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Cyphelium pinicola Tibell
Family: Caliciaceae
Cyphelium pinicola image
Stephen Sharnoff  
Thallus: well developed superficial or almost immersed into the substrate, verrucose, variable in thickness surface: intensely greenish yellow cortex: 11-32 µm thick, consisting of hyaline, gelatinized hyphae and densely inspersed with small yellow crystals Apothecia: shining black, without pruina, 0.4-0.7 mm in diam., sessile, constricted at base margin: well developed, usually somewhat inflexed over mazaedium, shiny black, epruinose exciple: composed of dark brown, sclerotized, irregularly interwoven hyphae, 45-90 µm thick laterally, 120-160(300) µm thick at the base, extending deep down into the thallus hypothecium: indistinctly delimited, excipular margin constricted asci: cylindrical to narrowly clavate, persisting for a relatively long time, until the spores are nearly ripe, 35-55 x 5-7 µm, 8-spored, with spores uniseriately or sometimes biseriately arranged ascospores: dark brown when mature, 1-septate, slightly constricted at septum, ellipsoid, 13-15 x 7-9 µm, smooth when young but surface of mature spores slightly uneven or with a few irregular and rather shallow fissures, giving a rimose-areolate appearance but without striation pattern Spot tests: thallus K-, C-, KC-, P- Secondary metabolites: thallus with rhizocarpic acid. Substrate and ecology: on dry twigs of Pinus, rarely on wood or bark of Betula, Pinus and Larix, in open situations, mainly at the edge of bogs and pine heaths in areas with a continental climate, at moderate to high elevations, especially in the subalpine zone World distribution: widely distributed but rare in cool temperate and temperate areas of the western Northern Hemisphere in Europe and North America Sonoran distribution: southern California. Notes: Cyphelium pinicola is characterized by an intensely yellowish green thallus, its cylindrical asci, its sessile ascomata and an exciple that is thickened at the base. In the general morphology of the apothecia, it resembles C. lucidum, but C. pinicola differs by having verrucose, not subareolate thalli, the presence of rhizocarpic instead of vulpinic acid, its naked (not yellow pruinose) apothecia, and by a different surface structure of the spores. In the structure and color the thallus, it is very similar to that of C. tigillare, but the exciple and spore structures of that species are quite different (Tibell 1969 & 1971).