Collection location: Marteleira, Lourinhã, Portugal [Click for map]
A group of specimens growing in the soil inside a village. According to CNALH there are two species of Diploschistes living in terricolous habitats: D. diacapsis and D. muscorum. The main difference between the two is that the former has usually 8-spored asci while the latter has 4-spored asci. Unfortunately, I didn’t collect the lichen, so is not possible to make the microscopic analysis. The other cited differences are rather subtle: areoles and ascomata may be bigger in the former species. On the other hand, D. muscorum is a juvenile parasitic on Cladonia spp, and I didn’t saw any Cladonia around.
Concerning the spot tests the reference given above indicates for both species:
K+ yellow to red, C+ red, KC-, P-, UV.
In the case of my specimens I observed the following:
C+red (fading), K+yellow/green (weak), KC+yellow (the red color in the photograph attached is due to C without K bellow).
Maybe the KC reaction is due to a delay in the K reaction.
Another possibility would be the species D. ocellatus, which does not exist in USA but exists in Portugal, is also terricolous and similar to the other two species cited above. However, I encountered this species before and the thallus and, mainly, the form of apothecia were quite different from this species.
Returning to the two species presented in CNALH, there is something that in my opinion makes some difference between the two species, although it is not mentioned in the description but is visible from the Sharnoff photographs included. I mean the greenish tint that all that specimens have and that my specimens also have. This, together with the absence of Cladonia spp makes me believe that the most probable choice is C. diacapsis.
As a final remark, let me add that in the Checklist of lichens and lichenicolous fungi of Portugal the species D. diacapsis is not mentioned, but it is mentioned in the Checklist of lichens and lichenicolous fungi of the Azores in spite of Azores being a part of Portugal (see also Biodiversity Azores). This already happened before with other species of lichens.
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Created: 2011-04-27 15:56:10 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2011-04-27 15:56:12 PDT (-0700)
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