A new lichen species Ramalina hyrcana Sipman was described from the Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests. | MYCO-LICH

A new lichen species Ramalina hyrcana Sipman was described from the Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests.


Type Citation

Type:—IRAN: Golestan: Gonbad-e-Kavus district, along road from Khan Bebin to Shirabad waterfall; 120 m; deciduous forest with Parrotia persica and Carpinus, on Pterocarya trunk; Oct 2007, Sipman et al. 55201 (holotype IRAN; isotypes B, hb. Sohrabi 9432

Mycobank MB 517808

Thallus forming bushy cushions 1–4 cm thick, densely and often dichotomously branched from a simple base into strap-shaped, 0.2–1 mm wide lobes; lobes flat with rounded margin, surface sometimes slightly striate; pseudocyphellae absent; often with tiny, 0.5–1 mm long and ca. 0.1 mm wide, fragile branchlets with hooked tip, mainly towards the lobe tips, sometimes also on the soralia; soralia present, mainly marginal, round to elongate with somewhat raised thalline rim, to ca. 0.5 x 0.2 mm in size, the larger ones turned downward so that the soredia are mainly produced on the underside of ± horizontal lobes. Apothecia and pycnidia unknown. Secondary chemistry: usnic acid (trace, cortical), sekikaic acid with traces of related substances (medullary).

Latin Diagnosis

A Ramalina farinacea simili differt soraliis lateralibus deorsum versis, acidum sekikaicum continens.

Distribution and Habitat

So far Ramalina hyrcana is known only from the Hyrcanian forest area along the Caspian coast in Iran, between 10 m (sea level) and ca. 400 m, where it grows on tree trunks and can stand considerable shade.


Ramalina hyrcana is sympatric with R. farinacea and R. pollinaria and strongly reminds one of these species by its deeply divided thallus with strap-like lobes and marginal soralia. It is distinguished from both by the presence of sekikaic acid and down-turned soralia. The soredia-producing surface of the soralia is directed downward, at least in the larger soralia, giving the branches a dorsiventral aspect uncommon in Ramalina. In R. farinacea, soralia are lateral and remain so, not becoming turned downward; in Iran strains with protocetraric, salazinic and norstictic acid are known. R. pollinaria, also known from Iran, contains evernic acid and has less regularly divided thalli with often wider lobes, to 3 mm; its soralia, which may sometimes be turned downward, become often granular. The new species agrees with R. nervulosa (Müll. Arg.) Des Abb. and R. peruviana Ach. in its chemistry, thallus shape and presence of soralia (Krog & Swinscow, 1976; Swinscow & Krog, 1988; own TLC observations). It differs from both in its down-turned soralia. R. nervulosa is mainly confined to tropical regions, although it is reported from Yemen (Sipman, 2002). R. peruviana has mostly cylindrical lobes (Stevens, 1987; Swinscow & Krog, 1988).

Specimens Examined

Additional specimens examined (paratypes):—IRAN: Gilan: Prope Enseli ad mare Hyrcanum. Apr 1902, Bornmüller (Iter Persicum alterum) s.n. (B). Mazandaran: Zirab, between Khalil Kola and Zebh Valley; Valadbeigi 19 (B). Tonekabon, She-hezar towards Lireh-sar; Maassoumi 2105 (B, TARI). Zirab, Amlak Valley; Valadbeigi 11, 17 (B). Northern Khorasan: Darkesh, Nargesli; Hadjmoniry 1905 (B, FUMH).