Observation 116447: Caloplaca flavorubescens (Hudson) J.R. Laundon

When: 2012-09-07

Collection location: Roche A Cri State Park, Wisconsin, USA [Click for map]

Who: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)

Specimen available

Proposed Names

18% (2)
Recognized by sight
78% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: on bark, thin yellowish thallus, orange apothecia with pale rims

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Fair enough
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-11-13 05:20:37 IST (+0530)

And I find that it’s good to go collecting in both dry and wet weather. Different things stand out when wet. Just something to be aware of, I guess.

By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2012-11-13 05:13:33 IST (+0530)

Now that it’s dry, it’s not a shiny yellow anymore, but much duller (but not to the point where it’s gray). I like photographing after rain when the colors are vivid (actually, this time it was still drizzling).

“Common”, my foot…
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-11-13 01:33:33 IST (+0530)

I agree with you, you’d think this would be obvious. But note that Thomson calls the thallus “grayish lemon yellow or yellow-green, sometimes with a whitish prothallus”. Brodo 2001 calls it “pale sulphur-yellow or almost gray”. British Flora calls it “white-yellow-green, sometimes suffused with gray”. No one wants to take a stand! :)

Here’s my theory: it’s very inconspicuous, perhaps even looking like C. cerina (or like in the photo in Brodo, much like C. stanfordensis). But when wet like this, the color really pops out.

Something like this happened to me one time in the mountains in southern California. It had just rained and everything was wet, and the apothecia of Trapelia coarctata looked vivid red, really catching the eye, even while strolling by on the trail. It was everywhere. I thought to myself, okay, this must be a really good population, because I’d only collected it once or twice before, almost by accident. I came back a few months later in the summer and I could barely find them, even though I knew exactly where to look. The apothecia had turned into tiny black specs on a nondescript dirty soil-like gray. Completely invisible.

Maybe that’s what’s going on here, too. On dry days, this ambiguously-colored thin thallus blends with the substrate to such an extent that it is invisible, and to the extent that you notice it at all, you’re just as likely to assume it’s boring old C. cerina.

I’ve never seen this one before either.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2012-11-12 22:12:16 IST (+0530)

And being yellow, it would stand out in the forest, especially since most of the other yellow stuff usually clings to the roads, parking lots and urban environments. This ones I found on logs in the woods, and at first I thought they were Ascomycete fungi – something similar to Bisporella citrina, especially since I’ve found them in similar ecological setting (small-cup fungi are almost always on dead logs). Of course, the thallus should be a giveaway, but it was still kind of unusual for me to find something like this in this setting. So I highly doubt the “common over much of the state” from Thomson.

Excellent, I’ve never been able to find this
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-11-12 12:24:56 IST (+0530)

Even though Thomson calls it common throughout the state.

Created: 2012-11-12 06:04:10 IST (+0530)
Last modified: 2012-11-12 22:12:34 IST (+0530)
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