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

Protoparmelia is a cosmopolitan genus with c. 25 species, differing from Lecanora in the grey- to reddish-brown thallus, the generally smaller, narrower ascospores, and the straight conidia. The structure of the excipulum is similar to that found in the Parmeliaceae, and the genus has been included in that family by various authors, also on the base of recent molecular investigations (Arup & al. 2007, Crespo & al. 2007). The phylogenetic study by Singh & al. (2015) confirms that, in the present circumscription, the genus is heterogeneous: five previously described species and one species putatively new to science are close to Miriquidica. In contrast to members of Protoparmelia s.str., which produce lobaric or alectoronic acids, these taxa synthesize norstictic acid, and often parasitize other lichens. Two of these species, P.atriseda and P. nephaea have been tranferred to Miriquidica by Cannon & al. (2022). In Protoparmelia s.str. the analysis of Singh & al. (2015) suggest the presence of a tropical and an extra-tropical lineage, and eleven previously unrecognised distinct species-level lineages within P. badia and P. montagnei
The present key includes the species known to occur in italy (Nimis 2016), plus four species (P. hypotremella, P. loricata, P. nephaea, P. olivascens) and a variety (P. badia var. cinereobadia) which are known from neighbouring areas (see Nimis & al. 2018) and should be looked for in Italy, for a total of 16 infrageneric taxa.


Arup U., Ekman S., Grube M., Mattsson J.-E., Wedin M. 2007. The sister group relation of Parmeliaceae (Lecanorales, Ascomycota). Mycologia, 99: 42-49.
Crespo A., Lumbsch H.T., Mattsson J.-E., Blanco O., Divakar P.K., Articus K., Wiklund E., Bawingan P.A., Wedin M. 2007. Testing morphology-based hypotheses of phylogenetic relationships in Parmeliaceae (Ascomycota) using three ribosomal markers and the nuclear RPB1 gene. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 44, 2: 812-824.
Nimis P.L. 2016. The Lichens of Italy. A Second Annotated Catalogue. EUT, Trieste, 739 pp.
Nimis P.L., Hafellner J., Roux C., Clerc P., Mayrhofer H., Martellos S., Bilovitz P.O. (2018) The lichens of the Alps - an annotated checklist. MycoKeys 31: 1-634.
Singh G., Dal Grande F., Divakar P.K., Otte J., Leavitt S.D., Szczepanska K., Crespo A., Rico V.J., Aptroot A., Cáceres M.E., Lumbsch H.T., Schmitt I. 2015. Coalescent-based species delimitation approach uncovers high cryptic diversity in the cosmopolitan lichen-forming fungal genus Protoparmelia (Lecanorales, Ascomycota). PlosOne, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0124625 May 1, 2015.

Last modified: December, 16, 2023

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