• 1Proposed
  • 2Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Seirophora villosa (Ach.) Frödén

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Scientific name
Seirophora villosa
(Ach.) Frödén
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Assessment status
Proposed by
Violeta Atienza
Sergio Perez-Ortega
Violeta Atienza, Tiina Randlane, Sonia Ravera
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg, Toby Spribille

Assessment Status Notes

Taxonomic notes

The genus Seirophora was erected by Poelt (1983) including the type species Physcia magara Kremp.. Frödén & Lassen (2004) realize that the type material of Physcia magara is heterogeneous. It is a mixture of Ramalina maciformis (Delile) Bory and Teloschistes villosus (Ach.) Norman). Frödén & Lassen opus cit. typified Physcia magara on the Teloschistes villosus-part of Physcia magara type material.
On the other hand, Kondratyuk & Karnefelt (2003) described the genus Xanthoanaptychia, with type species Xanthoanaptychia villosa (Ach.) S. Kondratyuk & Karnefelt. Xanthoanaptychia includes three Seirophora species (S. contortuplicata, S. lacunosa, S. villosa) characterised, among others, by multiseriate complex hairs and short septa spores, and Teloschistes chrysophthalmus which, unlike the above-cited ones, has cilia at the lobe ends and long septa spores, characteristics that it shares with the remaining Teloschistes species.  Further molecular studies indicate that Xanthoanaptychia is a polyphyletic genus (Gaya & al., 2008), and this is also evidenced by more recent molecular work. The results of some of these studies support Seirophora monophyly (Gaya & al., 2012), and the segregation of Seirophora and Teloschistes into two different subfamilies, Caloplacoideae and Teloschistoideae, respectively (Arup & al., 2013).
A slightly better clarification on a question on Xanthoanaptychia villosa (Ach.) S. Kondratyuk & Karnefelt basionym: Parmelia villosa Ach., since attention has been drawn to the fact that the http://www.indexungorum.org shows Lichen villosus Haller as this basionym. This is a mistake, probably as the result of a cross between databases and spelling resemblance between specific epithets. Check the http://www.mycobank.org in comparison.
Kondratyuk & Kudratov’s (2003) studies on the “Teloschistes brevior” complex collections from central Asian countries described Xanthoanaptychia kotovii S. Kondr. & Kudratov. These authors highlight that this taxon was previously known in the region as Xanthoanaptychia villosa ssp. brevior (Nyl.) S. Kondr. & Kärnefelt (=Seirophora villosa), and that the majority of references to records in the Russian lichenological literature belong to X. kotovii. Neither the morhological characteristics nor their combination with the requirements of the habitats of the taxa employed for this study appropriately correspond with those of Seirophora villosa). For all these reasons, its presence in a central Asian region is quite doubtful. The presence of Seirophora villosa (as Teloschistes villosus) on dry juniper-oak forests and scrubs of the Mediterranean type along the southern coast of Crimea (the Ukraine) is much more likely (Oxner,1993; Kondratyuk et al., 1998).
Seirophora villosa thallus is fruticose, forming large branched cushions (to 14 cm) on the branches of phorophytes. Laciniae flat, canaliculated (to 2.5 cm wide), upper cortex, greyish, covered with thick multiseriated hairs. Abundant reddish-orange apothecia. 

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

There is some evidence that habitat degradation/loss is the cause of Seirophora villosa decline. This is due to anthropogenic pressure, mainly tourism, which causes Juniperus sp. pl. Mediterranean coastal dune forests (Natura 2000 priority habitat code: 2250) to decrease. Benesperi & al. 2013 correlated positively the abundance of S. villosa in Juniperus coastal dune forest stands with the width of the coastal zone covered by Juniperus vegetation in Tuscany, Italy.
It is a Red List species in Italy and Spain (The Balearic Islands) and considered as indicator species of habitat conservation (Salva & Barreno, 2009, Atienza & Rico 2011).

However, although there is specific information on the reduction of populations in northern Mediterranean areas (Italy and Spain) and how human pressure produce the extinction of populations (Benesperi et al. 2013) no information is available on the status of populations from Northern Africa. Further, the taxonomic status of populations from South America is unclear.
So, we assess the species as Data Deficient at the global level. And considering the inferrred, estimated and observed reduction of population sizes in Spain and Italy we considered the species Near Threatened under criterion A2 (a,c), A3(a,c) at the European Level.

Geographic range

A coastal species growing epiphytic on Juniperus sp. pl. forests located mainly around Mediterranean coasts, including islands. It is known in Spain, Balearic Islands included, Portugal, Italy including Sardinia and Sicilia, France, Greece, Egypt, Tunisia, Israel, Libya, Arabia Saudi, Morocco. Found also in some Atlantic locations like South Portugal, Canary Islands and Cabo Verde. Recently found in some areas in the southern Hemisphere in Chile and Peru. The presence of Seirophora villosa on dry juniper-oak forests and scrubs of the Mediterranean type along the southern coast of Crimea (the Ukraine) (Oxner,1993; Kondratyuk et al., 1998) is quite likely.

Population and Trends

Population Trend:

Habitat and Ecology

Seirophora villosa is coastal lichen species epiphytic on Juniperus sp. pl. forests growing on branches of Juniperus phoenicea and Pistacia lentiscus. It appears more abundantly in south localities and prefers subtropical dry salty winds. It shares its habitat with Roccella phycopsis, and Ramalina canariensis, R. lacera, R. implectens, Dirina ceratoniae, Bactrospora patellarioides and Thelopsis isiaca. Its habitat is fragile due to tourism and urban development pressures.


Major threats are habitat degradation and extirpation. The species seems to be closely linked to the hosts (Juniperus macrocarpa and thurifera) in coastal habitats. It has been showed that minor changes in habitat quality leads to the extirpation of the species (Benesperi & Lastrucci 2013)

Conservation Actions

Research needed

Assessment of the actual status and size of North African populations is needed. Further, confirmation of the taxonomic status of population from Southern America is also neccesary.


Arup, U., Søchting, U. & Frödén, P. (2013) A new taxonomy of the family Teloschistaceae. Nordic Journal of Botany 31(1): 016-083.
Atienza, V. & Rico, V. (2011) Líquenes y hongos liquenícolas como indicadores de la calidad de hábitat en las Reservas Naturales de Es Vedrà, Es Vedranell i els Illots de Ponent, y en el LIC Cap Llentrisca-Sa Talaia (Archipiélago de Las Pitiusas, Islas Baleares). Informe Govern de les Illes Balears, Conselleria de Medi Ambient I Movilitat, Espais de Natura Balear. To be published.
Benesperi & Lastrucci (2013) Human Disturbance Threats the Red-Listed Macrolichen Seirophora villosa (Ach.) Frödén in Coastal Juniperus Habitats: Evidence From Western Peninsular Italy. Environmental Management 52:939–945.
Benesperi R. & Ravera S. (2011) Seirophora villosa (Ach.) Frödén Inform Bot. Ital. 43:69–72.
Frödén, P. & Lassen, P. Typification and emendation of Seirophora Poelt to include species segregated from Teloschistes Norman. The Lichenologist 36: 289-298.
Gaya, E., Navarro-Rosinés, P., Llimona, X., Hladún, N. & Lutzoni, F. (2008) Phylogenetic reassessment of the Teloschistaceae. Mycological Research 112: 528-546.
Gaya, E., Högnabba, F., Holguin, Á.,Molnar, K.; Fernández-Brime, S., Stenroos, S., Arup, U., Søchting, U., van den Boom, P., Lücking, R., Sipman, H.J.M.& Lutzoni, F. (2012) Implementing a cumulative supermatrix approach for a comprehensive phylogenetic study of the Teloschistales (Pezizomycotina, Ascomycota). - Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63(2): 374-387.
Kondratyuk, S., Khodosovtsev, A Ye. & Zelenko, S.D. (1998) The second checklist of lichenforming, lichenicolous and allied fungi of Ukraine. Kiev: Phytosociocentre, 198 pp.
Kondratyuk & Kudratov (2003) To revision of middle Asian material of the “Teloschistes brevior” complex (Teloschistaceae). Ukr. Botan. Journ. 63 (3): 340-350.
Nascimbene J., Nimis PL. & Ravera S. (2013) Evaluating the conservation status of epiphytic lichens of Italy: a red list. Plant Biosyst. - An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology: Official Journal of the Societa Botanica Italiana, 147:4, 898-904, DOI:10.1080/11263504.2012.748101
Nimis PL. & Martellos, S. 2008. ITALIC the information system on italian lichens. Version 4.0. University of Trieste, Department of Biology. http://dbiodbs.univ.trieste.it/
Oxner, A.N. (1993) Flora of the Lichens of Ukraine, Vol. 2. - Naukova Dumka, Kiev. 541 pp.
Salvà G. & Barreno E. 2009. Seirophora villosa (Ach.) Fröden. Bioatles, Conselleria de Medi Ambient, Palma. http://bioatles.caib.es.
Salvà G., Martínez-Alberola F., Royo C., Gasulla F., Montero E. & Barreno E. (2009) Population density of Seirophora villosa (Ach.) Frödén in Balearic Islands (Spain) and Sardinia Island (Italy). Not. Soc. Lich. Ital. 22:60
Salvà G., Montero E., Ravera S., Benesperi R. & Barreno E. (2010) IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria of the lichen Seirophora villosa in Spain and Italy. Not. Soc. Lich. Ital. 23:53.

Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted