Pier Luigi Nimis & Domenico Puntillo
Apparatus of images: Andrea Moro - Software and databases: Stefano Martellos

This is a key to all foliicolous lichens hitherto reported from Italy (see Nimis 2016), for a total of 31 species, excluding nitrophilous Xanthorion-species which may occasionally occur on evergreen leaves in strongly eutrophicated situations.
Foliicolous lichens are those which grow on living leaves or leaf-like organs (Santesson 1952). They are widespread throughout tropical and subtropical areas, mainly in rainforests, but also occur in extra-tropical areas, mostly in evergreen broadleaved forests with subtropical affinities (Sérusiaux 1989; Lücking 2003; Lücking et al. 2003). In southern Europe, foliicolous lichens are often considered as a relic of more humid climates during Tertiary times (Sérusiaux 1989), being restricted to particular environmental conditions related to moisture, light and temperature (Sérusiaux 1989; Puntillo et al. 2000), which are most frequent along the Atlantic coasts and in Macaronesia (Sérusiaux 1993, 1996; Llop & Gomez-Bolea 2006). The foliicolous lichens of Italy, where many species are known from a single locality in coastal Campania (gorge of the river Bussento), have been treated by Puntillo & Ottonello (1997), Puntillo & Vězda (1994), Puntillo (2000), Puntillo et al. (2000), and Etayo & Puntillo (2011). A key to the the Byssoloma species of Macaronesia, which includes all species known from Italy, has been published by Breuss (2016).


Breuss O. 2016. Key to the Byssoloma species (lichenised Ascomycota, Pilocarpaceae) known from Macaronesia. Österr. Z. Pilzk.. 25: 95-99.
Etayo J., Puntillo D. 2011. Pyrenula relicta sp. nov. (Pyrenulales, Ascomycotina), a new European lichen species. Fl. Medit., 21: 243-246.
Llop E., Gòmez-Bolea A. 2006. Foliicolous lichens and associated lichenicolous fungi in the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula: The effect of environmental factors on distribution. Lichenologist, 38(1): 55-65.
Lücking R. 2003. Takhtajan’s floristic regions and foliicolous lichen biogeography: a compatibility analysis. Lichenologist, 35: 33–54.
Lücking R., Wirth V., Ferraro L.I., Cáceres, M.E.S. 2003. Foliicolous lichens from Valdivian temperate rain forest of Chile and Argentina: evidence of an austral element, with the description of seven new taxa. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 12: 21–36.
Nimis P.L. 2016. The lichens of Italy. A second annotated catalogue. EUT, Trieste, 740 pp.
Puntillo D. 2000. I licheni foliicoli e i loro fungi lichenicoli in Italia. Allionia, 37: 241-248.
Puntillo D., Ottonello D. 1997. A new foliicolous lichen station in Italy. Lichenologist, 29: 388–390.
Puntillo D., Vězda A. 1994. Some foliicolous lichens new to Calabria. Webbia, 49: 125-131.
Puntillo D., Bricaud O., Sérusiaux E. 2000. A further locality with foliicolous lichens in Italy, with taxonomical and ecological data on foliicolous lichens in Western Europe. Cryptogamie Mycologie, 21: 171-186.
Santesson R. 1952. Foliicolous lichens I. A revision of the taxonomy of the obligately foliicolous lichenized fungi. Symb. Bot. Upsal., 12: 1-590.
Sérusiaux E. 1989. Foliicolous lichens: ecological and chorological data. Bot. J. Linnean Soc., 100: 87-96.
Sérusiaux E. 1993. New taxa of foliicolous lichens from Western Europe and Macaronesia. Nordic J. Bot., 13: 447-461.
Sérusiaux, E. 1996. Foliicolous lichens from Madeira, with description of a new genus and two new species and a world-wide key of foliicolous Fellhanera. Lichenologist, 28: 197-227.

Last modified: July, 5th, 2021

Project Dryades, Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste - CC BY-SA 4.0