Oceanic member of the genus Lecidea s. l. with an as yet unresolved phylogenetic position, habitually resembling species from the previously widely delimited genus Aspicilia. However, it differs from them in the dark hypothecium. Lecidea phaeops is characterized by a pale greyish fissured (rimose) thallus and black immersed apothecia, which are often not regularly rounded and may have partly almost angular margins due to compression of the surrounding thallus. Typical is also the presence of atranorin and psoromic acid in the thallus (Pd+ distinct yellow/yellow-orange).
In Europe, the species is found in climatically mild regions of the western part of the continent, including Scandinavia, but not from the Alps for example. It requires stable microclimatic conditions and therefore grows in humid, occasionally flooded places or in more or less permanently wet habitats in screes. The lichen overgrows siliceous, slightly basic rocks and boulders. The until recently only known record from the Czech Republic from the Velká kotlina glacial cirque in the Hrubý Jeseník Mts (Kovář 1909) was confirmed by a revision of the material on the occasion of the recent discovery of this species on tephrite screes on the Ralsko Hill (Malíček & Vondrák 2018).
Literature: Kovář F. (1909): Třetí příspěvek ku květeně lišejníků moravských. – Věstník Klubu Přírodovědců v Prostějově 11: 55–99. Malíček J. & Vondrák J. (2018): Lišejníky chráněných území Ralsko a Vranovské skály (severní Čechy). – Bryonora 62: 1–23.taxonomic classification:
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