Nash, T.H., Ryan, B.D., Gries, C., Bungartz, F., (eds.) 2004. Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region. Vol 2.
Life habit: lichenized Thallus: filamentous-fruticose, sometimes beard-like, ±furcate or irregularly branched, erect or prostate, sometimes forming rosettes, attached by small holdfasts, gelatinous when wet surface: black, blackish olive or dark brown, dull, branches ±smooth or fine granulose, with few or abundant spinule-like side branches anatomy: ecorticate, entirely homiomerous or with a central strand of ±elongated hyphae, hyphal network running through photobiont trichomes except for the tips, paraplectenchymatous, rectangular or ±irregular; hyphae: short-celled to elongated, angular to roundish, small to large, 5-15 x 2.5-10(-15) µm photobionts: primary one a filamentous cyanobacterium (Stigonema) with true branching pattern, secondary photobiont absent; cells: usually in 3-8 rows Ascomata: apothecial, laminal or terminal, on tip of the filaments, orbicular, sessile to stalked, with distinctly persistent thalloid rim disc: punctiform to finally open, pale green or brown ontogeny: hemiangiocarpous, pycnoascocarps; ascogonia: arising beneath pycnidia exciple: present, thin, hyaline, apically usually widened and pale green or brown, IKI- hymenium: hyaline, IKI+ blue; subhymenium: hyaline, IKI+ blue; epihymenium: hyaline, pale green or brown, K-; elongated conidiophores: functioning as initial paraphyses; true paraphyses: sparsely branched and anastomosing, distinctly septate, terminal cells slightly clavate asci: cylindrical to subclavate, prototunicate, thin-walled, IKI-, 8-16-spored ascospores: simple, hyaline, ellipsoid to broadly ellipsoid, subglobose to globose, rarely bean-shaped, 5-20 x 3-7 µm, thin-walled Conidiomata: absent or present, pycnidial, laminal, immersed, hyaline; walls: simple; conidiophores: simple, cells elongated conidia: simple, ellipsoid or bacilliform, rarely subglobose, simple, c. 2-4.5 x 1-1.5 µm, acrogenous Secondary metabolites: none detected Geography: world-wide Substrate: usually on acidic rock in seepage tracks or along rochy lake shores. Notes: The genus Zahlbrucknerella is similar to Ephebe in external appearance, but differs in its type of filamentous photobiont (Scytonema), that has a false branching pattern and in its type of ascoma ontogeny (Henssen 1963, Henssen 1977). Polychidium is similar as well but differs in its photobiont (Nostoc or Scytonema) and in the presence of a distinct cortex. Fruticose members of the Lichinaceae such as Lichinella spp. and Peccania spp. differ in having a coccoid, cyanobacterial photobiont. Like Ephebe, Spilonema revertens has a Stigonema photobiont, but differs in the presence of a distinct hypothallus composed of a blackish blue-green hyphae and in its Lecanoralean ascus type, septate ascospores and type of pycnidium.
This project made possible by National Science Foundation Awards: #1115116