Description: Primary thallus crustose, ephemeral and rarely seen, consisting of subglobular small warts. Podetia shrubby, hollow inside, pale yellowish, loosely attached and dying from the base, without a distinct main axis, mostly isotomically dichotomously branched, 4-8(-10) cm tall, 1-1.8 mm thick, esquamulose, ecorticate, with a finely arachnoid surface, a continuous algal layer and a compact medulla; tips of branchlets mostly spreading in all directions, arranged around a usually close axil. Apothecia rare, brown, convex. Asci 8-spored, clavate, thickened at apex, with a K/I+ blue tholus and a K/I+ strongly blue outer gelatinous sheath, Cladonia-type. Ascospores 1-celled, hyaline, ellipsoid. Pycnidia dark, semi-immersed, on the tips of podetia, with a colourless jelly. Conidia cylindrical. Photobiont chlorococcoid. Spot tests: K-, C-, KC+ yellow, P-, UV+ bluish white. Chemistry: perlatolic and usnic acids.
Note: a Mediterranean-Macaronesian lichen found in Mediterranean maquis vegetation amongst pleurocarpous mosses in sheltered situations with plenty of diffuse light; presently restricted to a few very humid sites along the Tyrrhenian coast, and perhaps in danger of extinction. It was assessed as “Endangered” in Italy by Ravera & al. (2015).
Growth form: Fruticose
Substrata: soil, terricolous mosses, and plant debris
Photobiont: green algae other than Trentepohlia
Reproductive strategy: mainly sexual
Most common in areas with a humid-warm climate (e.g. most of Tyrrenian Italy)