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

Thelocarpon is a mainly northern-temperate genus of c. 25 species, usually found on soil, but also on bark, wood and rock, rarely lichenicolous. Several species are ephemeral, the ascomata and thalline warts appearing after fire or other disturbance, and disappearing in weeks. The genus is characterised by a chloroccoid photobiont (which may be absent), pale fragile ascomata, multispored asci and minute, mostly simple ascospores. Variation in ascocarp morphology and especially ascus structure suggested polyphyly, but the molecular study by Lumbsch & al. (2009) has proved its monophyly. The genus is currently classified in the Thelocarpaceae, but its precise phylogenetic placement within Pezizomycotina still remains unknown (Miadlikowska & al. 2014). Good descriptions and a key to the British species are in Orange (2013b).
The genus has been very poorly studied in Italy. This key includes all species of Thelocarpon which are known to occur in Italy (see Nimis 2016), plus several species known from neighbouring countries whose presence in Italy is possible, for a total of 17 infrageneric taxa.


Lumbsch H.T., Zimmermann D.G., Schmitt, I. 2009. Phylogenetic position of ephemeral lichens in Thelocarpaceae and Vezdaeaceae (Ascomycota). Bibl. Lichenol., 100: 389-398.
Miadlikowska J., Kauff F., Högnabba F., Oliver J.C., Molnár K, Fraker E., Gaya E., Hafellner J., Hofstetter V., Gueidan C., Otálora M.A.G., Hodkinson B., Kukwa M., Lücking R., Björk C., Sipman H.J.M., Burgaz A.R., Thell A., Passo A., Myllys L., Goward T., Fern 2014. A multigene phylogenetic synthesis for the class Lecanoromycetes (Ascomycota): 1307 fungi representing 1139 infrageneric taxa, 317 genera and 66 families. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 79: 132-168.
Nimis P.L. 2016. the Lichens of Italy. A second annotated Catalogue. EUT, Trieste, 739 pp.
Orange A. 2008. British Pyrenocarpous Lichens. Distributed by the Author, 169 pp.

Last modified: June, 10, 2022

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