KEYS TO THE LICHENS OF ITALY - 78) MELASPILEOID SPECIES ( Encephalographa, Hazslinszkya, Labrocarpon, Melaspilea, Melaspileella, incl. Poeltinula)
Pier Luigi Nimis
Apparatus of images: Andrea Moro - Software and databases: Stefano Martellos

The genus Melaspilea Nyl., in its original circumscription, was characterised by lirelliform apothecioid ascomata, an exciple composed of several cell layers, and finally pale brown, 1-septate ascospores; it included c. 66 species, most of which lichenised, except a dozen lichenicolous species. A molecular revision of the Melaspileaceae was published by Ertz & Diederich (2015), who showed that this is a very heterogeneous group, with members placed in two main lineages of Dothideomycetes. The genera Buelliella Fink, Karschia Körb, Labrocarpon Etayo & Pérez-Ortega and Melaspilea s.str. proved to belong to Asterinales, while the genera Melaspileella (P. Karst.) Vain., Melaspileopsis (Müll. Arg.) Ertz & Diederich, and Stictographa Mudd were reinstated for former Melaspilea-species now placed in Asterinales. Some poorly known species are likely to be transferred to other genera in the next future. Melaspilea granitophila proved to belong to the Arthoniales and is better treated as a member of . The monotypic genus Encephalographa A. Massal., which strongly differs from Melaspilea in the dichotomously branched, laterally anastomosed, lirelliform ascomata with a longitudinal sulcus, is presently also included in the Melaspileaceae, while the taxonomic position of Hazslinszkya Körb., which includes a species formerly attributed to Melaspilea, still remains to be settled (Ertz & Diederich 2015).
The present key includes all species formerly attributed to Melaspilea known to occur in Italy and in neighbouring countries of the Alps (Nimis 2016, Nimis & al. 2018), plus the two species of the superficially similar genus Poeltinula Hafellner (which belongs to the Rhizocarpaceae), for a total of 14 species.


Ertz D., Diederich P. 2015. Dismantling Melaspileaceae: a first phylogenetic study of Buelliella, Hemigrapha, Karschia, Labrocarpon and Melaspilea. Fungal Divers., 71, 1: 141-164.
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.

Last modified: August, 13, 2021

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