Observation 54839: Phaeophyscia orbicularis (Necker) Moberg
When: 2010-08-29
Who: zaca
No herbarium specimen

Notes: Very similar to the observation specimen MO53842, living as that one in a basaltic rock. The main difference is the existence of a small number of apothecia.


Close up to display apothecia
Other specimen on the same rock.
Other specimen on the same rock.

Proposed Names

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
My contribution …
By: zaca
2011-04-12 18:48:44 CDT (-0400)

… to the discussion can only be to add some other photographs that I have from different specimens observed at the same rock. Because, it is very difficult to me to follow Jason with the keys, although I believe that her conclusion is the more plausible, and also to give a meanning to Chris work when trying to compare different worlds, although they share a lot of species. This two points of view, seeming completely without correlation, are the two faces of the same coin, because sometimes the keys gave as options the local behaviour of the different species, which perhaps are not the best characters to separated them in the whole world.

By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-04-11 21:22:55 CDT (-0400)

You gotta be kidding me — P. endococcina and P. endococcinea are different species?? Who names these things?? :)

Note that Phaeophyscia chloantha is synonymous with Physciella chloantha (which is present in North America).

I’ve been growing to appreciate how similar the flora of Portugal is to the flora of southern California and Arizona. I’m sure it’s nonideal, but I’m now willing to use the Sonoran Flora as a surrogate in absence of an equivalently authoritative work for Portugal.

(Also worth noting: we can probably safely rule out anything named “endococcina” (or “endococcinea” :), assuming the latin means anything — zaca’s specimen clearly has no red pigmentation anywhere!)

Phaeophyscia in North America and western Europe
By: Chris Parrish (kitparrish)
2011-04-11 21:05:30 CDT (-0400)

How much overlap might one expect in the checklists of Phaeophyscia of North America and Phaeophyscia of western Europe?

Here is a quick comparison using online checklists.

Phaeophyscia of Portugal, Madeira, and Azores

8 of these 12 species are shared with North America

Phaeophyscia cernohorskyi (Nádv.) Essl. – Hafellner (1995: 69)
Phaeophyscia chloantha (Ach.) Moberg – Hafellner (1995: 69), Rodrigues & Aptroot (2005: 242)
Phaeophyscia ciliata (Hoffm.) Moberg – Hafellner (1995: 69)
Phaeophyscia endococcina (Körb.) Moberg – van den Boom (1999: 193)
Phaeophyscia endococcinea (Körb.) Moberg – Hafellner (1995: 69)
Phaeophysica endococcinodes (Poelt) Essl. – Hafellner (1995: 69)
Phaeophyscia endophoenicea (Harm.) Moberg – Rodrigues & Aptroot (2005: 242)
Phaeophyscia hirsuta (Mereschk.) Essl. – van den Boom (1999: 193)
Phaeophyscia hispidula (Ach.) Moberg – Hafellner (1995: 70)
Phaeophyscia nigricans (Flörke) Moberg – Carvalho (1997: 86), van den Boom (2003: 165)
Phaeophyscia orbicularis (Necker) Moberg – Carvalho (1997: 86), Jones (1980: 271), Carvalho (1998: 106), van den Boom (2003: 170)
Phaeophyscia rubropulchra (Degel.) Essl. – Rodrigues & Aptroot (2005: 242)

Phaeophyscia of Western Europe and North Africa (Ireland, Great Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Portugal, Madeira, Azores, and Morocco)

13 of these 20 species are shared with North America

Phaeophyscia adiastola (Essl.) Essl. – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia cernohorskyi (Nádv.) Essl. – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia chloantha (Ach.) Moberg – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia ciliata (Hoffm.) Moberg – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia constipata (Norrl. et Nyl.) Moberg – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia endococcina (Körb.) Moberg – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia endococcinea (Körb.) Moberg – Llimona & Hladun (2001: 303)
Phaeophysica endococcinodes (Poelt) Essl. – Hafellner (1995: 69)
Phaeophyscia endophoenicea (Harm.) Moberg – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia hirsuta (Mereschk.) Essl. – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia hispidula (Ach.) Moberg – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia insignis (Mereschk.) Moberg. – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia kairamoi (Vain.) Moberg – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia nigricans (Flörke) Moberg – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia orbicularis (Neck.) Moberg – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia poeltii (Frey) Nimis – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia pusilloides (Zahlbr.) Essl. – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia rubropulchra (Degel.) Essl. – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia sciastra (Ach.) Moberg – Roux (2010: Internet)
Phaeophyscia strigosa

Here’s the confusion…
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-04-11 19:43:40 CDT (-0400)

Reading further, I’m not so sure.

P. adiastola is primarily an eastern North American species, also known from east Africa, but apparently not Europe.

P. sciastra is a narrower-lobed species, and is usually dark (especially would expect it to be dark on an exposed rock like this one is on). And its soredia are (in my specimens at least) very inconspicuous.

P. nigricans is an “extremely variable species” whose key character is the underside which is invisible to us. It is known from Europe. Photos of it look quite different, though. (Stridval has some, for example.)

P. orbicularis, while allegedly having “primarily laminal or submarginal soralia which are round to irregular”, seems to be quite otherwise according to all the European photos of the species! Alan Silverside comes right out and says that the soredia are marginal toward the periphery of the thallus. (His photos are dead matches for your species.)

Right. I understand why I wound up agreeing with you last time I practiced all these scientific contortions! I think I’m back to (reluctantly) deciding that P. orbicularis is the best name for these little things… until proven otherwise.

You do find lovely specimens…
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-04-11 19:16:19 CDT (-0400)

Fertile on top of everything else. How about that.

Here’s the Sonoran key (by T. Esslinger) for isidiate Phaeophyscia (abbreviated):

6a. Lower surface pale … 7
6b. Lower surface black (at least toward center) … 10

7a. Lobes 0.2-0.5 mm, thallus < 2 cm wide, without distinct pruina … 8
7b. Lobes 0.5-1.5 mm, thallus < 5 cm wide, slight to distinct pruina … 9

8a. Soralia marginal, irregular, isidioid … P. nigricans
8b. Soralia laminal, round, mounded … P. insignis

9a. Lobe tips with tiny hairs, conidia > 7 µm … P. culbersonii
9b. Lobe tips without hairs, conidia < 4 µm … P. nashii

10a. Upper surface with tiny hairs … P. hirsuta and P. kairamoi
10b. Upper surface without hairs … 12

12a. Lobes > 1.5 mm, concave, upturned … P. hispidula
12b. Lobes < 1.5 mm, flat … 13

13a. Soralia marginal, dark, isidioid, lobes < 0.5 mm … P. sciastra
13b. Soralia various, lobes > 0.5 mm … 14

14a. Soralia on reflexed labriform to capitate lobe tips … P. pusilloides
14b. Soralia laminal to marginal … 15

15a. Soralia laminal to submarginal, more or less rounded, finely granular to granular … P. orbicularis
15b. Soralia marginal to submarginal or terminal, irregular, coarsely granular to isidioid … P. adiastola

I think I’d call this P. adiastola or P. sciastra (depending on size), because of the marginal, coarse soredia. You see my problem with the genus, now, I think: there is significant overlap between species. (I edited out all the “mostly” and “generally” and “usually” — Esslinger seems unwilling to say anything definite about any of the species’s defining characteristics. :)

Created: 2010-10-04 18:45:43 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2010-10-04 18:49:13 CDT (-0400)
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