Description: Thallus squamulose, heteromerous, polyphyllous, rather loosely attached, forming compact mats. Squamules 2-7 x 1-2 mm, flattened, smooth, contiguous, ascending, imbricate; upper surface pale ochre-brown to dark brown, matt; lower surface dark, attached by sparse dark rhizines, with dark hyphal strands connecting the individual squamules. Upper cortex pseudoparenchymatous; medulla white. Perithecia half immersed in the squamules, 0.2-0.4 mm across, the upper part black, without involucrellum, the lower part paler. Paraphyses absent, substituted by periphyses; hymenium I+ red, K/I+ blue, hymenial algae globose to broadly ellipsoid. Asci (1-)2-spored, clavate to cylindrical-clavate, bi- and fissitunicate, thin-walled, the wall non-amyloid. Ascospores muriform, long remaining pale, only finally turning brown, ellipsoid, 34-52 x c. 20 µm. Photobiont chlorococcoid (Stichococcus, present in both thallus and hymenium). Spot tests: thallus and medulla K-, C-, KC-, P-, UV-. Chemistry: without lichen substances.
Note: this species, described from Finland, is very similar to E. adscendens, differing in the dark rhizines and the paler spores; it is also known from the Austrian Alps; the Italian sample was collected by A. Buschardt in Vinschgau-Val Venosta, above the castle of Goldrain, at c. 800 m.
Growth form: Squamulose
Substrata: soil, terricolous mosses, and plant debris