Collection location: Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Spokane Co., Washington, USA [Click for map]
47.2376° 117.2989° 2364m
Habitat: Prairie, Alluvial Mima Mounds, intermound area.
Exposure: no protection from sun or wind.
Podetia w/out cups (common) are 1- 2.5cm long. Podetia w/ cups (uncommon) are < 0.5cm. Could I be dealing with two different species even though primary thallus lookst he same?
Squamules are <1.5mm across, lacking lower cortex.
Herbarium specimen available from Eastern Washington University.
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Or concepts have evolved since then. Goward 1999 (BC Macrolichens, Part 2) indicates (correctly) that C. pyxidata has no soredia. Hinds & Hinds 2007, Macrolichens of New England, agrees. Ahti gives a much more complete account of variation in Sonoran Flora, vol I, 2001:
surface: corticate or ecorticate, dull, cortex verruculose, breaking into granules or giving rise to isidioid, schizidioid or phyllidioid structures (also occurring in the cup interiors, appearing as appressed squamules)
The species rarely even has “corticate granules” (or “isidioid structures”), which is perhaps what McCune & Goward 1995 meant, and when it does, they are mixed with larger plates (“appressed squamules”). (Note the use of “appressed”, supporting my earlier observation about your cupped podetia not looking quite right.)
Also, C. scabriuscula is only sparsely branched at most. Yes,in a large, well-developed colony, most branches will be branched. But in a specimen with just a handful of (possibly young) podetia, it might not be surprising that they’re all simple. Notice the small squamules covering the lower half of the pointy podetia. This is typical of scabriuscula. There are others that can do this, as well, like C. cornuta, but it’s not common.
[BC Macrolichens can be found here: http://waysofenlichenment.net/ways/keys]
There is definately soredia-like granules on the upper part of the podetia, almost like schizidia, but according the McCune and Goward (1995) soredia on podetia is one of the key couplets leading to C. pyxidata.
Yes, I agree, I’ll log this one as Cladonia spp. until I collect more samples from different areas and get a better feel for their standard form around here.
C. scabriuscula perhaps, I don’t see it listed in McCune and Goward’s Macrolichens of the Northern Rockies; in CNALH it C. scabriuscula is described as having dichotomously branched podetia, which this one does not have. It does have a similar form as Bob Z’s specimen observation 78120 and the locations of both collections are within 50-60 miles as the crow flies.
These look weird for C. pyxidata. The pyxidata I’ve seen has round pillow-like plates, these look more irregular and are attached on one edge like real squamules. Also, note that the pointy stems look sorediate toward the tips. C. pyxidata should not be sorediate at all, and I’ve never seen it pointy like this. Maybe a few cups are aborted or misshappen, but never pointy. I’d say there is definitely something other than C. pyxidata here. I’m not fully convinced of the pyxidata, either. I think you might have better luck with Cladonia, at least until you have the local flora down cold, if you look for better-developed populations. Stressed forms of Cladonia can be impossible to identify. They can do some really crazy things.
Created: 2012-05-13 20:22:37 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-05-14 12:41:35 CDT (-0400)
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