Cryptodiscus gloeocapsa (Nitschke ex Arnold) Baloch, Gilenstam & Wedin
Fungal Diversity, 38: 61, 2009. Basionym: Bryophagus gloeocapsa Nitschke ex Arnold - Flora, 45: 58, 1862
Synonyms: Gloeolecta bryophaga (Körb. ex Arnold) Vězda; Gloeolecta gloeocapsa (Nitschke ex Arnold) Lettau; Gyalecta gloeocapsa (Nitschke ex Arnold) Zahlbr.
Description: Thallus crustose, very thin when dry, thicker and gelatinous when wet, membranous or film-like, pale brown to pale green, more or less glossy, poorly delimited. Apothecia 0.2-0.5 mm across, scattered or in small clusters, at first immersed and almost perithecioid, later emergent, deeply concave, opening with a broad pore, with a pale yellow-brown to orange-red, rarely dark brown disc, and a paler or concolorous proper margin. Proper exciple 25-70 µm thick, of thin-walled, radially arranged hyphae, paraplectenchymatous in inner part, without crystals; epithecium poorly differentiated from the hymenium; hymenium colourless (brownish in uppermost part), 50-60 µm high, I+ yellow-brown, K/I+ faintly blue; paraphyses coherent, simple, thread-like, not swollen at apex, immersed in a gelatinous matrix; hypothecium colourless. Asci 8-spored, cylindrical, short-stalked, thin-walled, the apex thickened, rounded, K/I+ blue, without any clear apical structures. Ascospores 3-4-septate, not constricted at septa, hyaline, narrowly cylindrical to cylindrical-fusiform, 20-30 x 1.5-2 μm, often tapering at one end, arranged in a fascicle. Pycnidia pyriform, immersed in the thallus. Conidia short-cylindrical. Photobiont chlorococcoid, Gloeocystis-like, the cells globose or elongate, arranged in clusters. Spot tests: K-, C-, KC-, P-, UV-. Chemistry: thallus without lichen substances.
Note: a terricolous species, encrusting leafy hepatics or bryophytes, usually over sandy to clayey soils, mostly in shaded situations, e.g. along forest roads, with a wide altitudinal range but with optimum in upland areas; widespread in the Holarctic region, with several records from the Alps, all outside Italian territory; to be looked for in the Italian Alps.
Growth form: Crustose
Substrata: soil, terricolous mosses, and plant debris