Observation 87292: Caloplaca sideritis (Tuck.) Zahlbr.

When: 2011-11-06

Collection location: Riverwalk, Baraboo, Wisconsin, USA [Click for map]

Who: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)

No specimen available

Proposed Names

29% (1)
Recognized by sight
57% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: Tentative ID by Jason Hollinger

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Took a few minutes to put it back together again
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2015-12-20 22:50:37 CST (-0500)

This is a fine example of why MO should accept the “cf” notation. This is clearly closest to Caloplaca sideritis, but there are some distinct differences from the description as found in “The Caloplaca sideritis group in North and Central America” (Wetmore 1996).

The thallus and spores are right, but the apothecial margins are a little off. There should be a dark “excipular” ring between the pale gray thalline rim and the orange disk. Instead, where there is any inner ring at all, it is orange in your specimen. So, instead of being K+/C+ violet (thalloidima green = a black pigment), it is K+r/C- (orange = an anthraquinone).

It is possible that this is considered acceptable variation, however it is not documented in Wetmore 1996. To be conservative, it should be named “cf. sideritis”. But as MO doesn’t accept that notation, we’ll just leave it C. sideritis.

[Apparently it’s hard to see in the photos, but in hand the specimen is clearly gray not brown, areolate to subsquamulose not endolithic.]

Jason, this is specimen #11172012-3
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2015-12-20 22:02:08 CST (-0500)

As I promised, I returned and grab a bit of a specimen for you to ponder.

I would love to see it!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-11-30 15:01:19 CST (-0500)

And anything else you have the patience to pack up for me, or would like a second opinion on. Send it to my Pasadena address. I won’t get it until February, but that’s the only option, since I will be sans microscopes until then.

I will send some of this material to you, if you feel up to it.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2012-11-29 20:39:31 CST (-0500)

I didn’t find the specimen with black apothecia, but have nice orange ones embedded into chunks of thallus.

I know what you mean
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-02-02 21:06:18 CST (-0500)

Still, the squamulose thing in the second photo might come out in chunks at least, especially if you dampen the thing first then try to slip a thin knife underneath it. Just need a small piece if you’re doing it this way. Get some marginal lobes, some orange apothecia, and some of the black apothecia. Stick it in a sandwich bag or something like that, maybe. Can’t really make a type specimen of something like that, but it’ll at least give us what we need to decide if we do need to get a real specimen. The real trick is keeping track of which “bags of dust” go with which photos and locations.

With endolithic things there’s just nothing to do but get out the hammer and chisel. Or be very patient and locate a flake somewhere in the vicinity with the same thing.

I’ll try
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2012-02-02 19:05:51 CST (-0500)

I can probably scrape off some of the stuff off those boulders, the problem being – I can’t distinguish where one species ends and another begins. I’ll probably single out something prominent, like that Caloplaca with brown-squamulose lichen in the second photo. The other problem – it’s all going to be a bag of dust after I scrape it off (that’s why I didn’t do it in the first place). We’ll see…

By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-02-02 15:08:38 CST (-0500)

C. grimmiae is only known to grow on Candelariella. So much for that idea. In fact, nothing I can find comes close. Get a sample of that thing, please!

A mess, indeed
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-02-02 14:59:31 CST (-0500)

I’ve never seen anything like the brown-squamulose Caloplaca in the second photo. Beautiful specimen. But note the black apothecia mixed with it. Something screwy is going on here. Something is parasitizing something, just not sure which!

Caloplaca growing on rock with gray, whitish or brown thallus lacking anthraquinones (K-) are collectively called the Caloplaca sideritis group. Clifford Wetmore has a paper in The Bryologist on this group in North America. I’ll email it to you. It makes short work of this. There are two fertile species with brown thallus:

P. grimmiae – parasitic, thallus absent (but apothecial rims are brown)
P. hueana – squamulose, thallus obvious

P. grimmiae has an odd distribution in a band from southeastern Arizona up to the Great Lakes. P. hueana is known only from central Mexico. So there you go, it’s the Caloplaca which is parasitic on the brown-squamulose thing with black apothecia (Lecidea?) That takes care of the second through forth photos at least.

The thing in the first photo could be considered “gray”, opening up a whole mess of possibilities. None of which work for various reasons. I don’t know. Maybe it is also C. grimmiae, just growing on a different host?

In the sixth photo, the pile of orange apothecia in the center have conspicuous orange rims. If this were coastal I’d recommend C. luteominia, but not where you are. Others mentioned in Sonoran Flora are C. crenulatella, C. ludificans. C. crenulatella forms a group which Jan Vondrák et al. 2011 have written a paper on in The Lichenologist. (I’ll send that paper to you, as well.) Good luck!

The rest of the photos in which no orange apothecia appear… God knows! I don’t even see apothecia. Maybe they’re peritheciate?

By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2012-02-01 22:03:58 CST (-0500)

All of these come from the same group of boulders. First of all, I don’t know if Caloplaca species in the first photo is the same as in the second, third and fourth. Then, I wonder if these Caloplaca have anything to do with the rest of the photos (it seems they form similar brown thallus around their apothecia), except all the rest of the photos don’t show any obvious apothecia (but what looks like the leftovers of them). And also I wonder how many species might be in the bottom several photos, if different from the four upper ones (Never mind Lecanora dispersa). What a mess! Brrr..

Created: 2012-02-01 21:41:28 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2015-12-20 22:06:12 CST (-0500)
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