Observation 71291: Fungi Bartl.

When: 2011-05-13

Collection location: Blue Mound State Park, Wisconsin, USA [Click for map]

Who: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)

No specimen available

Proposed Names

29% (3)
Recognized by sight
46% (4)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: Going with what Brendan said and how it almost looks rhizomorphic.
28% (1)
Used references: Brendan

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Sounds convincing.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-08-01 21:16:59 PDT (-0700)

I did see images of V.maura and noticed it was a tidal species. I just thought, by association, that this species might be one out of 10 or so land-based Verrucaria in WI – most of them not illustrated anywhere – especially since some descriptions of the ones with thin and partially embedded thallus seemed to fit. Oh, well…
I’ll be putting some other similar stuff on MO – some of the species are actually from the littoral zones, some from rocky outcrops. I usually change the names from Fungi to Lichen, so stay tuned.

Melanized Fungi
By: Brendan Hodkinson (brendanhod)
2011-08-01 20:52:58 PDT (-0700)

Verrucariales would be the most closely related lichenized fungal group to many of the typical rock-inhabiting melanized fungi. When referring to Verrucaria lichens that look like this, you are probably thinking of Verrucaria maura (now Hydropunctaria maura), which forms black crusts. That particular species is typically in tidal marine areas. These thalli in the photos do not seem to have the thallus structure of Verrucaria or related lichens. Whenever I see these black circles on this type of rock in the forest I always look up close, but I have not yet found any of them to have algae, so no lichenization. However, if you can make a section showing a stratified thallus with a distinct algal layer, I could be convinced otherwise! They also seem to be sterile, so identifying them any further based on morphology is probably unrealistic. Still, they can be quite striking when you see them on a rock in the forest!

By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-08-01 19:34:30 PDT (-0700)

How about Verrucaria sp. (Lichen)? I found some seashore Verrucaria images strikingly similar to these. We have a dozen or so species in WI (not the shore ones), but they’re hardly illustrated anywhere, except for a couple of better known species.

Probably not a lichen
By: Brendan Hodkinson (brendanhod)
2011-07-30 21:37:32 PDT (-0700)

This is likely to be one type of melanized rock-inhabiting fungus, possibly in the subclass Chaetothyriomycetidae. These fungi are not well understood or well characterized taxonomically.

Black circles
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-07-09 22:31:53 PDT (-0700)

These almost perfect circles (except in the last photo where they have obviously joined) do resemble lichen, with darker center (I couldn’t discern apothecia there) and tiny webby filaments protruding outward at the edges. However, I’m not skilled enough in this field to say for sure. I haven’t come across anything remotely similar in any of my lichen books or websites (which by itself doesn’t mean much).

Created: 2011-07-09 22:22:06 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2013-04-25 20:09:59 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 123 times, last viewed: 2017-10-31 09:27:32 PDT (-0700)
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