Observation 93644: Anisomeridium biforme (Borrer) R.C. Harris

on Sambucus racemosa branch 1.5cm diameter which extended out over sandy beach (salt water)

20cm or so of this branch which I collected has 8 or more lichen species, including observation 93436 (Jason – sorry, I forgot how to refer to observations) and some others worth posting

Interesting remark by Harris – “Being unable to recognize two genera at this time, I have decided to accept the decision of the North European lichen oligarchs to force their will on the rest of the world and conserve Anisomeridium. (There are only three species in North Europe but 100+ in the rest of the world.”

Species Lists


image 9mm across, with Opergrapha herbarium
spores with constricted lumina overrepresented here
note variation
in water

Proposed Names

55% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: Smith, C.W., Aptroot, A., Coppins, B.J., Fletcher, A., Gilbert, O.L., James, P.W. and Wolseley, P.A. (2009) The Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland; Aptroot, a. in Nash III, T.H., Ryan, B.D.,Gries, C. and Bungartz, F. (eds.) (2002) Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region, Volume 1; Harris, R.C. 1995. More Florida Lichens. Including the 10 Cent Tour of the Pyrenolichens. Published by the author, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 192 pp.
Based on microscopic features: see images
Based on chemical features: K-

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
branching paraphyses
By: Richard Droker (wanderflechten)
2012-05-31 20:04:51 CDT (-0400)

Since your comment I’ve looked hard for clearly branching paraphyses in several species, and realize that is more difficult to find than I have previously thought. I did see some in a Rhizocarpon for which I’ll post images.

Thanks, Richard
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-05-01 15:28:32 CDT (-0400)

re: branching interascal filaments

Even just knowing that it takes practice and patience and twiddling of knobs to see helps a great deal. If it’s that difficult to see, I’m bound to wonder if maybe I’m trying to hard to see what’s not there, and that some day when I finally see true anastomosing filaments it will be like a 2×4 upside the head. :) What I hear from you is: it’s not obvious.

Practice, practice, practice… Eventually some day I should gather a few specimens whose ID I’m positive of, and check the differences between species which definitely have anastomosing paraphyses, and others which definitely don’t. Make a real study of it. Same with ascus type, Physciaceae spore type, inspersed hymenium, etc.! Lots of microscopic characters still elude me. :)

interascal filaments, etc.
By: Richard Droker (wanderflechten)
2012-05-01 15:04:47 CDT (-0400)

As always, your comments are greatly appreciated.

Another word for this identification might be provisional. Its the best I can do, at least for now, or until an expert weighs in.

Details of interascal filaments* do not show in the posted photo. Through the scope at 1000x (with lots of little focus adjustments following vertical position of hyphae) branching does show clearly. (I have often been frustrated with this but it has become easier. You probably have experienced the variations of lighting (e.g. diaphragm opening, etc.), thickness of section and amount of pressure on coverslip (I usually bounce a pencil with eraser down), how long the preparation sits around (often improves with time), etc. in helping to see these things.

*A useful term. Another new one for me was clypeate. Smith et. al’s glossary has clypeus – “stromatic growth, comprising fungal hyphae and bark tissue” as with the involucrellum of Arthopyrenia. There is a more complete definition in Nash III et. al Sonoran V3 p. 35.

Thanks for the information!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-04-30 20:37:27 CDT (-0400)

Wow, yes, these genera are even more confusing than I thought. I didn’t realize how subtly Strigula differs from Anisomeridium (ascus structure and conidia). I think “no good matches in Strigula” is a perfectly good reason to go with Anisomeridium. :)

re: branching interascal filaments

Can you see them in your photo? I have a great deal of trouble diagnosing this character (and equivalent for paraphyses in apothecia)

Regardless, you have me convinced. Just trying to learn…

more information
By: Richard Droker (wanderflechten)
2012-04-30 20:24:11 CDT (-0400)

I posted this with the identification as “promising” but perhaps “could be” is better. Your question forced me to look at it again. (It may be that for me to be be confident with this specimen would require my becoming considerably more familiar with a number of these genera. Don’t know if I have the time and energy for that right now.) Sorry – thought I had mentioned the photobiont is trentepohliate. Also potentially useful info: the interascal filaments are somewhat branched, the asci are uniseriate (in some the spores are en echelon), obviously the cells within spores are of unequal size, the perispore appears to be without ornamentation (in H2O and KOH), the involucrellum does not appear to contain wood cells (in places I’m not sure what I’m seeing). The key in Smith et. al makes use of ascus structure, with a narrow ocular chambering ascus apex (fig. 10b) for Strigula, an indistinct or short and broad ocular chamber (fig. 10c) for Anisomeridium, and an apical dome with a broad ocular chamber surmounted by a hemispherical meniscus-like structure (fig. 11a – may requite congo red stain to see this) for Acrocordia. One of my images shows ascus structure fairly well, but I am not able to choose between the options offered in Smith. Can’t find any species of Strigula that fits. Arthopyrenia is described as having a clypeate involucrellum, although I’m concerned that I’m not seeing wood cells which may be present. Acrocordia should have a verrucose perspore. Some other genera seemed even less likely. All in all I’d still call A. biforme promising, but I’d gladly defer to a more expert opinion.

Just curious…
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-04-30 14:35:50 CDT (-0400)

How are you ruling out other similar genera like Strigula and Arthopyrenia? Are they simply not present in the northwest? Isn’t it important to check for Trentepohlia in these sorts of peritheciate crusts? Some aren’t even lichenized, right?

I’d never noticed Harris’s remark. It helps explain some things…

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