma section in K, showing K+ green hypothecium
Asci in K/I showing exoascus and tholus as K/I-.
Ascoma section in K/I.

Proposed Names

41% (2)
Based on microscopic features: clumps of algae seen under substrate surface
-7% (2)
Recognized by sight: Endosubstratal thallus with lecideine apothecia bearing prominent, cracked excipular rims.
Based on microscopic features: Spore shape and septation
60% (2)
Based on microscopic features: Needs sequencing to determine genus/species.
77% (1)
Recognized by sight: Apothecia attached to exposed phloem fibers.
Used references: Butler,E T 1940: Studies in the Patellariaceae. – Mycologia\ 32: 791-823.
Yacharoen et al. 2015. Patellariaceeae revisited. Mycosphere 6 (3): 290–326.
Based on microscopic features: Exciple two-layered; outer layer carbonaceous, inner layer hyaline with elongate cells.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
publishing in GenBank
By: Gary Perlmutter (
2020-12-14 07:36:19 PST (-0800)

I’m a proponent of the more info the better, so I would support publishing sequence data in GenBank. Like you said, if nothing else, it can spur further interest and provide a basis for further collecting and study, so that eventually a name gets properly applied. That’s what first excited me about lichenology – the potential for discovery!

Interest… yes, but what to do with the info?
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2020-12-14 07:23:18 PST (-0800)

This is the problem I keep running into. Steve Leavitt has been very generous with sequencing my unknowns from the Great Basin. But what do you do with a sequence that proves that it’s not one of the known sequenced species? Even if your one specimen is good enough for a type (and that’s rarely the case), you still can’t describe it based on that alone. You need to do an exhaustive literature search to make sure it’s not one of the many known species that have not been sequenced yet. And you really need at least a few more specimens.

But I wonder if publishing the sequence on GenBank would still be useful. Then at least, if someone else finds it and sequences it, they’ll immediately see that you have the same thing. How many unknown species do we already have lots of specimens of, but they’re all scattered unpublished in multiple herbaria’s undetermined stacks? There’s a purely informational limitation here, or at least it’s a significant factor. (Obviously, a lot of work still needs to go into study of the specimens and literature and actual description of the new species even if the informational problem is solved.)

By: Gary Perlmutter (
2020-12-14 07:00:39 PST (-0800)

No, I don’t have the training nor resources for sequencing, but am willing to send the specimen to a lab if there’s interest. Pal Bickford (collector) is a student of mine from the Eagle Hill lichen virtual seminar last month.

By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2020-12-14 06:47:17 PST (-0800)

There aren’t many species of Bactrospora with unbroken spores like that. Do you have resources to sequence it yourself?

It’s so cool that there are still undescribed species right there in Mountain View! Is Palma a friend or student of yours?

Leaning Bactrospora
By: Gary Perlmutter (
2020-12-14 06:39:52 PST (-0800)

Hi Jason,

I studied the specimen some more and revised the description and added some images. I sent these to Damien Ertz, and he thinks it could be a Bactrospora, but it should be sequenced.

By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2020-12-12 18:40:46 PST (-0800)

That’s a real stumper!

Nothing new
By: Gary Perlmutter (
2020-12-12 18:26:35 PST (-0800)

This was first posted on iNaturalist, and only I had commented on it. I posted it on Lichens Connecting People, it was suggested that the photobiont is a Trentepohlia based on the yellowish color and shape of the cells. I reached out to Robert Luecking, who said it is not a Sagiolechia as it is not saxicolous, but perhaps a Bactrospora and to ask Damien Ertz. I did and he has no clue, but suggested I take images of apothecial sections and asci under I and K/I, which I plan to. So we are back to square 1.

Any suggestions from other sites?
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2020-12-12 15:42:08 PST (-0800)

Were you able to get any good advice from other sites like iNat or lichens connecting people?

Sagolechia is a good idea
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2020-12-07 08:58:52 PST (-0800)

But you would have noted the I+ red or blue hymenium, presumably, and that feels like an important genus-level character(?) Chris Cassidy just posted a few days before you a questionably lichenized specimen also with multiseptate hyaline spores and asci with thin walls, and we were considered Gyalidea for it, but the lack of carbonization in the exciple likewise seems like an important generic character. Sagiolechia has the right exciple, for sure. Funny how these two similar observations come up so close to each other!

By: Gary Perlmutter (
2020-12-07 08:33:49 PST (-0800)

Sagiolechia or Bacidia s. lat. is what my keys go to as well. Sagiolechia has Trentepohlia, but otherwise, I can’t seem to finda any good descriptions of taxa in that genus to compare against.

It sure does look lichenized
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2020-12-07 08:18:44 PST (-0800)

I really need a key to all ascos (not just lichenized ones), darn it! We could at least get an idea where this thing belongs. Ostropales? My keys keep trying to shove it in a trentepohlioid genus or something like Bacidia which it obviously isn’t.

By: Gary Perlmutter (
2020-12-07 05:15:05 PST (-0800)

It certainly possible that the algae are incidental. I’ll upload more images…

Hi Gary!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2020-12-06 20:07:17 PST (-0800)

I’m pretty stumped by this thing, too. Is there any chance the algae is incidental and this is a nonlichenized fungus? The really tall hymenium and asci really lean that direction in my opinion.