The genus Calogaya (Teloschistaceae, Xanthorioideae) was established to accommodate mainly epilithic lichens with lobate thalli, previously regarded as the "Caloplaca saxicola group." Data supporting the recognition of this new genus came from European lichens, and although the genus is soundly based, we have found in Asia numerous epiphytic lineages and lineages with reduced, non-lobate thallus in dry continental areas. The taxonomic and functional diversity of Calogaya is distinctly higher in steppe and desert areas of Asia than in the less arid regions of Europe. We sampled 238 specimens, mostly from arid regions of north-western China, Iran, southern Siberia and Turkey. Three nuclear DNA loci were analysed separately and jointly by Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood and *BEAST approaches. Delimitations of 28 putative species were tested by BP&P multispecies coalescent model with joint analysis of species delimitation and species-tree estimation. Finally, we recognised 22 taxonomic units: 16 are at species rank, 3 are treated as subspecies and 3 are complexes, treated here as a single entity, but in reality probably including more than one species. Calogaya altynis, C. biatorina subsp. asiatica, C. decipiens subsp. esorediata, C. haloxylonis, C. orientalis, C. xanthoriella and C. xinjiangis are newly described. Caloplaca zoroasteriorum is combined into Calogaya, and Calogaya persica is reduced to a subspecies. The taxonomic status of Calogaya saxicola is unclear, and the name is employed here "sensu lato" for several non-monophyletic epilithic lineages with short-lobed thalli. Calogaya biatorina and C. ferrugineoides are the two other heterogeneous taxonomic units probably including more species.