Observation 12355: Peltigera neopolydactyla (Gyeln.) Gyeln.
When: 2008-10-11
No herbarium specimen

Notes: This is an amazing lichen, and the largest that I have found to date. It was growing on a well-rotted Western redcedar log (see needles in photos). Total width over 3 feet, depth, 2 feet. Surface wrinkled black, similar to black crepe paper, with white tips at the edges, and occasionally the most beautifully contrasting bright red fruiting structures. Reverse Mostly white, with whitish raised veins and when young, white rhizimes, becoming black as they get longer and older. I didn’t want to disturb this very much: it looked too beautiful and venerable to

Proposed Names

5% (2)
Recognized by sight
28% (1)
Recognized by sight
84% (1)
Used references: Brodo: are those lobes “uncrisped” and round? is this considered “rather dull”?

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-10-14 08:16:48 PDT (-0700)

I wonder if there have been any genetic studies on the ascos in lichens, comparing to other ascos.

Many lichens have small, colorful cup-shaped apothecia and may be related to the pezizas, sarcoscyphas, otideas, and/or scutellinias. These have saddle-shaped spore-brearing structures on raised stems, which makes me wonder if they are related to the helvellas and gyromitras.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some of the monophyletic groups of ascos tend to contain mixtures of lichenized and standalone species, and that lichenization has evolved repeatedly and/or that DElichenization and RElichenization have occurred during evolutionary history.

How many extant ascos are “pure fungi” but retain genes for allying with algae and could become lichens in one generation with a genetic flip of a switch? How many lichens might likewise become freestanding fungi in one generation and at the drop of a hat?

P. neopolydactyla or new species?
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-10-14 06:45:43 PDT (-0700)

I would say the lobes were at least 4cm wide, and probably wider. This was huge! But I didn’t take a measurement of it, so should be careful until I actually have taken measurements. 4cm seems pretty narrow for this specimen, which I think has closer to 4 inch wide lobes than 4cm.

Peltigeras are hard
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2008-10-14 00:18:46 PDT (-0700)

No question it is Peltigera: those raised saddle-like apothecia on finger-like extensions of the lobes, tomentose white and veins below with rhizines. It looks like it must be one of P. membranacea, P. neopolydactyla, or P. polydactylon. Since the veins look relatively broad to me, I’d rule out P. membranacea, but the other two are subtle: according to Brodo:

P. polydactylon: lobes 7-15(-20) mm across, with crisped margins; upper surface shiny throughout (no pruina)
P. neopolydactyla: lobes 20-40 mm across, round and not crisped; surface rather dull and often pruinose

I lean to the latter, and according to Brodo it’s the only of the two that occur on the west coast.

Now you know as much as I do on the subject… ;)

Created: 2008-10-11 22:39:23 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2008-10-11 22:39:23 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 22 times, last viewed: 2016-10-28 12:58:19 PDT (-0700)
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