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Lecania fructigena Zahlbr.
Family: Ramalinaceae
Lecania fructigena image
Bruce Ryan  
Thallus: bullate-areolate to subsquamulose or papillate, sometimes cracked-areolate and +determinate, not effigurate, 0.2-0.8 mm thick, tightly attached, varying from thin, scattered areoles to a thick, compact thallus; prothallus: visible here and there, thin, brown-black areoles: +round to irregular, +convex to uneven, often crenate, 0.2-1(-2) mm wide, +dispersed to contiguous, becoming divided into secondary verrucae; verrucae: often crowded, knobby, +round to ellipsoid to irregularly, constricted at base, sometimes hollow centrally upper surface: grayish yellow, light yellowish brown, light to dark grayish to yellowish brown, dark grayish brown or moderately gray to brownish black on high points, paler near edges or crevices, unchanged or brown when wet, dull to somewhat shiny, epruinose or almost faintly maculate upper cortex: eucortical, paraplectenchymatous, sometimes with unoriented, slightly conglutinated cells, overall 10-20(-50) µm thick, with uppermost cells (just below epinecral layer) with brown pigmented walls, covered with an epinecral layer 5-40 µm thick medulla: with indiscernible hyphae; algal layer: continuous, 40-250 µm thick, uneven above; algae: 8-12 µm in diam. lower cortex: hyaline or pale lower surface: pale orangish yellow to white Apothecia: broadly sessile or slightly elevated to almost substipitate, 0.5-1(-1.4) mm in diam., sometimes clustered disc: dark brown to dark grayish brown, dark gray to yellowish brown or brownish black to slightly red, moderately yellowish brown when young, paler and browner with dark spots when wet, plane to slightly concave, sometimes becoming convex, dull, mostly epruinose, but young apothecia sometimes pruinose margin: thalline, +concolorous with thallus or light yellow, entire to more often flexuous or crenulate, 0.1-0.2 mm wide, slightly raised to level, +becoming excluded amphithecium: paraplectenchymatous, with c. 3 µm wide., slightly conglutinated cells parathecium: inconspicuous, +thick to very thin, +level, concolorous with disc, finally excluded epihymenium: reddish brown to dark brown, becoming almost colorless in K, the pigment diffuse, subcontinuous hymenium: hyaline, 40-70 µm tall, pale yellowish to brownish, darkening gradually above; paraphyses: +coherent, with cylindrical, c. 5 µm long and 1.5-2 µm wide cells below, apically capitate and up to 3-7 µm wide, rarely branched in the upper part; hypothecium hyaline to pale yellow, with intricate hyphae, 30-50 µm thick in the center asci: clavate to subinflatedclavate, Bacidia-type, 40-45(-50) x (10-)12 µm, 8-spored ascospores: hyaline, (0-)1-septate, 10-15(-18) x (3-)4-5(5.5) µm, oblong to oblong-ellipsoid, sometimes slightly curved, the tips blunt or somewhat pointed Pycnidia: numerous, immersed, 75-150 µm in diam.; wall: pale, brown near ostiole; ostiole: 50-100 µm wide; conidiogenous cells: irregularly branched at base, elongate, cylindrical, c. 2 µm in diam. conidia: filiform, slightly to strong curved, 14-24 x 0.8 µm Spot tests: thallus K+ sordid yellow, C-, KC-, P- Secondary metabolites: none detected. Substrate and ecology: on serpentine cliffs or granite rocks, in coastal to sometimes in maritime areas, often found in spray zones World distribution: west coast of North America from central California to Baja California Sonoran distribution: southern California and Baja California. Notes: Lecania fructigena is a very variable species with a thallus, that may be reduced and thin to thick papillate. The related and very similar L. aipospila occurs also on the west coast of North America, but that species has a more northerly distribution and a more areolate thallus with a weakly effigurate margin. Furthermore, its papillae are less crowded, the margin of its apothecia is mostly entire, and it contains terpenes. Lecania fructigena is characterized by its mainly papillate thallus, varying from thin and dispersed to more thickish and compact, its sessile to almost stipitate apothecia and its numerous pycnidia. In its +typical form, it is relatively easily recognized by its basally constricted papillae, that tend to be darker at the tips, and by its almost stipitate apothecia. Forms, in which the areoles are +plane and not constricted, can be confused with L. inundata, that differs in having a phenocortex, smaller papillae, granular pigment in the epihymenium, more often convex discs, few or no pycnidia, and usually it occurs on calcareous substrates, including artificial ones. For differences with L. pacifica, L. brunonis, and L. subdispersa, see notes under those species. Some material from Baja California, that appears to fit L. fructigena in other respects, has bacilliform conidia (perhaps due to a parasite).