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 Thallus: crustose, effuse, rimose-areolate with smooth surface, in section up to 1 mm thick, prothallus: thin, smooth, dark brown; surface: creamy, white or pale brown; cortex: up to 40 µm thick, mainly composed of intertwined slightly brownish hyphae; medulla: white, variable in thickness, composed of loosely interwoven hyphae with many crystals of unknown nature (soluble in K); Apothecia: immersed to adnate, lirellate,; lirellae: simple or slightly branched, straight to curved, scattered, rarely 2-3 aggregated, 0.7-2 x 0.3-0.7 mm; disc: narrow, slit-like; margin: black, thick, entire; excipular lips: often with thin layer of white pruina; exciple: thick, brown and carbonized laterally, rarely extending to the base, carbonized part not well separated from a paler yellow to hyaline cover and the lateral thalline margin; epihymenium: not present; hymenium: hyaline, not inspersed, 100-120 µm tall, I-, K/I-; paraphyses: up to 2.5 µm thick, septate, slightly branched, tips hyaline, not thickened; periphysoids: periphysoid-like hyaline hyphae with smooth surface covering the apices of the carbonized lips; subhymenium: well developed, hyaline to pale yellow, 50-120 µm thick; asci: clavate, 90-110 x 16-20 µm, 8-spored, with uniseriate ascospores when young; ascospores: hyaline, transversely 4-7-septate, oblong ellipsoid to fusiform, 21-28 x 8-11 µm, I-; Pycnidia and conidia: not found; Spot tests: cortex and medulla K+ yellow turning orange-red, C-, KC-, P+ orange; Secondary metabolites: norstictic and connorstictic acids.; Substrate and ecology: on volcanic rock, that are moderately shaded, usually north-facing, vertical or almost vertical and on underhangs; World and Sonoran distribution: coastal areas of southern California and Baja California (probably endemic).; Notes: "Graphis" saxorum differs from all other Graphis species (sensu Staiger 2002) by its I- reaction of the ascospores and the presence of periphysoid-like hyphae, that indicate a closer relationship with the genus Carbacanthographis (Staiger 2002). However, in that genus the periphysoids have a warty surface and the paraphyses are much thinner (at most 1.5 µm wide). Probably this species belongs in a new undescribed genus, but molecular data should be sought before a final decision is made. 


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© Lichen Unlimited: Arizona State University, Tempe.

Source: Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region

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