Paralecia pratorum Brackel, Greiner, Peršoh & Rambold, sp. nov.
Index Fungorum number: IF550913, Facesoffunginumber: FoF 00553; Fig. 1
Etymology – The specific epithet ‘pratorum’ (lat., genitive plural of ‘pratum’) refers to the name of the type locality ‘Prati [= meadows] di Logarghena’.
Holotype – M-0045925

Lichenicolous on Protoparmeliopsis muralis. Thallus externally not visible, endothallic (Fig. 1a). Sexual morph Apothecia breaking through the cortex of the host thallus, in loose groups, sessile, constricted at the base, 200 – 450 μm wide; disc plane to convex at maturity, roundish, black, epruinose; proper margin developed, mostly paler than the disc and somewhat translucent, disappearing at maturity; excipulum c. 70 μm thick, hyaline to slightly brownish on upper side, filled with numerous crystals, composed of thick – walled cells, 6 – 12 × 2 – 4 μm; epihymenium pale brown, K+greyish brown, 10 – 20 μm thick, filled with a multitude of small crystals dissolving in K; hymenium hyaline, slightly brownish on upper side, 60 – 85 μm thick; hypothecium hyaline, 120 – 150 μm thick (Fig. 1b). Paraphyses hyaline, slightly brownish at the ends, with a brown cap, simple or sparingly branched, 1.5 – 3 μm wide; apices swollen up to 5 μm. Asci (4–) 8 – spored, cylindrical to narrowly clavate, 55 – 80 × 10 – 18 μm, with a thickened tholus; tholus I+ blue with a I+ dark blue tube-like structure, outer gelatinous layer I+ blue (Fig. 136c). Ascospores hyaline, simple, ellipsoid, with a rounded upper and a slightly attenuated lower end, or sometimes with both ends being slightly attenuated, (11–) 11.8 – 13.7 (–15) × (4.5–) 4.7 – 5.6 (–6.5) μm, l/b = (1.7–) 2.2 – 2.8 (–3.1) [n = 40]. Asexual morph Undetermined.

Material examined – ITALY, Toscana, Prov. di Massa- Carrara, Prati di Logarghena above the city of Pontremonli, N44° 22.848′, E9° 56.573′, elev. 845 msl., growing on Protoparmeliopsis muralis (Schreb.) M. Choisy, on schistose rock outcrops in a meadow, 7 October 2013, W. v. Brackel (M-0045925, holotype; GenBank ITS: KP224502; LSU: KP224503; hb. Brackel 6996, isotype). ITALY, Toscana, Prov. di Massa-Carrara, Valdantena, above Molinello, N44° 25.165′, E9° 55.883′, 460 msl., on P. muralis on a shady old wall at the roadside, 5 October 2013, W. v. Brackel (hb. Brackel 6914); below Passo Cirone, N44° 25.317′, E9° 54.988′, c. 1000 msl, on P. muralis on sandstone outcrops in beech forest, 5 October 2013, W. v. Brackel (hb. Brackel 6941).

Notes – The fungus causes no recognisable harm to the host thallus, but induces the formation of new lobes, also originating from the apothecial margin. The production of host apothecia is suppressed to some degree. One has been analysed to confirm the presence of Lecanora-type asci.

Fig. 1 Paralecia pratorum (holotype). a Habitius: ascomata of P. pratorum on young lobes of Protoparmeliopsis muralis b apothecium in longitudinal section c asci at different ontogenetical stages and paraphyses in Lugol’s solution after pretreatment with KOH. Scale bars: a = 1 mm, b = 50 μm, c = 20 μm.