KEYS TO THE LICHENS OF ITALY - 70) LOBARIACEAE (Crocodia, Lobaria, Lobarina, Ricasolia, Sticta)
Pier Luigi Nimis
Apparatus of images: Andrea Moro - Software and databases: Stefano Martellos

This is a key to all species of Lobariaceae hitherto reported from Italy (Nimis 2016), including a species (Sticta fuliginoides) which, although never reported from the country, should be looked for in Italy, for total of 12 infrageneric taxa. Most of the species have tropical to subtropical affinities and are most frequent in areas with an oceanic-suboceanic climate, being quite rare and often declining in Italy. Several species are bound to old-growth forests.
The following genera are included:
1) Crocodia Link - In their phylogenetic study on the Lobariaceae, Moncada & al. (2013) suggested that the family can be divided into 12 genera, each delimited by a combination of morphological and chemical features. Jørgensen & Galloway (2011) proposed to split the large genus Pseudocyphellaria, which has the highest diversity in the Southern Hemisphere, into at least two genera by conserving Pseudocyphellaria for the larger P. crocata-clade (with a conserved type), and using the epithet Crocodia for the small P. aurata-clade (see also Galloway & Elix 2013).
2) Lobaria (Schreb.) Hoffm. - Moncada & al. (2013) demonstrated that Lobaria in the traditional sense forms at least six lineages: Lobaria s.str., Lobarina, Ricasolia, and the new genera Anomalobaria, Dendriscosticta, Yoshimuriella, and Lobariella. Lobaria s.str., which is now restricted to the L. pulmonaria-group (c. 60 species), is characterised by foveolate thalli with a lower tomentum forming veins immersed between the bulges of the surface, by short, broadly fusiform ascospores, and by chemical characters.
3) Lobarina Cromb. – This recently-resurrected genus (see Moncada & al. 2013) includes the L. scrobiculata-group, with 15 species, characterised by scrobiculate lobes with reduced lower cortex, and an unusual chemistry of usnic acid in the cortex and the stictic and norstictic acid chemosyndrome in the medulla.
4) Ricasolia De Not. – This recently-resurrected genus (see Moncada & al. 2013) with 15 species, includes the former Lobaria amplissima-group.
5) Sticta (Schreb.) Ach. - Sticta forms two unrelated lineages (Moncada & al. 2013): Sticta s.str. (type S. sylvatica) and the Sticta wrightii-group, which was segregated in the new genus Dendriscosticta. A molecular phylogenetic study of Sticta s.str. focusing on Colombia (Moncada & al. 2014) showed that similar morphodemes evolved independently multiple times. As a consequence, currently applied names such as S. fuliginosa and S. weigelii comprise numerous (up to more than 20) unrelated species-level lineages, which can be distinguished also phenotypically using previously unrecognised characters; the genus Sticta could therefore contain four to five times the number of currently recognised species. Similar results were obtained for Europe by Magain & Sérusiaux (2015), who described several new species for W Europe and Macaronesia, one of which could occur also in Italy.


Gallloway D.J., Elix J.A. 2013. Reinstatement of Crocodia Link (Lobariaceae, Ascomycota) for five species formerly included in Pseudocyphellaria Vain. Australas. Lichenol., 72: 32-42.
Jørgensen, P.M., Galloway D.J. 2011. Proposal to conserve Pseudocyphellaria, nom.cons. (Lobariaceae: Ascomycota) with a conserved type. Taxon, 60: 1770-1771.
Magain N., Sérusiaux E. 2015. Dismantling the treasured flagship lichen Sticta fuliginosa (Peltigerales) into four species in Western Europe. Mycol. Prog., 14: 97: 1-33.
Moncada B., Lücking R., Betancourt-Macuase L. 2013. Phylogeny of the Lobariaceae (lichenized Ascomycota: Peltigerales), with a reappraisal of the genus Lobariella. Lichenologist, 45, 2: 203-263.
Moncada B., Lücking R., Suarez A. 2014. Molecular phylogeny of the genus Sticta (lichenized Ascomycota: Lobariaceae) in Colombia. Fungal Divers., 64, 1: 205-231.
Nimis P.L. 2016. The lichens of Italy. A second annotated catalogue. EUT, Trieste, 740 pp.

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