(Wahlenb.) Gueidan & Thüs, Taxon 58: 199 (2009)


Eurotiomycetes, Subclass Chaetothyriomycetidae






Wahlenbergiella Gueidan & Thüs, Taxon 58: 199 (2009)

Type species:

Wahlenbergiella mucosa (Wahlenb.) Gueidan & Thüs, Taxon 58: 199 (2009)

Amphibious marine lichen-forming fungi with thin (up to 1 mm) superficial continuous crustose thallus, olive-green to dark brown or black, smooth or with ridges, often shiny and subgelatinous when wet. Perithecia entirely immersed to superficial, globose to subglobose, 100-500 μm diam., with a ring-like apical involucrellum. Excipulum hyaline. Hymenium colourless, K/I+ blue. Hamathecium consisting of periphyses and short pseudoparaphyses. Asci clavate, 8-spored, bitunicate. Ascospores simple, 8-15 × 4-5 μm, hyaline, subglobose to ellipsoidal. Conidia sometimes present, with a single cavity (although sometimes connected with adjacent cavities), a darkly pigmented ostiole and elongated conidiogenous cells. Conidia sometimes present. Conidiospores simple, bacilliform or filiform (Description based on Clauzade & Roux (1985), Moe (1997), Smith et al. (2009) and Gueidan et al. (2009)).


Key references:

Brodo IM, Sloan NA (2005) Lichen zonation on coastal rocks in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), British Columbia. Canadian Field Naturalist 118: 405–424.

Dethier MN, Steneck RS (2001) Growth and persistence of diverse intertidal crusts: survival of the slow in a fast-paced world. Marine Ecology-Progress Series 223: 89–100.

Flenniken DG, Gibson ES (2003) The littoral species of Verrucaria of Cape Ann, MA. Evansia 20: 31–48.

Fletcher A (1975) Key for the identification of British marine and maritime lichens. I. Siliceous rocky shore species. The Lichenologist 7: 1–52.

Gueidan C, Savić S, Thüs H, Roux C, Keller C, Tibell L, Prieto M, Heiðmarsson S, Breuss O, Orange A, Fröberg L, Amtoft Wynns A, Navarro-Rosinés P, Krzewicka B, Pykälä J, Grube M, Lutzoni F (2009) Generic classification of the Verrucariaceae (Ascomycota) based on molecular and morphological evidence: recent progress and remaining challenges. Taxon 58: 184–208.

Gueidan C, Thüs H, Pérez-Ortega S (2011) Phylogenetic position of the brown algae-associated lichenized fungus Verrucaria tavaresiae (Verrucariaceae). The Bryologist 114: 563–569.

Higgins NF, Connan S, Stengel DB (2015) Factors influencing the distribution of coastal lichens Hydropunctaria maura and Wahlenbergiella mucosa. Marine Ecology 36: 1400–1414.

Moe R (1997) Verrucaria tavaresiae sp. nov., a marine lichen with a brown algal photobiont. Bulletin of the California Lichen Society 4: 7–11.

Orange A (2013) British and other pyrenocarpous lichens. Cardiff, Wales: Department of Biodiversity and Systematic Biology, National Museum of Wales. 250 pp.

Ryan BD (1988) Marine and maritime lichens on serpentine rock on Fidalgo Island, Washington. The Bryologist 91: 186–190.

Taylor RM (1982) Marine Flora and Fauna of the Northeastern United States. Lichens (Ascomycetes) of the Intertidal Region. NOAA Technical Report NMFS Circular 446, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington. 26 pp.


Other references:

Clauzade, G. & Roux, C. 1985. Likenoj de Okcidenta Europo. Ilustrita Determinlibro. Bulletin de la Société Botanique du Centre-Ouest, Numéro Spécial 7: 1–893.

Pérez-Ortega S, de los Ríos A, Crespo A, Sancho L. 2010. Symbiotic lifestyle and phylogenetic relationships of the bionts of Mastodia tessellata (Ascomycota, Incertae Sedis). American Journal of Botany 97: 738-752.

Smith VW, Aptroot A, Coppins BJ, Fletcher A, Gilbert OL, James PW, Wolseley PA (eds.) (2009) The Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland. British Lichen Society, The Natural History Museum, London. 1046 pp.


Key to marine Wahlenbergiella species:

  1. Thallus smooth, lacking black ridges                                                               2
  1. Thallus with glossy black ridges                                                                     3
  1. Perithecia 0.1-0.2 mm. Thallus shiny, subgelatinous                                        W. mucosa
  1. Perithecia 0.3-0.5 mm. Thallus matte, not gelatinous                                      W. tavaresiae
  1. Perithecia 0.2-0.3 mm. Thick dimidiate involucrellum                                      W. striatula
Type & Location:
Other Specimens:
on rocky seashores in the intertidal zone.
On temperate to polar rocky coastlines in both Hemispheres.
Pertinent Literature:
NOTES: The genus Wahlenbergiella was described to accommodate two marine saxicolous species previously placed in the lichen genus Verrucaria (Gueidan et al. 2009). Molecular data showed that these two-species formed a group separate from other sampled marine Verrucaria, which cluster in the genus Hydropunctaria together with some freshwater species. A third species, W. tavaresiae, which is associated with the brown alga Petroderma maculiforme and is only found on the coast of Central California, was subsequently also shown to belong to Wahlenbergiella (Gueidan et al. 2011). Wahlenbergiella is sister to Mastodia, a monotypic marine genus associated with the macroscopic foliose alga Prasiola (Pérez-Ortega et al. 2010, Gueidan et al. 2011). Due to morphological and ecological similarities, attributing marine species of Verrucariaceae to either Hydropunctaria or Wahlenbergiella based on morphology only is difficult. As a result, the generic placement of many species of marine Verrucariaceae is still in need of a revision.


Mushroom Research Foundation 
Chiang Rai 


Sueggestions for improvement of the webiste, corrections or additions should be send to:

Gareth Jones: Email:

Mark Calabon: Email: