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Aspicilia glaucopsina (Nyl.) Hue
Family: Megasporaceae
Aspicilia glaucopsina image
Thallus: variable, smooth continuous or rimose to areolate or subsquamulose to squamulose, sometimes subimbricate, 1-7 cm in diam., up to 1(-2) mm thick areoles: irregular to rounded or angular, sometimes aggregated, slightly concave to convex, (0.3-)0.5-1.5(-2.4) mm in diam., often rather loosely attached to the substrate prothallus: usually not developed but sometimes thin at the thallus edge, ±fimbriate, up to 0.5 mm wide, brown-black to black surface: variable, olive-brown or brown to gray-green, rarely gray, or brown-black to olive-black, or almost black, sometimes with small white lines or spots, dull or slightly shiny upper cortex: (13-)20-30(-35) µm thick, uppermost part ±brown, (5-)10-15(-20) µm thick, with cells 5-8(-10) µm in diam.; cortex covered with an epinecral layer 5-15(-25) µm thick photobiont: chlorococcoid, cells ±round, 5-18(-22) µm in diam. Apothecia: aspicilioid, immersed to almost sessile, rare to numerous, sometimes aggregated, (0.1-)0.2-0.6-(1) mm in diam., 1-2(-5) per areole, ±round disc: black, ±concave to plane, often with an uneven to rugulose surface (often due to a parasymbiont), without pruina thalline margin: thin, level with thallus to slightly elevated, smooth to subcrenulate, concolorous with thallus or sometimes with a thin, white rim exciple: sometimes elevated, (20-)30-80(-90) µm wide, I-; uppermost cells brown to olive-brown, ±globose, (4-)5-7(-9) µm in diam. epihymenium: green to olive or olive-brown, rarely brown, often with some crystals, N+ green to blue-green, K+ brown to green-brown hymenium: hyaline, I+ persistently blue or partly turning yellow, (100-)120-160(-170) µm tall paraphyses: moniliform, rarely submoniliform, with (2-)3-5(-6) upper cells ±globose, uppermost cell 4-5(-6) µm wide, in lower part 1.5-2 µm wide, not or slightly branched and anastomosing subhymenium and hypothecium: pale, I+ persistently blue or partly turning yellow, overall 30-60(-80) µm asci: clavate, (60-)70-120 x 15-25(-28) µm, (6-)8-spored ascospores: hyaline, simple, ellipsoid, (16-)18-22(-24) x 10-14(-15) µm Pycnidia: rare to rather common, sometimes crowded, immersed to somewhat elevated, 150-350 µm in diam., with a black, punctiform ostiole, 50-100(-160) µm in diam. conidia: filiform, straight or slightly curved, (14-)15-24(-26) x 0.8-1(-1.3) µm Spot tests: cortex and medulla I-, K-, P-, C- Secondary metabolites: none detected by TLC. Substrate and ecology: on soil, mosses, Selaginella bigelowii or disintegrating granite or crumbling rock, in chaparral World and Sonoran distribution: southern California (Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego Counties), at 340-585 m. Notes: Aspicilia glaucopsina grows on soil, mosses or disintegrating granite. It is characterized by a smooth continuous to areolate or squamulose thallus with an olive-brown to gray-green or dark to almost black color. The exciple is I-, the hymenium rather tall and the epihymenium green to olive or olive-brown. The spores are c. 20 µm long, and the conidia variable in size but also centered around 20 µm. Aspicilia glaucopsina is often associated with a parasymbiont of the genus Illosporium. Two specimens analyzed by DNA (ITS) from Riverside County (Knudsen 243; Owe-Larsson 9096), show that A. glaucopsina is related to A. confusa and A. phaea. Aspicilia praecrenata is another species occurring on soil in southern California. It differs from A. glaucopsina by the buff to light brown thallus color, the (2-)3-6-spored asci and the short conidia. Specimens from Tulare Co. (Sequoia National Park, alt. 620-710 m, Wetmore 50907 & 50529, MIN) with an olive to olive-brown or olive-gray thallus color, squamulose areoles and a tall hymenium (170-190 µm) might belong to A. glaucopsina, but this need further study.