Taxonomy

Species of Endocarpon are easily recognisable by their large pigmented muriform spores and the presence of algal cells in their fruiting bodies.

In contrast to the crustose genus Staurothele, which shares these characteristics, Endocarpon is generally squamulose and its algal cells are usually arranged in vertical columns in the vegetative body.

Among other species of Endocarpon, E. pusillum can be identified by the presence of rhizines and two-spored asci.

Look-alikes

Endocarpon pusillum

Endocarpon simplicatum. © C Gueidan

Endocarpon simplicatum is sometimes mistaken for Endocarpon pusillum.

These two species can co-occur in the same localities.

Endocarpon simplicatum is characterised by smaller squamules, larger spores and one-spored asci.

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Glossary
Asci

Plural of ascus - sexual spore-bearing cells.

Muriform

Regular, brick wall-like arrangement.

Perithecium

Bottle-shaped fruiting body.

Rhizines

Hairlike growths that bind the thallus to its substrate.

Squamules

A small, loosely attached thallus lobe - vegetative structure.

Symbiotic

Close and long-term interaction between two different species.

Thallus

Vegetative body.