Lichinella robusta Henssen

Symb. Bot. Upsal., 18, 1: 73, 1963.
Distribution: C - Sar (Schultz 2000, Rizzi & al. 2011).
Description: Thallus microfruticose, black, of cylindrical, usually pointed, dichotomously branched, 2-3 mm long, 0.07-0.15 mm thick branches attached by bundles of rhizohyphae, forming regular to irregular, up to 20 mm wide and 4 mm tall cushions which are dispersed to contiguous, but not giving the impression of a rimose-areolate crust. Central part of branches with a distinct, fountain-like, dense hyphal strand consisting 4-5 µm thick hyphae with cylindrical cells, the peripheral parts made up of hyphae with more or less isodiametric cells, encircling the photobiont cells. Apothecia thallinocarps, terminal on tips of branches, 0.2-0.35 mm across, with a flat to convex or rarely concave, rough disc, and a thin to thick thalline margin. Epithecium discontinuous, 15-20 µm high, with clusters of cyanobacterial cells penetrating in a wedge-like form into the hymenium; hymenium colourless, 70-100 µm high, K/I+ blue, the upper part with groups of photobiont cells intruding between the asci, covered by a more or less continuous layer of sterile thalline tissue; paraphyses stout, 3-4 µm thick, capitate; subhymenium colourless, compact, up to 80 µm high, K/I+ blue. Asci 16-24(-32)-spored, with a thin, one-layered, non-amyloid wall, an amyloid external apical cap, and passive spore discharge via apical rupturing. Ascospores 1-celled, hyaline, globose or subglobose, 5-7 x 4-5 µm. Photobiont cyanobacterial, chroococcoid, of a few cells measuring 5-10 x 6-9 µm, penetrated by haustoria and surrounded by a brownish gelatinous sheath. Spot tests: all negative. Chemistry: without lichen substances.
Note: on steeply inclined surfaces of base-rich siliceous rocks with periodical water seepage after rain; sometimes confused with L. stipatula, but certainly very rare in Italy.
Growth form: Fruticose filamentous
Substrata: rocks
Photobiont: cyanobacteria, coccaceous (e.g. Gloeocapsa)
Reproductive strategy: mainly sexual
On otherwise dry surfaces with short periods of water seepage after rain

Commonnes-rarity: (info)

Alpine belt: absent
Subalpine belt: absent
Oromediterranean belt: absent
Montane belt: absent
Submediterranean belt: absent
Padanian area: absent
Humid submediterranean belt: very rare
Humid mediterranean belt: very rare
Dry mediterranean belt: rare

pH of the substrata:


Solar irradiation:








Altitudinal distribution:


Predictive model
Herbarium samples

P.L. Nimis; Owner: Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste
Herbarium: TSB (13755)


Henssen, A (1963) Eine Revision der Flechtenfamilien Lichinaceae und Ephebaceae. Symbolae Bot. Upsalienses

Henssen, A/ Budel, B/ Nash, TH", III (1985) Three new species of Lichinella described from Mexico. The Bryologist