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Miriquidica invadens, an obligate youth parasite on Sporastatia, with remarks and a key to species of the M. griseoatra group

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 May 2014

Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften, Karl-Franzens-Universität, Holteigasse 6, A-8010 Graz, Austria. Email:
Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften, Karl-Franzens-Universität, Holteigasse 6, A-8010 Graz, Austria. Email:
Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università degli Studi di Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 10, I-34127 Trieste, Italy


The new species Miriquidica invadens Hafellner, Obermayer & Tretiach is described and reported from Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Switzerland, France and Spain. From a morphological point of view the species belongs to the M. griseoatra group, in which it is, so far, the only constantly lichenicolous taxon. Chemically it is characterized by the regular presence of miriquidic acid, stictic acid, and constictic acid (in variable amounts). It starts its ontogenetic life cycle as an obligate youth parasite on Sporastatia, usually S. polyspora.

Morpho-anatomical treatments of other species of the Miriquidica griseoatra group occurring in Europe, based on the examination of type material, are also presented. According to the characters exhibited by the lectotype of Lecidea contigua var. griseoatra Flot., M. griseoatra (Flot.) Hertel & Rambold is the correct name for a montane species with subdivided areoles and immersed, laterally adnate apothecia with a pigmented hypothecium. Specimens exhibiting this set of characters were usually named M. obnubila auct. According to the characters observed on the lectotype of Lecidea (Biatora) obnubila Th. Fr. & Hellb., M. obnubila (Th. Fr. & Hellb.) Hertel & Rambold is a species with sessile apothecia with a hyaline hypothecium. Lecidea subplumbea Anzi does not constitute a heterotypic synonym of Lecidea griseoatra (Flot.) Schaer. but is the legitimate name at the species level for Miriquidica griseoatra sensu auct., and therefore M. subplumbea (Anzi) Cl. Roux is the correct name for that taxon. Lecidea inserena Nyl. is confirmed as a heterotypic synonym of Lecidea subplumbea Anzi. Lecidea plumbea Garov. ex A. Massal. is an earlier heterotypic synonym of Miriquidica limitata Hertel & Rambold and, therefore, the new combination M. plumbea (Garov. ex A. Massal.) Hafellner, Obermayer & Tretiach is introduced.

Lectotypes are designated for Lecidea contigua var. griseoatra Flot., Lecidea inserena Nyl., Lecidea obnubila Th. Fr. & Hellb., Lecidea plumbea Garov. ex A. Massal., and Lecidea subplumbea Anzi. A key to the taxa of the M. griseoatra-group and other Miriquidica taxa with a grey thallus is provided.

Copyright © British Lichen Society 2014 

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