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There is no comprehensive literature for the genus, at least not recent and covering your area. Sonoran Flora does a fair job for the southwest, for example, but note the number of “spuhs” even in that treatment. Wong & Brodo 1992 lists all the species for southern Ontario and even gives a key… but yours keys out to a “spuh” there, too. And who knows how much has changed in the last 20 years.
I agree that from what I can tell C. feracissima is a smaller more delicate species, and with no thallus at all or (according to one source) at most a “yellowish stain”.
Note that some of the species (e.g. C. subsoluta) appears to be relatively new. C. lithophila might not be used anymore in favor of a broad interpretation of C. holocarpa. C. pyracea seems to be taxonomically confusing, too, but I can’t work out what’s going on there.
Some day, I need to verify that I do in fact have all the literature on the genus, then index the entire stack of papers. As it is, it’s painful trying to locate which paper(s) apply to which specimens. Bruce Ryan did a particularly good job with his Caloplaca keys… but I swear he’s missing half the names. I think a lot of work has been done since he last touched his keys.
Of those listed, so far only C.feracissima was found in WI ( I know it doesn’t mean much – species are found all the time). But I think that species is usually much smaller. Compare the size of this one with foliose lichen in #3 (I regret I didn’t grab that one).
I’m striking out using Bruce Ryan’s keys. In his defense, at the time he assembled them, the saxicolous species were poorly understood. CNALH lists 43 species in the general area, of which these four are the only ones even close (not sorediate, on rock, yellow thallus, orange apothecia):
Caloplaca feracissima – (at most a thin yellowish stain, margins yellow, disk orange)
Caloplaca crenulatella – (margin slightly lighter than disk, no thallus)
Caloplaca subsoluta – (margin same color as disk, scattered thallus)
Caloplaca lithophila – (margin same color as disk, a saxicolous holocarpa)
Caloplaca pyracea – (margin same color as disk?, on rock?)
Hmmm. Still need to work on this.
Created: 2012-02-04 19:39:32 EST (-0500)
Last modified: 2012-02-04 19:49:10 EST (-0500)
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