Observation 95076: Candelariella Müll. Arg.
When: 2012-05-02
(47.2376° 117.2989° 721m)
No herbarium specimen

Notes: Substrate: Moss. I think it may be the moss Syntrichia caninervis.

Habitat: Praire, cold desert region, Alluvial Mima Mounds.

Photobiont: Green coccoid.

Soredia/Isidia: none.

Apothecia: lecanorine. <0.7mm; not very common. Yellow hymenium, yellow rim. Not on stalk, buttons on soil/moss.

Thallus: yellow, smooth, discontinuous. <1.0mm clumps.

Spores: the ones that have dark spots that are in the top half of the micro-photograph appear two celled but could be due to an oil droplet as stated in both Rosentreter and Brodo sources. <10um x <5um. The other two asci that have what seems like spherical spores, more than 8 about <4um in diameter, not sure whats going on there.

Using both Brodo and Goward’s keys seem to point to Candelariella citrina which is listed as the synonym for Candelariella terrigena but Brodo lists C. terrigena as reserved for alpine areas (which has now been replaced by C. canadensis) and the spore size of all the Candelariella spp. seem much larger than what I was seeing in this sample.

Lichens of North America (Brodo)
Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts in the Western U.S. Drylands (Rosentreter et al.)
“The Identity of Candeleriella canadensis” by M. Westberg The Lichenologist 2010.
“Candelariella (Candelariaceae) in western United States and northern Mexico: the 8-spored, lecanorine species” by Martin Westberg, The Bryologist September 2007


In the field
1000x, 1unit=10um. Looks like 3 asci, 2 with spherical spores (bottom half), 1 with eliptical 2 celled spores (top half)

Proposed Names

55% (1)
Used references: 1) Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of the Western U.S. Drylands (Rosentreter et al.). 2) Lichens of North America (Brodo) .
Based on microscopic features: Hymenium amyloid. ~8 spores appearing to be 2-celled.
Based on chemical features: K+light orange; C+light orange; KC reddish orange

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
I never noticed those pictures of spores
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-05-21 04:08:05 EDT (-0400)

at the end of Westberg 2007. Really shows the pointy spores of citrina nicely. I wasn’t sure I was interpreting them correctly, but that’s exactly what I saw. Cool! I’m sure you can find all these odd things at or near the limits of their range, but you’ve got to prove it twice as well! :) The common things are very common. Annoyingly so. ;)

But what about C. terrigena becoming C. citrina?
By: nastassja (Nastassja Noell)
2012-05-21 02:48:43 EDT (-0400)

Much agreed, the range for C. citrina doesn’t include eastern Washignton, but didn’t C. terrigena (an alpine species) become joined with C. citrina under the same name? Not that eastern Washington is alpine, but those seem like two extremes, or perhaps both quite similar in available water in some ways, interesting. Gonna use Martin Westberg’s docs on Candelariella to get down to the bottom of this … Westberg’s description of C. rosulans looks promising, as does your photo of C. vitellina from Pasadena and the possibility of a species with more than 8 spores but all the other morphological features seeming similar.

Spores: I did read that sometimes Candelariella spores can look two celled due to an oil droplet that is inside of them – both Rosentreter and Nash’s descriptions include that note, and in Westberg’s photographs of the different cells (“8 spored lecanorine…” Bryologist 2007) I can kind of see what they are talking about, and what I may have mistaken.

Thanks for all your help Jason! :)

Awfully far north for C. citrina
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-05-20 14:28:57 EDT (-0400)

The common ones are C. rosulans and C. vitellina. This looks more like the latter, but you would have noticed if there were 16-24 spores per ascus. Although it can be difficult to count in thick sections. If they look 2-celled, it’s probably because there’s another layer of spores below — Candelariella spores aren’t known for false septation. Just a few thoughts.

Created: 2012-05-20 04:11:07 EDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-08-25 03:04:36 EDT (-0400)
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