Observation 189849: Cladonia strepsilis (Ach.) Grognot

Proposed Names

28% (2)
Recognized by sight
-60% (2)
Recognized by sight
31% (2)
Used references: Tentative ID from Jason Hollinger
57% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: ID provided by Jim Bennett

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus

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We’ve got to trust Bennett on this, though
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2015-05-09 22:02:20 CDT (-0500)

It’s unmistakable. If he saw it, then he saw it, and there’s literally nothing else it could be, that’s unique to that one species in all of lichendom.

Arg! Cladonia can really be frustrating that way…

I am not seeing it on my specimen either…
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2015-05-09 21:31:55 CDT (-0500)
It’s a super-cool bluish green, unmistakable
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2015-05-09 20:11:43 CDT (-0500)
After all, maybe money was well spent :)
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2015-05-09 19:47:38 CDT (-0500)

I have specimen here now. How green is the green? I wonder if I’ll be able to see it.

Plot thickens…
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2015-05-09 00:50:19 CDT (-0500)

Just sectioned and stained one of those apothecia… It is entirely consistent with a Cladonia apothecium: spores 8 per ascus, simple, ellipsoid, hyaline, smooth ~10×5µm; asci ~30×10µm with K/I+ blue amyloid tube structure (porpidia-type).

Whatever Bennett is looking at, it’s not what I’m looking at! :)

I’ll keep it in the box of specimens I’m sending to Lendemer. Maybe we’ll get a third name and be even more confused than before! :)

Oh no!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2015-05-09 00:29:29 CDT (-0500)

I’ve made the same mistake before — I don’t even think to try C, because it’s so rare to find strepsilis! :)

… But, I just tested my part of the specimen again… and no C+ green. So multiple species present?

Now I’m fascinated to test this parasite, though… :)

Stay tuned…

Jim Bennett said it’s C.strepsilis
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2015-05-08 21:10:13 CDT (-0500)

And the black sh** is a fungal parasite – he doesn’t know which one. (so you were right at some point – see conversation below). I think this parasite owes us some money for time spent trying to ID it. How much do you charge an hour? :-)

Tentative identification
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2015-01-23 11:30:40 CST (-0600)

Because C. stipitata is not yet known from the Great Lakes Region so far as I know. The apothecia of this species are supposed to be solitary small globose black things sitting on the squamules. It’s probably unusual to see so many clustered together like this. Also, the habit isn’t as caespitose as I’m used to seeing (in the Smokies). But the gestalt is very similar, and the chemistry seems right: upper surface K+y, lower surface K~ dingy yellowish, P+y turning orange slowly and weakly — this seems consistent with presence of atranorin and weak amounts of fumarprotocetraric acid.

I’m forced to agree with everything you say!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-11-30 13:44:39 CST (-0600)

Hypocenomyce was just a shot in the dark. I confess that it doesn’t look right, either. But I do still question Cladonia. Although nothing you’ve presented definitively rules out Cladonia yet.

Still, it was a good exercise to consider Hypocenomyce, I think. Sometimes following red-herrings like that can suggest alternatives that you haven’t thought of yet.

But I’m still drawing a blank. I still wouldn’t rule out:

1) another genus we haven’t considered yet
2) a mixture of a moss/soil crust and an apodetiate Cladonia
3) some sort of parasite on Cladonia

What it comes down to is I can’t think of any Cladonia (in North America at least) with clustered black apothecia like that! But maybe it’s option 4:

4) bizarre form of a common species of Cladonia we’re otherwise familiar with

Just trying to consider every possibility in the face of apparently seeming impossible otherwise! (There’s a quote from Sherlock Holmes which would be very appropriate here, but it slips my mind…)

I
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-11-30 13:38:41 CST (-0600)
I just added few more photos of Hypocenomyce and its habitat.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-11-30 11:04:26 CST (-0600)

Since this is new genus to me, I see how I’ve been had: I honestly thought, browsing the rocky outcrops, that those sterile “pillows” were Cladonia strepsilis or something similar. Luckily I plucked few specimen, and under microscope they all have soredia-tipped lobes.
I tried to narrow it down to species using Thomson Lichens of Wisconsin. He lists three species, all of them northern boreal stuff, but H.scalaris is supposed to have an outlier in Adams County (where this location is). But that species is supposed to be C+ red, and my specimen turned out to be C-. Between the two remaining species, H.anthracophila has apothecia “strongly convex, emarginate” (versus H.friesii apothecia flat, marginate), and “squamules sorediate” (versus H.friesii squamules esorediate). So it’s got to be Hypocenomyce anthracophila. However, the habitat listed is conifer wood, burned fenceposts and other places that don’t fit the bill here: my “pillows” grow in typical Cladonia habitat, as you can see from the pictures (mixed with “true” Cladonia too – that’s why I didn’t think it was a different genus).

Apothecial margins problematic
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-11-28 02:38:33 CST (-0600)

Yeah, I was bothered but the marginless clustered apothecia,too. Hmmm. It’s a head-scratcher, alright. I feel like I should recognize this, but can’t quite put my finger on it…

Must be Hypocenomyce
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-11-27 20:32:15 CST (-0600)

I just looked at another specimen from the same location, and it does look as a classic picture of Hypocenomyce. The only problem is apothecia – while I found photos of this genus with apothecia bunched up in piles, all of them had margins. These specimen I have don’t have any margins on apothecia – I popped few of them off and didn’t find anything resembling a margin.

I don’t know – this one is a complete baffler.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-11-27 17:58:12 CST (-0600)

Cladonia-like squamules (or Hypocenomyce-like – I’ve never seen that genus before), Lepraria-like soredia, who-knows-what-like apothecia? It’s a relieve though knowing that Dr.Frankenstein has switched to lower life forms :-)

…or maybe the apothecia belong to a (very happy) parasite??
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-11-27 17:39:24 CST (-0600)
I want to say this may not actually be Cladonia
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-11-27 17:38:39 CST (-0600)

Like maybe it’s Hypocenomyce? I see a granular Lepraria-like thing mixed in with all the photos… could the black apothecia belong to that, and the Cladonia be a different thing? (I see, for example, a young cupped podetium in the first photo, clearly unassociated with the black apothecia… but also perhaps unassociated with the bulk of the squamules!)

I’d recommend “Wisdom of Fools” — one of the better-named scientific papers of the last decade — as it treats the apodetiate Cladonia of eastern North America… only it relies extremely heavily on chemistry. Phooey.

On sloped surfaces of sandstone formations, close to the bottom.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-11-27 14:01:19 CST (-0600)

Quick look through Lichens of North America, Macrolichens of New England and Lichen Fauna of the Greater Sonoran Desert didn’t yield any quick solutions for this one. I am now crunching through my smaller books in search of a photo with similar black podetia-less apothecia. I will not try to find the species through keys, considering the size of this family (me-lazy), but hope someone knows this species off the top off their head.

Created: 2014-11-27 13:39:30 CST (-0600)
Last modified: 2015-05-08 21:06:54 CDT (-0500)
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