Should we add Lepidostromataceae to our Lichens?

Lepidostromatales / Lepidostromataceae or Club Lichens are a (order) family of fungi, that have lichenized thallus and produce club-shaped fruiting bodies (clavarioid basidiomata).
There are three genera, two recorded in southern Africa, with two species so far. Of course, since all our records are new, these may well turn out to be different species, or species-complexes, but let us not get ahead of ourselves: at present there are only two species.

Sulzbacheromyces

Thallus crustose, composed of minute, ecorticate granules.
(Differing from Lepidostroma s.str. in the entirely crustose, undifferentiated thallus lacking cortex and medullary structures. The thallus is often difficult to see in pictures)

Lepidostroma

Thallus crustose, microsquamulose or distinctly squamulose.


Ertzia Jigsaw Clublichens

Not yet recorded in southern Africa (type Rwanda), the Ertzia thallus is formed by contiguous glomerules with a cortex composed of cells resembling the pieces of a jigsaw-puzzle.
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Field features

The easiest way to quickly tell the family in the field from the similar Clavariaceae is the thallus on the ground around the fruiting bodies, and the fruiting bodies present on open ground (most Clavarias are in wet leaf or wood litter).

Observation requirements

  • if you find Club Fungi, look for the litter or the bare ground: take a good habitat picture;
  • look out for any thallus, and get a closeup of the clubs together with the associated thallus if visible;
  • take closeups of any thallus seen: specifically are the just flat crusts, or discs? - and ideally so that the cells on the outer layers can be seen.

由使用者 tonyrebelo tonyrebelo2024年03月21日 08:14 所貼文

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Distributions:

At this stage it appears that
Sulzbacheromyces miomboensis Spicular Clublichen is largely a tropical Savanna and Grassveld species, whereas most of our
Lepidostroma rugaramae Thalloid Clublichen are from the western Cape Floral Region, with hints (too few observations) of Mistbelt distribution on the eastern coast.

See distributions here:
https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/map?taxa=1245658,915638#6/-25.932/28.843

At this stage, most of our records are from the respective rainy seasons:
Sulzbacheromyces miomboensis Spicular Clublichen - Dec - Feb
Lepidostroma rugaramae Thalloid Clublichen - Apr - Aug

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