Thallus: creamy-white to yellow, 0.5–1.5 mm thick, widespreading with distinct margin and thin, bluish-grey prothallus; cracked-areolate, areoles flat, smooth, 0.3–0.5 mm across, not corticate but with pale brown pigment in surface cells; large crystals (15–35 µm) not dissolving in K present in medulla. Photobiont chlorococcoid, 12–15 µm diam.
Apothecia innate, blue-black, orbicular to slightly irregular, 0.2-0.4 mm diam.; disc concave, separated from the thallus by a narrow crack, sometimes with part of thallus attached to the apothecium and forming a pseudothalline margin, proper margin usually not apparent but rarely thin and slightly raised above the level of the disc; blue-black pigment spreading patchily into the surrounding thallus. Thecium 80–90 µm tall, inspersed, paraphyses septate, sparingly branched and anastomosing, with a gelatinous sheath, c. 3 µm thick, swollen at the apex to 5–8 µm, epihymenium blue-black (H+ blue, N+ red; cinereorufa-green). Hypothecium massively developed, c. 300 µm tall, hyaline but appearing pale brown due to minute crystals that dissolve in K. Asci Lecanora-type, 60–70 × 15–17 µm, cylindrical; ascospores: simple, hyaline, occasionally with a thin septum, 10–13 × 5–7 µm. Proper exciple sometimes visible as a band of golden-brown cells on the edge of the thecium. Thalline exciple not developed.
Conidiomata not observed
Chemistry: atranorin and unknown substances by TLC.
Comments: This new species is placed in Calvitimela, rather than Tephromela because of its Lecanora-type asci. The apothecia are immersed in the thallus and appear aspicilioid, sometimes with a cryptothalline margin that is probably best described as parts of the thallus adhering to the apothecia as cracks form between the apothecium and adjacent thallus. Calvitimela austrochilensis is further characterized by its massively developed, hyaline hypothecium.
The single Marion Island collection is similar in morphology and chemistry to the SW Chile population, but has a brownish hypothecium that is not as massively developed as in the Chilean collections. It may represent a distinct species, especially considering its disjunct location.
*NOTE: In the original description, the specific epithet was incorrectly given as austrochilenis and this is the spelling in which the name appears in some databases.
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