Distribution: N - TAA (Nascimbene 2005), Lomb (Rabenhorst Lich. Eur. 743 and Anzi Lich. Lang. 22: van den Boom & Sipman 1994, Dalle Vedove & al. 2004), Piem (TSB 34556), VA (van den Boom & Sipman 1994).
Description: Thallus fruticose, dichotomously to irregularly branched, matt to glossy brown, forming loosely attached, 1-3 cm high tufts. Branches terete or slightly flattened, erect or prostrate, 0.3-1(-2) mm wide, without main stems, with obtuse tips, the margins with c. 0.1 mm thick, up to 1 m long spinulose outgrowths. Pseudocyphellae rounded, punctiform, often surrounded by black projections. Cortex 2-layered, with an outer, brownish, paraplectenchymatous layer, and an inner, colourless layer of periclinally oriented hyphae: medulla arachnoid, lax, pale yellow. Apothecia unknown. Pycnidia dark, brought on spinulose outgrowths. Conidia clavate, 6-7 x 1-1.5 µm. Photobiont chlorococcoid. Spot tests: cortex K-, C-, KC-, P-. ; medulla K-, C+ yellow-orange, KC+ yellow, P-, UV-. Chemistry: medulla with secalonic acid C, and two unidentified substances.
Note: ecologically similar to C. ericetorum, but much rarer, and perhaps more bound to dry-continental situations above treeline; probably confined to the Alps in Italy.
Growth form: Fruticose
Substrata: soil, terricolous mosses, and plant debris
Photobiont: green algae other than Trentepohlia
Reproductive strategy: mainly asexual, by thallus fragmentation