Observation 13343: Niebla cephalota (Tuck.) Rundel & Bowler
When: 2008-11-01
No herbarium specimen

Notes: Flattened pendant frondose lichen, with lime-green bumps on the long, spider-like fronds. Wasn’t sure whether this was even a lichen at first, but the photos came out better than I hoped for.

Proposed Names

5% (2)
Recognized by sight
56% (1)
Recognized by sight: The rounded balls of powdery soredia suggest N. cephalota. However the branches look a bit too flattened and “muscular” and perhaps even white-streaked, suggesting possibly Ramalina subleptocarpha (although the soralia should be more linear in such a case). Both would be expected to occur in such a location.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Spikey flower-like thing
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2008-11-03 02:31:48 CST (-0500)

That’s okay, I can’t remember what it’s called either! And I think that was supposed to be a common characteristic of this hypothetical coastal form of Ramalina subleptocarpha. I’m still guessing it’s Niebla cephalota.

Not R. subleptocarpha
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-11-03 02:05:48 CST (-0500)

Mine doesn’t have that rather flower-like green spikey thing on it. (Aren’t you glad I’m not describing lichens scientifically … yet? Or are you bemoaning it?)

Entire west coast.
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2008-11-02 23:16:03 CST (-0500)

This species of Niebla has far greater range than any other, it is also one of the only ones that grow on trees (N. ceruchis does but is primarily in Baja). Apparently it can be found as far north as southern Alaska(!) According to the FIA database I have it is common as far as southern Oregon, and at least infrequent up into southern BC. It is, however, only found near the coast (the so-called “hypermaritime” zone)… although not as limited as the rock-dwelling Niebla which literally I’ve never found outside stone’s throw of the ocean.

As for Platismatia herrei: that is a distinctly foliose species (one side is different than the other) with more scattered granular soredia (or is it isidia? I forget) along the margins. Yours has finer soredia in well-delimited patches (“soralia”).

According to Trevor Goward, there is a coastal form of R. subleptocarpha that looks a little like yours. See this photo (taken at Navarro Point, in northern California).

Could you comment about range, Jason? Please?
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-11-02 22:50:46 CST (-0500)

I looked at the map in Brodo regarding this species, and can find no range given. I also found a different species with similar growth habitat (but not exactly the same) in Brodo on page 34 called Plastismatia herrei from the Oregon Coast. However, in the main bulk of Brodo this lichen is shown as quite a different looking lichen.

Created: 2008-11-01 19:16:34 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2008-11-01 19:16:34 CST (-0500)
Viewed: 25 times, last viewed: 2016-10-23 14:02:45 CDT (-0400)