A taxonomic revision of Caloplaca herbidella and C. furfuracea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Caloplaca herbidella (Hue) H. Magn. and C. furfuracea H. Magn. are two isidiate, epiphytic species in the large genus Caloplaca. Caloplaca herbidella in a strict sense is normally grey and fertile with thick, somewhat coralloid isidia, but orange, sterile forms with thin isidia also occur. Caloplaca furfuracea is superficially similar morphologically to C. herbidella s. str. but has thinner, more granular isidia and generally a darker grey colour. Doubts have been raised as to whether C. furfuracea should be acknowledged as a proper species or incorporated in C. herbidella. Using morphometric methods and molecular analysis of the nrITS DNA gene we show that C. herbidella and C. furfuracea are two clearly separated species. Furthermore, the mainly sterile, orange form of C. herbidella can be regarded as a separate species that is here described as C. coralliza Arup & Åkelius. All three species are described in detail, including photographs and notes on their ecology. Finally, new distribution maps for Europe show that C. herbidella and C. coralliza are widespread in Europe, but the latter is probably less common than the former. Caloplaca furfuracea is clearly very rare in Europe with only few collections from Switzerland and Sweden, but seems to be more common in North America.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Botany


  • molecular, Caloplaca coralliza, DNA, Europe, isidiate, lichen, ITS
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-480
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch