Philippine Lichens with Bulbate Cilia – Bulbothrix and Relicina (Parmeliaceae)

Paulina Bawingan1,2*, Mechell Lardizaval1, and John Elix3

1School of Natural Sciences, Saint Louis University, Baguio City 2600 Philippines
2Biology Department, Tagum Doctors College, Tagum City 8100 Philippines
3Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

 *Corresponding Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




This paper presents a taxonomic treatment of Bulbothrix and Relicina lichens (Ascomycota, Parmeliaceae) collected in the Philippines, two genera characterized by the presence of bulbate cilia. A total of five species of Bulbothrix and fifteen species of Relicina were identified, with one new record for each genus. The Philippines is a major center of diversity for Relicina.


The genera Relicina (Hale & Kurok.) Hale and Bulbothrix Hale belong to Parmeliaceae, one of the largest families of lichenized fungi. Both are segregates of Parmelia Ach. s. lat. According to Hale (1975, 1976), both genera have their centers of distribution in tropical regions – in South America and southern Africa for Bulbothrix and Southeast Asia for Relicina. Despite the high degree of endemism of Relicina in the Philippines, no species were among the many lichens described by Vainio (1909).
Species of Bulbothrix and Relicina are small foliose lichens known for their simple, furcate, or branched bulbate cilia. Bulbothrix thallus is distinguished for its gray to gray-green upper cortex (due to cortical atranorin); Relicina has pale green to yellow-green upper cortex (due to the cortical usnic acid). The upper cortex is plectenchymatous with a pored epicortex and the cell walls contain isolichenan (Hale 1975, 1976). Thalli of both genera can have a maculate or emaculate upper cortex and may or may not produce isidia, soredia, and lobules. Pseudocyphellae are absent from all species of both genera. The lower surface varies from pale tan to black and the rhizines and cilia may be simple, sparsely, or densely branched. Both genera have apothecia that may be coronate (with black bulbils adorning the rim of the thalline exciple; Figure 1E) or ecoronate; the discs are imperforate, ranging from concave to flat and sometimes even convex. Some species of both genera have retrorse cilia i.e., having rhizinae in the thalline exciple (Figure 1F). The unicellular ascospores can be ovoid, ellipsoid, or bicornute (Figure 1K–L) – 5.0−21.0 × 4.0−12.0 µm in Bulbothrix (Benatti 2014) and 3.0–12.0 × 2.0–6.0 µm in Relicina (Elix 1996). Both lichen genera commonly have pycnidia; the conidia may be bifusiform or bacilliform, 5–9 × 1 µm in Bulbothrix (Hale 1976) and  5–10 × 0.7–1 µm in Relicina (Hale 1975). . . . read more



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