Melaspileaceae Walt. Watson, New Phytol. 28: 94 (1929).
= Eremithallaceae Lücking & Lumbsch, in Lücking, Lumbsch, Di Stéfano, Lizano, Carranza, Bernecker, Chaves & Umaña, Symbiosis 46(3): 163 (2008).
MycoBank number: MB 80992; Index Fungorum number: IF 80992; Facesoffungi number: FoF 07675, 40 species.
Lichenized. Thallus thin, white, corticolous, with Trentepohlia photobiont. Sexual morph: Ascomata apothecioid, immersed when young, erumpent to superficial when mature, with a flat to slightly convex disk and a slightly elevated margin, often surrounded by marginal lobes from the substrate, roundish. Peridium reddish brown, K+ olivaceous brown at exciple issue, with a I– hymenium, apically not enlarged, cellular pseudoparaphyses that are sometimes branched or anastomosed, anastomosed periphyses arising from the inner excipular layer. Asci 6–8-spored, elongate or clavate to subcylindrical, wall apically thickened, with a distinct ocular chamber, I- and K/I-. Ascospores overlapping, 2-seriate, ellipsoid to oblong, hyaline to brown, 1-septate, constricted near the septum, smooth-walled, sometimes K/ I+ blue gelatinous sheath. Asexual morph: Undetermined.
Type: Melaspilea Nyl.
Notes: The taxonomic placement of this group was uncertain due to the absence of molecular data. However, the first phylogenetic analysis confirmed the placement of Melaspileaceae under Eremithallales. The same result is shown in our phylogenetic tree (Fig. 31). Morphologically, Melaspilea sensu stricto is similar to Eremithallus in ascomata, exciple, hamathecium, ascus and ascospore types, and being lichenized with a trentepohlioid photobiont (Ertz and Diederich 2015). Thus, Eremithallus was reduced as a synonym of Melaspilea and Eremithallaceae was synonymized under Melaspileaceae (Ertz and Diederich 2015). This was followed by Wijayawardene et al. (2017a) and our study.