Description: Thallus crustose, episubstratic, continuous, blackish grey to brown-black, subgelatinous when wet, up to 70 μm thick, forming up to 3-5 cm wide patches, the outer hyphae with a dark green pigment reacting K-, N+ red. Apothecia micareoid, usually numerous and often confluent, 0.1-0.3(-0.4) mm across, red-brown to black in sun-forms, with a convex to subglobose disc, without a distinct proper margin. Proper exciple poorly developed but usually visible in very young apothecia, reddish brown, of radiating, branched and anastomosing hyphae; epithecium and upper part of hymenium blue-green, K-, N+ red; hymenium 35-50 mm high, greenish in upper part, sordid brown in lower part; paraphyses numerous, branched and sometimes anastomosing, 1-1.5 μm thick at mid-level, the upper cells 1.5-3 μm wide; hypothecium scarcely differentiated from the hymenium, mottled reddish brown, 70-140 μm high, K-, N- or N+ orange-brown. Asci 8-spored, cylindrical-clavate, the I+ blue tholus with a wide, I+ dark blue tube structure that expands towards the top, without a pale axial body. Ascospores (0-)1-3-septate, oblong-ellipsoid to spindle-shaped, sometimes slightly curved, (10-)12-21(-25) x (3.5-)4-5 μm. Pycnidia immersed, inconspicuous, to 0.04 mm across, the wall sordid green, K-, N+ red. Conidia cylindrical, 3.5-5 μm long. Photobiont chlorococcoid, the cells 4-7 μm wide. Spot tests: thallus and apothecia K-, C-, KC-, P-, UV-. Chemistry. without lichen substances.
Note: a circumboreal-montane species found on acid peaty soil, terricolous bryophytes, more rarely on rotting wood in upland areas, reported from the Eastern Alps and the northern-central Apennines. Records from central Italy, although not impossible (Nimis 1993: 437), require confirmation.
Growth form: Crustose
Substrata: soil, terricolous mosses, and plant debris