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

The genus Halecania, with c. 12 species, was introduced to accommodate species formerly treated as Lecania that differ in having asci with a uniformly amyloid apical dome (Catillaria-type), paraphyses with dark brown apical caps, and halonate ascospores; further differences are found in the conidiomata, that are acrogenous and sickle-shaped or curved-filiform in Lecania, whereas in Halecania they are pleurogenous and shortly rod-shaped (Mayrhofer 1987). The conidiogenous cells and conidia of Halecania are almost identical to those of Catillaria s.str., which suggested that the two genera are related. However, according to Lendemer & Hodkinson (2013) Halecania proved to be closely related to Leprocaulon in the new family Leprocaulaceae.
Lecania is a genus of the Ramalinaceae, monographed by Mayrhofer (1988) for the saxicolous species, that was found to be non-monophyletic by Reese Næsborg & al. (2007), which brought to the exclusion of some species; the closest genetic relatives are genera such as Bilimbia, Mycobilimbia, and Biatora. The phylogeny of the L. cyrtella-group was studied by Reese Næsborg (2008) with the resurrection of some species which were often considered as synonyms of L. cyrtella. In its present circumscription, the genus includes c. 50 species.
The present key includes all species of Halecania and Lecania known to occur in Italy (Nimis 2016), plus some species which are known from neighbouring countries (see e.g. Nimis & al. 2018), and whose presence in Italy is possible, for a total of 37 infrageneric taxa.


Lendemer J.C., Hodkinson B.P. 2013. A radical shift in the taxonomy of Lepraria s.l.: Molecular and morphological studies shed new light on the evolution of asexuality and lichen growth form diversification. Mycologia, 105, 4: 994-1018.
Mayrhofer M. 1987. Studien uber die saxicolen Arten der Flechtengattung Lecania in Europa I. Halecania gen. nov. Herzogia, 7: 381-406.
Mayrhofer M. 1988. Studien uber die saxicolen Arten der Flechtengattung Lecania in Europa II. Lecania s str. Bibl. Lichenol., 28. 133 pp.
Nimis P.L. 2016. The lichens of Italy. A second annotated catalogue. EUT, Trieste, 740 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 Catalogue. Mycokeys, 31: 1-634.
Reese Næsborg R. 2008. Taxonomic revision of the Lecania cyrtella group based on molecular and morphological evidence. Mycologia, 100, 3: 397-416.
Reese Næsborg R., Ekman S., Tibell L. 2007. Molecular phylogeny of the genus Lecania (Ramalinaceae, lichenized Ascomycota). Mycol. Res., 111: 581-591.

Last modified: March, 12, 2024

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