Thallus: filamentous-fruticose, branches terete, pointed, forming appressed or loosely attached, ±irregularly shaped rosettes, 5-10 mm in diam. filaments: old and basal parts 75-125 µm wide with rows of large, roundish mycobiont cells, 5-15 x 5-10(-15) µm wide; younger parts and side branches (25-)50 µm wide with short-celled, rectangularly arranged hyphal cells, 2.5-5 x 2-3 µm wide upper surface: blackish blue-green or brown, dull, lobes finely granulose with few short, spinule-like side branches isidia: absent, but short side branches may appear isidia-like lower surface: concolorous with upper surface, attached by small, sometimes pale green gelatinous holdfasts Apothecia: not seen in the Arizona material and not reported from the Colorado samples (Henssen 1963), elsewhere ±sessile, lateral, up to 0.2 mm wide, with a persisting thalline margin; proper exciple: present asci: cylindrical, thin walled, IKI-, 16-spored ascospores: simple, hyaline, ellipsoid, 7-11 x 3.5-7 µm Pycnidia: not seen in the Arizona material conidia: small, bacilliform, 1.5-3 x 1 µm Spot tests: all negative Secondary metabolites: none detected. Substrate and ecology: on sandstone in moist habitats World distribution: North America, Tanzania, China, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand Sonoran distribution: central Arizona at intermediate elevations in the mountains. Notes: Ephebe perspinulosa is quite similar, but forms more erect tufts and has branches with numerous short side-branchlets. The anatomy in old branches consists of a loose paraplectenchyma of small fungal cells. Ephebe hispidula, like E. perspinulosa, has numerous side branchlets. The main branches are more robust (100-220 µm wide) having a reticulate hyphal pattern with elongated and roundish cells. Thalli of Ephebe lanata (L.) Vain. differ in its combed appearance, in the presence of a central strand of elongated hyphae in basal branches and elongated, ±collar-like hyphae in the tips. For separation from other dwarf-fruticose cyanobacterial lichens see genus notes.