Observation 87673: Cladonia P. Browne

When: 2011-05-11

Collection location: Mirror Lake State Park, Wisconsin, USA [Click for map]

Who: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)

No specimen available

Proposed Names

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By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-02-12 10:29:27 PST (-0800)

Definitely in that group (with C. apodocarpa, C. polycarpia, C. polycarpoides and kin), but squamules don’t look strap-like enough to be apodocarpa or polycarpia, I think. Chemistry is the correct way to deal with these things, I’m afraid: (test under squamules gives best results here I think)

C. apodocarpa – K+y eventually turning brown (atranorin and fumarprotocetraric acid)
C. polycarpia – K+y to red, very slow (stictic + norstictic acids)
C. polycarpoides – K+y to red, slow (norstictic acid)
C. robbinsii – KC+y (usnic + barbatic acids, both cortex and medulla, looks distinctly yellowish)
C. sobolescens – K+ brownish (fumarprotocetraric acid)
C. strepsilis – C+ striking emerald green (strepsilin + others)
C. symphicarpia – K+y or turning red slowly (atranorin, maybe with nortstictic or psoromic acid)

(Other apodetiate species have smaller or finely-divided squamules.)

Distinguishing the K+y to red species is presumably tricky. Note that C. polycarpia and C. polycarpoides are both now synonymized with C. subcariosa. In the southeast, polycarpoides appears to be your only choice. But where you are it could be any of the three. There is an obscure spot test which detects stictic acid (polycarpia only): AI+blue/black — alkaline iodine: mix Lugol’s and pH 11 buffer (Brodo describes it on pg. 103 in Lichens of North America). But if only detectable quantities of norstictic acid is present, I’m not sure how to tell them apart reliably. The shape of the squamules appears to be subtly different, and when present, the podetia are allegedly subtly different. Fortunately, many symphicarpia are just K+ pale yellow (no norstictic acid), so those are “easy”. Just be sure to wait a few minutes to be absolutely sure there is no red phase indicating low concentration of norstictic acid.

Created: 2012-02-11 19:46:24 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2012-02-11 19:49:12 PST (-0800)
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