Grosmannia serpens was first described from pine in Italy in 1936 and it has been
recorded subsequently from many countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
The fungus is vectored primarily by root-infesting bark beetles and has been reported to
contribute to pine-root diseases in Italy and South Africa. The objective of this study was to
consider the identity of a global collection of isolates not previously available and using DNA
sequence-based comparisons not previously applied to most of these isolates. Phylogenetic
analyses of the ITS2-LSU, actin, beta-tubulin, calmodulin and translation elongation factor-1
alpha sequences revealed that these morphologically similar isolates represent a complex of
five cryptic species. Grosmannia serpens sensu stricto thus is redefined and comprises only
isolates from Italy including the ex-type isolate. The ex-type isolate of Verticicladiella alacris
was shown to be distinct from G. serpens, and a new holomorphic species, G. alacris, is
described. The teleomorph state of G. alacris was obtained through mating studies in the
laboratory, confirming that this species is heterothallic. Most of the available isolates, including those from South Africa, USA, France, Portugal and some from Spain, represent G.
alacris. The remaining three taxa, known only in their anamorph states, are described as the
new species Leptographium gibbsii for isolates from the UK, L. yamaokae for isolates from
Japan and L. castellanum for isolates from Spain and the Dominican Republic.