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Gintaras Kantvilas 2

Knightiella Müll.Arg., Flora 69: 255 (1886).

Type: K. leucocarpa Müll.Arg. [= K. splachnirima (Hook.f. & Taylor) Gyeln.]

Thallus squamulose to foliose and lobate, pale greyish green when fresh, eventually drying to a pale beige-grey, forming extensive, often discontinuous colonies tens of cms wide; lobes typically imbricate, (0.5–)1–5 mm wide, 150–750 µm thick, plane to undulate or concave, with margins rounded, ascending or recurved, sometimes a little thickened, very rarely marginally sorediate or lobulate; upper surface with a thin cortex of parenchymatous hyphae 6–14 µm wide; lower surface white, arachnoid, ecorticate. Photobiont chlorococcoid, with cells irregularly roundish or rhomboid, 6–8 × 3–6 µm, in subglobose clusters. Ascomata apothecia, biatorine, 1–4.5 mm wide, solitary or grouped, strongly basally constricted to ± substipitate. Proper exciple pale greyish pink, ± concolorous with the disc or a little paler, entire to deeply lobate-flexuose, persistent, in section cupulate, 70–150(–200) µm thick, composed of entangled, radiating, branched and anastomosed hyphae 2–5 µm thick. Disc pink to greyish pink to pale brown, sometimes thinly whitish-pruinose, plane to undulate, smooth at first, becoming verruculose with age. Hypothecium hyaline, composed of very loosely interwoven hyphae. Hymenium hyaline, I+ pale blue, KI+ pale blue. Paraphyses 1.5–2 µm thick, branched, anastomosed and entangled; apices sometimes slightly knob-like, to 3 µm wide. Asci 8-spored, 95–150 × 9–12 µm, of the Icmadophila-type: elongate-cylindrical with an extended basal “tail”; outer wall thin and intensely amyloid at the apex; tholus well-developed, weakly amyloid in the uppermost part; and ascoplasm with a rounded, truncate or concave apex. Ascospores hyaline, 0–1-septate, ellipsoid, thin-walled, non-halonate, highly vacuolate when young, 14–17.5–20(–23) × 5–5.9–7(–8) µm. Conidiomata unknown. Chemistry: thamnolic acid (major); thallus and apothecial sections strongly K+ yellow.

A monotypic genus comprising the species cited below. Although one of the most distinctive and easily recognised Tasmanian macrolichens, this species has had a complex taxonomic history, most recently being classified in the Northern Hemisphere genus Icmadophila. However, its unique status has been confirmed by DNA sequence data, most recently by Ludwig et al. (2000).

Key references: Galloway & Elix (1980); Galloway (2000); Ludwig et al. (2020).

1 Knightiella splachnirima (Hook.f. & Taylor) Gyeln.

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Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 29: 1 (1931); —Parmelia splachnirima Hook.f. & Taylor, London J. Bot. 3: 645 (1844); Lobaria splachnirima (Hook.f. & Taylor) Zahlbr., Cat. Lich. Univ. 3: 292 (1925); Thelidea splachnirima (Hook.f. & Taylor) P.James, in W. Martin, Trans. Roy. Soc. New Zealand 3: 205 (1968) (nom. inval.); Physcia splachnirima (Hook.f. & Taylor) Yoshim., J. Hattori Bot. Lab. 34: 253 (1971); Icmadophila splachnirima (Hook.f. & Taylor) D.J.Galloway, Lichenologist 32: 295 (2000). Type: [Tasmania] Van Diemens Land, R.C. Gunn (lecto, fide Galloway & Elix 1980—FH; isolecto—BM!).

Knightiella squamarioides (Nyl.) Müll.Arg., Flora 71: 202 (1888); —Baeomyces squamarioides Nyl., Syn. Meth. Lich. 1: 184 (1860). Type: Tasmania, supra terram inter Jungermannias minores, C. Stuart (lecto, fide Galloway & Elix 1980, —H-NYL 40234!; isolecto—BM!).

Thelidea corrugata Hue, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 48: LXI (1902).

Widespread in high rainfall areas where it grows on peat, soil or rotting plant material in open, moist situations. The peaty margins of roads and tracks in wet forest, buttongrass moorland and scrub are a typical habitat. It also occurs in Victoria, New Zealand and the subantarctic islands. Soredia are very rare in Tasmanian populations and are not considered to be taxonomically significant.

Margate, 43°02’S 147°15’E, 1911, L. Rodway (HO); Raminea Plains, 80 m, 1984, G. Kantvilas 585/84 (distributed as A. Vězda: Lich. Sel. Exsicc.: 2021) (HO); Lake Cygnus, 43°08’S 146°14’E, 880 m, 2006, G. Kantvilas 495/06 (HO); c. 1.5 km NE of Mt Pillinger, 41°48’S 146°08’E, 1000 m, 2015, G. Kantvilas 3/15 (HO) [sorediate].


Galloway DJ, Elix JA (1980) Knightiella Müll.Arg., a monotypic lichen genus from Australasia. New Zealand Journal of Botany 18 481–486.

Galloway DJ (2000) Knightiella belongs in Icmadophila (Helotiales: Icmadophilaceae). Lichenologist 32 294–297.

Ludwig LR, Kantvilas G, Nilsen AR, Orlovich DA, Summerfield TC, Wilk K, Lord JM (2020) A molecular-genetic reassessment of the circumscription of the lichen genus Icmadophila. Lichenologist 52 213–220.

  1. This work can be cited as: Kantvilas G (2023). Knightiella, version 2023:1. In MF de Salas (Ed.) Flora of Tasmania Online. 2 pp. (Tasmanian Herbarium, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery: Hobart). (accessed ).  ↩︎

  2. Tasmanian Herbarium, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, PO Box 5058, UTAS LPO, Sandy Bay, TAS 7005, Australia.  ↩︎