We present a taxonomic revision of the lichenized basidiomycete genus Acantholichen, species of which produce a characteristic blue-gray, microsquamulose thallus with spiny apical hyphal cells known as acanthohyphidia. Since its discovery, the genus was thought to be monospecific, only including the generic type, A. pannarioides. However, a detailed morphological and anatomical study of recently collected specimens from the Galápagos, Costa Rica, Brazil and Colombia, combined with a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2) region and 28S of the nuc rDNA and RPB2 sequences, revealed a much more diverse and widespread species assemblage. Based on the results of these analyses, we describe five new species in the genus: A. albomarginatus, A. campestris, A. galapagoensis, A. sorediatus and A. variabilis. We also provide an identification key to all species, anatomical and morphological descriptions, photographs and a table comparing main characters of each species.
Keywords: Basidiolichens; lichenized fungi; montane forest; phylogeny; taxonomy; tropical diversity.
© 2016 by The Mycological Society of America.