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Images of British Lichenicolous Fungii

Spirographa fusisporella (Nyl.) Zahlbr.

Ascomycota, Ostropales: forms minute, red-brown to black apothecia on the host thallus; ascospores 16-32 in the ascus, narrowly fusoid with pointed ends (acuminate), straight to curved or sigmoid, mostly 1-septate. Reportedly occurs on various lichens, especially Ochrolechia and Pertusaria species, scattered records in the north and west but undoubtedly under-recorded. The host thallus shows damage; in P. corallina the areoles are shrunken and malformed, with poorly developed isidia (compare Sclerococcum sphaerale) (my thanks to Brian Coppins for demonstrating this).

Refs: Hawksworth (1983), 33 (as Pleospilis ascaridiella); Diederich in Nash et al. (2004), 702; useful comparative discussion and line illustration of spores in Holien & Triebel (1996), Lichenologist 28: 307-313.

The evidently rarer S. vinosa has 8-spored asci, the ascospores relatively broader, with ± rounded ends, see Holien & Triebel (1996).

Spirographa fusisporella on Pertusaria corallina
On Pertusaria corallina, Traprain Law, East Lothian, June 2011 (det.Brian Coppins).
[Sclerococcum sphaerale, with larger, black sporodichia, is also present, top left of photograph]

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Uploaded August 2011, last modified March 2013