Nash, T.H., Ryan, B.D., Gries, C., Bungartz, F., (eds.) 2004. Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region. Vol 2.
Life habit: most species lichenicolous, several species corticolous, lignicolous, muscicolous or fungicolous Ascomata: apothecial, normally dispersed on the host, semi-immersed to sessile disc: brown to black, urceolate when young, later +plane margin: mostly distinct exciple: pseudoparenchymatic, composed of cells with pale to dark brown walls, excipular cells in the marginal parts of the exciple normally arranged in radiating rows hymenium: distinct, hyaline, entirely penetrated by a hymenial gel that reacts I+ blue turning red-brown (hemi-amyloid) hamathecium: present as paraphyses; paraphyses: septate, mostly unbranched, only subapically with some ramifications, with enlarged pigmented tips forming an epihymenium hypothecium: pale to dark brown, composed of short-celled interwoven hyphae asci: broadly cylindrical to subclavate, in most species 8-spored, but in a few species polyspored, Dactylospora type [i.e. with marked external gelatinous cap that reacts I+ blue (euamyloid)]; dehiscence: by apical break up of the ascus wall and simultaneous elongation of the gelatinous cap to the hymenial surface ascospores: brown, one-septate to submuriform, normally not distinctly heteropolar, with thin to thick spore walls but always without internal thickenings, several species with delicate verrucose or striate perispore Conidiomata: in general inconspicuous and not observed Secondary metabolites: some species with non-crystallized epihymenial pigments that react with K, some species with pigmented granules dispersed in the hymenium Geography: subcosmopolitan, but with center of distribution in cold to temperate regions, some species widely distributed, others only known from small areas Substrate: lichenicolous species on a wide range of host lichens including species of e.g. Acarospora, Amygdalaria, Baeomyces, Biatora, Brigantiaea, Bryodina, Caloplaca, Catinaria, Icmadophila, Lecanora, Lecidea, Lobaria, Ochrolechia, Pertusaria, Pilophorus, Porpidia, Protothelenella, Pseudocyphellaria, Rinodina, Santessonia, and others. Notes: Dactylospora species may be difficult to distinguish from those of Buellia. Between the two genera exist estonishing similarities in ascoma characters. If the fungus develops on an obligately sterile host lichen, the apothecia of the lichenicolous fungus may even be mistaken for the apothecia of the host. A thorough investigation of the ascal wall is necessary to elaborate if the apothecia in question belong to either a Dactylospora or a buellioid member of Physciaceae (Buellia, Amandinea, Hafellia). As mentioned above, asci of Dactylospora species are provided with external amyloid caps, whereas those of Buellia species are provided with large internal amyloid tholi. Dactylospora asci do not have such an amyloid tholus.