I think that this specimen belong to the genus Phlyctis, since the overall appearance is similar to the specimens of this genus that I have encountered so far. But there are some noticiable differences.
On one hand, the specimen is crowded of apothecia, more or less immersed in the thallus, some of indefinite form but most rounded, dark grey and very similar in colour to the apothecia of Phlyctis argena, that I never saw but from which I saw pictures (see, for instance, AFL). The apothecia are similar, except maybe in colour, from what I have observed in the other species of Phlyctis, P. agelaea (see, e.g., observation 93689 and observation 109373). However, contrary to P. argena and P.agelaea these specimens are not sorediate. For the purpose of comparison, the same day and living in the same habitat I found a Phlyctis agealaea (the first one at this location) that I consider in a different observation (observation 113516). Nevertheless, the chemistry is the same for all of them: C-, K+ yellow to red, KC+/- red.
On the other hand, I was searching the checklists of Portugal and the neighboring countries in western europe and in north Africa and only two species are mentioned, those considered above. Based on this enormous evidence I had to surrender, but still with many doubts, mainly because:
- P. argena, which is common at this location, only rarely have apothecia and is conspicuously soriediate;
- P. agelaea usually have apothecia and has granules/soredia covering the whole thallus.
- My specimens have plenty of apothecia, the main part of the thallus is areolate, non-sorediate and wrinkly, which can be a consequence of the substractum; granulation, if exists, is restricted to the margin of thallus.
I wish I have a working microscope to observe the spores.
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When we finally find good literature or material for comparison, thanks to you documenting these things so well, you should have no trouble putting species names on them on some later date.
I made the microscopy (my microscope ended its hibernation) and the first conclusion to dray from it is: As I suspected the genus is Phlyctis. The spores are very much similar to those of P. agelaea, muriform, equiped with a periscope at both ends and with dimension similar to what I observed before (see also observation 113516 on a neighbor tree). So maybe this specimen belongs to that species, though its morphology is quite different from usual.
In the meantime, a specimen that I thought to be a Pertusaria (see observation 113605) and that was found the same day, but at about 500 meters from this one, proves to be also of the genus Phlyctis and again its morphology is different from this one and also from that what I’m used to see in previous observations. So, either this species is very variable in its macroscopic characters or there are other species in the genus here. Which one is true? I don’t have means to say.
Created: 2012-10-15 14:10:43 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2012-10-15 14:10:46 PDT (-0700)
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