Nash, T.H., Ryan, B.D., Gries, C., Bungartz, F., (eds.) 2002. Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region. Vol 1.
Thallus: irregular, rarely orbicular, small, up to 1 cm diam., ± loosely adnate, rarely confluent with other thalli to form bigger patches lobes: ± ascending, narrow, up to 1 mm, but usually around 0.5 mm, sometimes widening at tips; margins: rarely having gray to black cilia upper surface: gray to dark gray or brownish, without pruina, with white to black hairs, sorediate soredia: in terminal to marginal soralia, which when well developed widen the lobe tips, occasionally covering the whole lower surface of the lobe upper cortex: paraplectenchymatous medulla: white lower cortex: prosoplectenchymatous lower surface: white to brownish, with few white to black rhizines Apothecia: rare ascospores: brown, 1-septate, Pachysporaria-type (15-) 16.5-21 (-22.5) x (7.5-) 8-10.5 (-12) µm Pycnidia: not common, immersed, appearing as black warts conidia: subcylindrical, 4-6 x 1 µm Spot tests: cortex K+ yellow, C-, KC-, P+ yellow; medulla K-, C-, KC-, P- Secondary metabolite: upper cortex with atranorin. Substrate and ecology: growing both on rocks and trees in open situations World and Sonoran distribution: presently known from Baja California and southern California. Notes: Physcia tenellula is closely related to P. tenella (Scop.) DC and has previously been identified as the latter species. They differ, however, in size and presence of hairs on the upper surface. The restricted distribution to the islands outside the coast also gives evidence for P. tenellula being a separate taxon.