Pier Luigi Nims & Martin Westberg
Apparatus of images: Andrea Moro - Software and databases: Stefano Martellos

This is a key to all species of Candelariaceae which are likely to occur in Italy, for a total of 22 species. The key includes species of two genera:
1) Candelaria, a subcosmopolitan genus of 7 species occurring on nutrient-rich or -enriched substrata, 2 of which are known from Europe, including Italy. According to Westberg & al. (2007) the genus is probably polyphyletic and should possibly be restricted to comprise only polyspored species with a lower cortex.
2) Candelariella, a genus first monographed by Hakulinen (1954), presently including c. 50 species growing on many types of substrata, particularly in exposed and nitrogen-enriched sites. The species are a prominent component of the lichen biota on e.g., road-side trees, limestone rocks and in alpine, terricolous habitats. However, the knowledge of the distribution and ecology of individual species is often still very poor. A key to North American species was provided by Westberg & al. (2011), and a treatment of Southwest Asian species by Westberg & Sohrabi (2012). As shown by Westberg & Clerc (2012), a more intense collection and study of European specimens could be a rewarding effort, as there are many interesting discoveries to be made in this rather neglected group of lichens. Seventeen species are known to occur in Italy (see Nimis 2016), but further species are likely to be present. For this reason, the key also includes three species which are known to occur in neighbouring countries, and which should be looked for in Italy: C. aggregata, C. boleana and C. granuliformis.


Hakulinen. R. 1954: Die Flechtengattung Candelariella Mull. Argoviensis, mit besonderer Berucksichtigung ihres Auftretens und ihrer Verbreitung in Fennoskandien. Ann. Bot. Soc. Zool. Bot. Fenn. 'Vanamo' 27, 3: 1-127.
Nimis P.L. 2016. The Lichens of Italy. A Second Annotated Catalogue. EUT, Trieste, 739 pp.
Westberg M., Clerc P. 2012. Five species of Candelaria and Candelariella (Ascomycota, Candelariales) new to Switzerland. MycoKeys, 3: 1-12.
Westberg M., Sohrabi M. 2012. A conspectus of the lichen genus Candelariella (Candelariaceae, Ascomycota) in Southwest Asia with emphasis on Iran. Nova Hedwigia, 95, 3-4: 531-546.
Westberg M., Arup U., Kärnefelt I. 2007. Phylogenetic studies in the Candelariaceae (lichenized Ascomycota) based on nuclear ITS DNA sequence data. Mycol. Res., 111, 11: 1277-1284.
Westberg M, Morse C.A., Wedin M. 2011. Two new species of Candelariella and a key to the Candelariales (lichenized Ascomycetes) in North America. The Bryologist, 114: 325–334.

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