Basionym:Blarneya hibernica D. Hawksw., Coppins & P. James, Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 79: 358 (1979)
Type: Ireland, Co. Kerry, Killarney, Eagles Nest, on Cresponea premnea in dry recess of ancient Quercus, 1966, P. W. James (K!–holotype).
Description: Thallus crustose, superficial, felty, pale greyish or rarely creamy or bluish white, ecorticate, thin, up to 0.3 mm thick; hyphae irregularly branched, hyaline, mainly 1.5–2 µm diam., forming numerous convex to subglobose sporodochia 0.4–1 mm diam. which are white, cream or sometimes with a pinkish or orange tinge, usually fading to white in the herbarium. Sporodochial conidia hyaline, smooth to slightly roughened, 0–1-septate, with rounded or truncate apices, simple conidia ellipsoid to oblong, rarely spherical, (4–)4.5–6.5(–8) × (3–)3–4(–5), l/b ratio 1.3–1.9 (n=60), 1–septate conidia often distinctly constricted at the septum, (6–)7–11.5(–15) × (3–)3.5–4.5(–5) µm, l/b ratio 1.9–2.9 (n=70) (for a detailed description of the conidiogenesis see Hawksworth et al. 1979). Prothallus brown, byssoid, 1–4(–5) mm wide. Photobiont Trentepohlia. Ascomata very rare, sessile, short cylindrical to conical, 0.5–1 mm diam., 0.4–0.6 mm high (excluding the mass of ascospores), 1–1.5(–2) times as wide as high. Thalline margin well-developed, c. 50–60 µm wide, approx. halfway the height of the ascomata, densely inspersed with minute colourless crystals dissolving in K (observed in polarized light), of hyaline hyphae 1.5–2 µm diam. Excipulum 10–25 µm laterally, sometimes thinner or absent below, of dark brown, sparingly branched and interwoven hyphae, 1.5–2 µm diam. Mazaedium well-developed, black, sometimes only slightly projecting over the thalline margin but often extending further. Paraphyses branched, anastomosing, 1.5 µm wide. Asci dissolving at early stages, cylindrical, with eight uniseriate ascospores, 35–45 × 4–5 µm. Ascospores 1-septate, dark-brown, with a heavily pigmented band around the central part, ellipsoid, sometimes constricted at the septum, occasionally with slightly pointed ends, wall thick, (9–)10.5–13.5(–17) × (5.5–)6.5–8.0(–9) µm, l/b ratio 1.4–1.8 (n=110). Pycnidia rare (only observed in Smith T904), present at the margin of the thallus, immersed, visible as brownish spots of c. 0.15-0.3 mm, surrounded by a white thalline margin of c. 50-80 µm thick; pycnidial wall very reduced; pycnoconidia filiform, straight or slightly curved, hyaline, 9–14 × 1 µm.
Chemistry: thallus (incl. margin of ascomata) C+ weakly red, K–, KC+ red, P–, UV– or UV+ orange. Sporodochia C+ red, K+ yellow, KC+ red, P–, UV– or UV+ orange. TLC: lecanoric acid in all specimens examined; in addition, lichexanthone is present in Ertz 11546, 14915 and 14898, the two latter having an obvious UV+ orange thallus; trace of a fatty acid in Diederich 16335. Hawksworth et al. (1979) did TLC of two specimens of Blarneya hibernica when describing that species: the holotype overgrowing Cresponea premnea (sub Lecanactis premnea) and a second specimen overgrowing Lecanactis abietina. They detected lecanoric and schizopeltic acids as major substances, and in addition a xanthone, a fatty acid, and unknown substances fluorescing ice blue and yellow in ultra-violet light. No schizopeltic acid could be detected in our specimens. The holotype of Blarneya hibernica is extremely reduced (3 sporodochia on Cresponea premnea) and therefore does not allow re-examination by TLC. As the second specimen examined by Hawksworth et al. (1979) grows on Lecanactis abietina, a lichen producing schizopeltic acid in large amounts, a contamination of schizopeltic acid from the host is very likely. Therefore, we conclude that the detection of schizopeltic acid in Blarneya hibernica is likely to be the result of a contamination from other lichen thalli.
Notes: Hawksworth et al. (1979) suggested that Tylophoron hibernicum starts as a lichenicolous species overgrowing other lichens, taking over their algae, and eventually developing an independent thallus. All specimens collected by us have large thalli, and therefore we could not confirm that they started growth as a lichenicolous fungus. Tylophoron hibernicum differs from other known Tylophoron species by wider ascospores and, when ascomata are lacking, by a thin, bright to pale greyish or bluish white thallus with a felty surface.
It must be noted here that the New York Botanical Garden Herbarium has published on its website (http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/hcol/lena/index.asp) a picture of a specimen (Lendemer 15891) collected in the USA, Florida, with Blarneya-like sporodochia (but without ascomata) under the name Tylophoron protrudens; the specimen obviously belongs to Tylophoron hibernicum according to the results of our study. It seems that the colleagues in NY had no doubt that their material belongs to Tylophoron but they did not make the "connection" with what Europeans have called Blarneya.
Fertile specimens examined (with ascomata and sporodochia). Ecuador, Galapagos Islands: Santa Cruz, c. 1 km N of Bellavista along dirt road to Media Luna, 143 m, humid zone, farm area, coffee plantation with Cedrella odorata trees and one large Ceiba pentandra tree, on trunk of C. odorata, 2007, D. Ertz 11546 (BR).—USA, Hawaiian Islands: Kailua, east side of Olomana mauka op Kalanianaole Hwy, near Waimanalo Quarry, on dead Acacia confusa, 2008, C. Smith T904, T905 (UPS).
Sterile specimens examined (with sporodochia only). France: Pyrénées-Atlantiques, forêt de Sare between Sare and Col de Lizarrieta, on Quercus, 2006, P. Diederich 16335 (herb. Diederich).—Spain: Navarra, 20 km E of San Sebastian, col d’Ibardin, on Quercus in old forest in valley, 1991, P. Diederich 9761, 9762 & J. Etayo (herb. Diederich).—Democratic Republic of Congo: Equateur Prov., Lisala, quelques km en aval de Lisala sur la rive droite du fleuve Congo, 350 m, forêt secondaire dense sur sol sec à hydromorphe, sur gros tronc, 2009, D. Ertz 14133 (BR); Orientale Prov., Kisangani, réserve forestière de Masako située dans une boucle de la rivière Tshopo à environ 14 km au NNE de Kisangani, gros tronc de Gilbertiodendron, 2009, D. Ertz 14898 (BR); ibid., gros tronc près de la station de recherche, D. Ertz 14915 (BR).—USA: Florida, Everglades National Park, along the road from Florida city to Flamingo, Mahogany Hammock trail, 7 m, big trunk in a small patch of forest, 2005, D. Ertz 9074 (BR).—Ecuador, Galapagos Islands: Santa Cruz, abandoned farm along the northern part of the loop road from Bellavista to Garrapatero, 143 m, humid zone, overgrown farm area with introduced trees, trunk of Persea americana (ca. 40 cm in diam.), 2006, F. Bungartz 3703 (CDS 27558); along the road from Bellavista to Baltra, between Bellavista and Santa Rosa, close to the road, 571 m, humid zone, agricultural area, farmland with an alley of large Cedrela odorata trees, trunk of Syzygium sp. (ca. 65 cm in diam.), 2006, F. Bungartz 3931 (CDS 27813); ibid., trunk of Cedrela, A. Aptroot 64494 (CDS 31066); on farm N of Bellavista, 250 m, humid zone, agricultural area, trunk of Psidium, 2005, A. Aptroot 63329 (CDS 30073); along road from Bellavista to El Garrapatero, ca. 4 km W from the campsite of the National Park, 159 m, dry zone, decidous dry lowland forest, trunk of Erythrina velutina (ca. 25 cm in diam.), 2006, F. Bungartz 3571 (CDS 27370); San Cristóbal, trail to Ochoa, at the border of the National Park, ca. 1 km N of El Progreso, 297 m, transition zone, agricultural area, farm with Citrus sp., Inga schimpfii, Coffea arabica and Ciruela trees, trunk of Inga schimpfii, 2008, F. Bungartz 8638 (CDS 41284).
from: Ertz, D., Bungartz, F., Diederich, P. & Tibell, L. (2011) Molecular and morphological data place Blarneya in Tylophoron (Arthoniaceae). The Lichenologist. 43(4): 1–12.