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 Life habit: lichenized; Thallus: crustose, areolate to rimose-areolate, margin thinning at edge; without elongated lobes; prothallus: absent; surface: gray to olive gray, smooth, without asexual propagules; cortex: cellular, thin; Apothecia: adnate, 0.5-1 mm in diam., lecanorine; disc: brown, flat, epruinose; margin: persistent, slightly raised; thalline margin present, concolorous with thallus; proper margin not visible; parathecium: cellular (paraplectenchymatous); exciple below hypothecium amorphous; epihymenium: brown, K+ violet, H+ violet, 10%N + violet, cN+ violet, C+ violet; hymenium: hyaline, 70-100 µm tall; paraphyses: 2-3 tip cells swollen, not branched or with few branches; subhymenium hyaline; asci: cylindrical, 8-spored; ascospores: hyaline, 2 locules, ellipsoid, 14-17 x 7-8.5 µm, isthmus 1.5-3 µm, spore end wall thin; Pycnidia: not observed; Spot tests: apothecial margin K+ violet, H+ violet, 10% N+ violet, cN+ violet, C+ violet; thallus K+ violet, H+ violet, 10%N+ violet, cN+ violet, C+ violet; Secondary metabolites: unidentified anthraquinones and thalloidima green.; Substrate and ecology: on non-calcareous or calcareous rocks; World distribution: North America; Sonoran distribution: southern California and Arizona.; Notes: Caloplaca atroalba has non-stipitate areolate thallus, lack of pruina, thin thallus cortex, and an even algal layer. Some thalli on rough rock are areolate to the margins. On soft sandstone the thallus is irregular and thin and approaches C. oblongula but that species has a lecideine apothecial margin. Caloplaca atroalba may have a thin necral layer on some thalli or, in some cases on soft sandstone, the upper surface is a powdery layer. The thallus is usually thinner than in C. albovariegata. Caloplaca variabilis has pruinose discs or apothecial margins and the dense fine granules are insoluble in KOH. 

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© Lichen Unlimited: Arizona State University, Tempe.

Source: Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region

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