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 Thallus: chinky areolate; stipe: composed of filamentous hyphae; areoles: c. 1-2 mm broad, up to 0.7 mm high, basally ± constricted, slightly convex, separated by deep cracks, ± angular; marginal areoles: more roundish or slightly incised; upper surface: grayish, lateral parts brown to blackish; upper cortex: c. 15-25 µm thick, continuing laterally, composed of rounded-angular cells (5-9 µm diam.); epinecral layer: thin, causing the pruina; medulla: subparaplectenchymatous, composed of cells 6-10 µm diam.; algal layer: 100-150 µm high; algal cells: 8-15 µm in diam.; lower surface: brown to black; attached with a central stipe as a holdfast; Perithecia: broadly pyriform to subglobose, up to 0.45 mm broad; wall: pale except for the ostiole, browning with age throughout; periphyses: 15-20 x 3-4 µm; asci: clavate, 65-75 x 17-25 µm, 8-spored; ascospores: simple, ellipsoid, 17-24 x 6-8 µm; Pycnidia: immersed; conidia: oblong-subcylindrical, 3-4 x 1 µm long; Spot tests: all negative; Secondary metabolites: none detected.; Substrate and ecology: on rock of different kinds (limestone, granite, sandstone, basalt) from low elevations to 1000 m, often among other crustose lichens, but not truly parasitic; World distribution: SW North America in the mediterranean climate, northwards to Oregon; Sonoran distribution: Arizona, southern California, Baja California and Baja California Sur.; Notes: Within the genus the species is outstanding in its short and rather thickish periphyses. A specimen from Baja California has larger areoles (-4 mm), slightly broader spores (20-24 x 8-9 µm) often with an end attenuated, and larger conidia and may represent a separate species. Placopyrenium noxium has smaller thalli, smaller spores and longer conidia and is a constant parasite on Staurothele areolata. Dermatocarpon lorenzianum may be morphologically similar and has spores of almost equal size, but is easily separated by its prosoplectenchymatous medulla and a lower cortex of anticlinally arranged, strongly conglutinated hyphae. 

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© Lichen Unlimited: Arizona State University, Tempe.

Source: Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region

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