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Strangospora moriformis (Ach.) Stein
Family: Strangosporaceae
[Arthonia moriformis Ach.,  more]
Strangospora moriformis image
Stephen Sharnoff  
Thallus: usually absent, or irregularly granular, sometimes scurfy surface: pale gray (dirty gray to ash gray or gray-white) algal layer: algae in groups below the apothecia Apothecia: usually numerous, scattered, 0.3-0.5 mm wide, 0.2(-0.3) mm thick disc: black, highly convex, regular true exciple: thin to almost absent epihymenium: blue in all specimens seen hymenium: blue to hyaline, 50-80(-110) µm tall; paraphyses: indistinctly visible in water, strongly conglutinate, 0.5-1 µm wide, +branched, densely anastomosed, with green-brown tips only slightly enlarged to 2-2.5 µm wide subhymenium: gray, 50-70 µm thick asci: saccate, 40-50 x 7-23 µm, with thick walls, especially apically, 100-200(-300) spored ascospores: hyaline, simple, globose, 1.5-2.5 µm in diam. Pycnidia: not seen in Sonoran specimens Spot tests: all negative Secondary metabolites: none detected. Substrate and ecology: on decorticated wood and old mature bark of conifers; on dead branches of chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum) in chaparral World distribution: Europe, Asia, and North America Sonoran distribution: NW Arizona and southern California. Notes: In Sonoran material, the thallus of S. moriformis is absent. It can grow mixed with other lichens on old bark in corticulous communities, and thus be impossible to see in field. Usually it is most easily seen on decorticated wood. When growing alone, the small black convex apothecia are numerous and striking in their regularity of size. It is widespread, but always locally uncommon.