Parmelina tiliacea is a common, widely distributed species in south-western Europe, easily identifiable by morphology and much used as an air pollution bioindicator in many regions. A molecular phylogenetic survey of samples from many geographical areas, using Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian inference of nuITS and mtLSU rDNA regions, revealed a group of samples geographically restricted to a small region of the Iberian Peninsula and genetically separated from the other P. tiliacea specimens studied. These samples are morphologically indistinguishable from P. tiliacea, apart from subtle anatomical characters in the ascomata (hyphae of the exciple and ascospore width), which are frequently absent. Although geographically different, the two taxa occupy similar habitats and are even sympatric in some areas, indicating that they do not exchange genetic material. This previously overlooked, and apparently endemic lineage, is described as P. cryptotiliacea sp. nov., and the name Lichen tiliaceus is epitypified by a sequenced specimen to fix the application of Parmelina tiliacea to the widespread genotype. A second unexpected result was the discovery that the morphologically distinct P. pastillifera was nested within P. tiliacea. These two cases stress the need to use molecular tools to elucidate species concepts even within widespread morphologically well-characterized macrolichens. Such investigations are necessary to improve our understanding and estimation of biodiversity, and to facilitate the development of sound biodiversity conservation strategies for lichens.