Observation 106256: Bryoria Brodo & D. Hawksw.

When: 2012-05-16

Collection location: Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Spokane Co., Washington, USA [Click for map]

47.43° 116.4732° 719m

Who: nastassja (Nastassja Noell)

Specimen available

Site #6; coll. #16 (1 of 2+ Bryoria)

Habitat: P. ponderosa grove, near clean inflow wetlands, 50%+ canopy cover.

Substrate: dead P. ponderosa, collected from 5 feet off ground.

Thallus very soft, wispy, thin, main branches less than 0.3mm – slightly faveolate, up close it is pale, far away is looks medium brown-green.

Soredie/Soralia the soralia forms are there, but the soredia was gone before I collected it.

Pseudocyphellae light brownish.

Chemistry PPD+orange-yellow cortex; PPD-medulla; K+red, KC_yellowish-orangish, C-.

Using McCune’s key I get: B. pseudofuscens.
Using Gowards key I get: B. pseudofuscens though it is listed to be more at upper forested elevations in this area, though we are up on the Columbia Plateau so perhaps that’s good enough for this lichen individual.


the one of the left is our lichen in question here.
K-test – norstictic acid crystals, beautiful.

Proposed Names

83% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: Goward et al. “Lichens of British Columbia”
McCune et al. “Macrolichens of the PNW
Based on microscopic features: no soredia seen.
Based on chemical features: PPD+orange-yellow cortex; PPD-medulla; K+red, KC_yellowish-orangish, C-.
55% (1)
Used references: McCune et al. “Lichens of the PNW
Goward et al. “Lichens of British Columbia”
Based on chemical features: PPD+orange-yellow cortex; PPD-medulla; K+red (Norstictic acid), KC_yellowish-orangish, C-.

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
They’re gorgeous!!
By: nastassja (Nastassja Noell)
2012-08-22 15:05:18 CDT (-0400)
Right on!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-08-22 01:32:07 CDT (-0400)

Those crystals are awesome, aren’t they?

Too much reagent was a big problem for me
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-08-20 21:41:12 CDT (-0400)

Capillary tubes rocked my world. But there are other things you can try. There’s a funky fountain pen you can get, but a bit pricey. You can try paint brush or toothpick. Trevor uses a needle, although I confess I don’t know how he gets that to work(!) Another MO user figured out that Q-tips work well, in some cases at least (it pulls the result away and makes it really visible against the white cotton, but I don’t know how well it works on fleeting tests like gyrophoric or alectorialic acid). The key is to try to get it to be as controlled as possible, and apply it just to the one microscopic place that you want. I can’t stress how much this helped boost my confidence in my spot tests.

Thanks :)
By: nastassja (Nastassja Noell)
2012-08-20 21:28:57 CDT (-0400)

I’ll try the K test under the scope…

No capillary tubes, just these ridiculously large plastic eye droppers I found in the biology stockroom :) dilution may be a problem now that you mention it. I am using a paper towel beneath the fragment to absorb the color though… although I do get alot of soup when I use use these little well dishes so I try to stuff them full with lots of sample to compensate, but alas, perhaps thats working :) back to petri dishes…

I’ll try the series again, for a 3rd time, eek!!!

Pale generally means B. capillaris or B. pseudofuscescens
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-08-20 21:01:34 CDT (-0400)

But neither have soralia. Be careful to distinguish kinks and other deformities from true soralia. And be careful to separate out mixed species. (Trevor would spend literally hours cleaning out tangles from type specimens piece by piece under a dissecting scope!)

How are you doing the spot tests? I’m just concerned that the C may be getting too diluted and reading false negatives. It will be fleeting at best, anyway, by the way.

A good test to verify presence of norstictic acid is to place a piece on a tiny drop of K on a slide and look at it under 400x-1000×. It should form little needle- or star-shaped red crystals, at least after a minute or two.

Another option that I find effective is to break off a tiny part of one branch, place it on a piece of tissue, and apply reagent with a capillary tube under the dissecting scope. Hard to describe, but what happens if done right is the reagent wicks away immediately carrying the color of the reaction with it. You can probably get false negatives this way, but it is very convincing if it works. I’ve yet to miss norstictic doing it this way, for example. (I have Trevor confirm all my Bryoria IDs; he owes me at least that much! :)

Created: 2012-08-20 19:48:58 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-08-21 21:18:25 CDT (-0400)
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