Dictyonema huaorani, a new species represented by a well-developed specimen found in the Ecuadorian Amazon region, is described in this paper. The material was collected during a Harvard ethnobotanical expedition in 1981 and originally determined by Mason E. Hale Jr. as belonging in the genus Dictyonema (D. sericeum s.lat.) and possibly representing an undescribed species. The species is morphologically distinctive in forming densely woven, semicircular thalli, closely resembling those of the paleotropical D. ligulatum but lacking clamps and with hyphal sheath around the photobiont filaments that resembles those of Cyphellostereum species. The species was reported to have hallucinogenic properties and chemical analyses suggest certain substances present that are shared with the hallucinogenic mushroom Psilocybe cubensis. Due to our inability to use pure reference compounds and scarce amount of sample for compound identification, however, our analyses were not able to determine conclusively the presence of hallucinogenic substances.
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Vol. 117 • No. 4