(Wahlenb.) Keller, Gueidan & Thüs, Taxon 58: 194 (2009)


Eurotiomycetes, Subclass Chaetothyriomycetidae






Hydropunctaria Keller, Gueidan & Thüs, Taxon 58: 193 (2009)

Type species:

Hydropunctaria maura (Wahlenb.) Keller, Gueidan & Thüs, Taxon 58: 194 (2009)

Amphibious marine or freshwater lichen-forming fungi with continuous to rimose or areolate crustose thallus, dark greyish olive to black, more rarely yellowish-brown or green, subgelatinous, often dotted with black punctae or columns. Perithecia immersed to half-immersed, globose to subglobose, 150-900 μm diam., with an apical to entire involucrellum. Involucrellum with upper surface often uneven and rough. Excipulum either pale with a brown ostiole or entirely pigmented. Hymenium colourless, K/I+ blue. Hamathecium consisting of periphyses and short pseudoparaphyses. Asci clavate, 8-spored, bitunicate. Ascospores simple, with a median length usually between 10-18 µm, hyaline, subglobose to ellipsoidal. Conidia sometimes present. Conidiospores simple, bacilliform (Description based on Clauzade & Roux (1985), Smith et al. (2009), Gueidan et al. (2009) and Orange (2012)).


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.

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

Orange A (2012) Semi-cryptic marine species of Hydropunctaria (Verrucariaceae, lichenized Ascomycota) from north-west Europe. The Lichenologist 44: 299–320.

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

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.

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 Hydropunctaria species (adapted from Orange 2012):


  1. Dark tissue in thallus reaching the surface as distinctly elongated bars 40-400 x 40-60 µm, at least near the thallus margin, where they are perpendicular to the thallus margin; apex of perithecium plane or crenulate; cortical pigment brown                                        H.  amphibia
  1. Dark tissue in the thallus in the form of small isodiametric punctae or occasionally minute ridges 20-90 x 20-40 µm, visible or not at the thallus surface                                                                                                                                                                   2
  1. Thallus relatively thick, 60-300 µm, mostly cracked into discrete areoles; cortical pigment brown (rarely in part greenish brown) H. maura
  1. Thallus relatively thin, up to 200 mm thick, cracks sparse to numerous, thallus always thinner and less cracked than H. maura when the species are growing contiguously; cortical pigment brown or green                                                                                         3
  1. Cortical pigment brown                                                                                                                                                       4
  1. Cortical pigment dull green to green-brown                                                                                                                           5
  1. On siliceous rock in Wales and SW Ireland                                                                                                                            H. oceanica
  1. On calcareous rock in the Mediterranean and Black Sea                                                                                                         H. adriatica
  1. Currently known from N Norway and NW Scotland                                                                                                                H. aractina
  1. Currently known from Wales and Ireland                                                                                                                             H. orae



Type & Location:
Other Specimens:
on rocky seashores, in the upper intertidal and splash zones.
On temperate to polar rocky coastlines in both Hemispheres.
Pertinent Literature:
NOTES: The genus Hydropunctaria was described to accommodate a group of amphibious saxicolous species previously placed on the lichen genus Verrucaria (Gueidan et al. 2009). This group included the two marine species V. adriatica and V. maura, as well as the two freshwater species V. rheitrophila and V. scabra. Subsequently, few other marine species of Verrucaria were transferred to Hydropunctaria (H. amphibia, H. aractina) or newly described (H. oceanica and H. orae) (Orange 2012). Currently, this genus includes eight species. Although sharing some morphological and ecological similarities, the two genera Hydropunctaria and Wahlenbergiella form two distinct lineages within the family Verrucariaceae (Gueidan et al. 2009). The generic placement of other species of marine Verrucariaceae is still in need of a revision.


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