Synonyms: Lecidea limitata (Scop.) Gray var. soralifera (Erichsen) J.R. Laundon; Lecidea olivacea var. soralifera (Erichsen) Erichsen; Lecidella elaeochroma var. soralifera (Erichsen) Hertel
Distribution: N - VG, Ven, TAA. C - Tosc (Loppi & al. 1997c, 1999a, Benesperi & al. 2007), Laz, Mol (Caporale & al. 2008), Sar (Loi & al. 2000, Rizzi & al. 2011, Cossu 2013, Di Nuzzo & al. 2022). S - Camp (Nimis & Tretiach 2004, Garofalo & al. 2010), Pugl (Nimis & Tretiach 1999), Bas (Nimis & Tretiach 1999), Cal (Puntillo 1996), Si (Nimis & al. 1994, Grillo & Cristaudo 1995, Caniglia & Grillo 2006b).
Description: Thallus crustose, episubstratic, continuous to verrucose, usually up to 0.5 mm thick, whitish to yellowish grey, sorediate, delimited by a dark prothallus. Soredia gathered in well-delimited, white to yellow-green, convex, rounded, 0.5-1 mm wide soralia. Apothecia rather common, lecideine, black (brown in old or damaged specimens), sessile, 1-1.5 mm diam, with a flat to finally convex disc and a smooth to flexuose, often shiny, finally excluded proper margin. Proper exciple blue-green in outer part, colourless within, sometimes with crystals dissolving in K; epithecium blackish green, bluish green to dull grey-blue, rarely olive; hymenium 40-70 µm tall, colourless, not inspersed with oil droplets; paraphyses easily made free in K, simple, rarely anastomosing or branched in upper part, non-capitate; hypothecium brownish orange (K+ bright red-brown) to reddish brown. Asci 8-spored, clavate, with an intensely K/I+ blue tholus penetrated by a faintly amyloid, broadly cylindrical axial mass, and a poorly developed ocular chamber, the wall K/I-, surrounded by a K/I+ blue outer layer, approaching the Lecanora-type. Ascospores 1-celled, hyaline, thick-walled, broadly ellipsoid to ellipsoid, 9-19 x 4.5-10 µm. Pycnidia dark, immersed. Conidia thread-like, more or less curved. Photobiont chlorococcoid. Spot tests: thallus and soralia K+ yellow, KC+ yellow, C+ orange, P- or P+ pale yellow (reactions often weak and patchy). Chemistry: arthothelin, granulosin, different xanthones.
Note: this sorediate-fruiting lichen, in my opinion, is just an "occasionally" sorediate form of L. elaeochroma. It is more widespread than the few records would suggest, but it is never common; it generally occurs immixed with fruiting specimens in humid-warm areas. The "occasional" appearance of asexually reproducing forms along south-to-north gradients, however, well deserves the attention of lichenologists.
Growth form: Crustose
Photobiont: green algae other than Trentepohlia
Reproductive strategy: mainly asexual, by soredia, or soredia-like structures (e.g. blastidia)
Most common in areas with a humid-warm climate (e.g. most of Tyrrenian Italy)