Nash, T.H., Ryan, B.D., Gries, C., Bungartz, F., (eds.) 2004. Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region. Vol 2.
Thallus: crustose, usually well developed, thin to moderately thick and verrucose or verruculose; prothallus: indistinct verrucae: contiguous or rarely dispersed or partly confluent, convex or depressed-convex, 0.2-0.5(0.8) mm in diam. surface: white or white-glaucescent or gray, shiny or dull, without soredia Apothecia: usually frequent, 0.25-1.25 mm wide, not or scarcely constricted at the base disc: black, plane to convex, often glossy margin: black, epruinose, shiny, usually thin and inconspicuous, entire, not prominent, becoming depressed and then disappearing exciple: toward outside purple-black and K+ distinctly purple but reaction soon fading, toward inside pale to hyaline, composed of thin, radiating, gelatinized, elongated hyphae with lumina c. 1 µm wide, slightly branched and anastomosing epihymenium: dark olivaceous to red-brown or brown-black, N+ red, K+ distinctly purple hymenium: hyaline, c. 60 µm tall, I+ blue then wine red; paraphyses: strongly coherent, gelatinized, with clavate tips, purple, 4-5 µm wide; subhymenium: hyaline to pale yellow-brown, I+ blue then red, with hyphae anticlinal to the disc asci: clavate, with a moderately to strongly thickened apical wall, 8-spored ascospores: hyaline, simple, narrowly ellipsoid to ellipsoid, 8-10(-12) x 3-4 µm Pycnidia: immersed conidia: filiform, arcuate, 11-35 x 0.5-1 µm Spot tests: thallus K+ pale yellow, C-, KC-, P+ red or P-, UV- Secondary metabolites: thallus with atranorin, +fumarprotocetraric acid. Substrate and ecology: usually on wood (e.g. of pines) World distribution: northern and western parts of North America, Europe, and Australia Sonoran distribution: Arizona at 1740-2600 m. Note: Pyrrhospora elabens differs from other species of Pyrrhospora in the region, in that the apothecia appear pure black and very shiny.