Observation 95267: Herteliana alaskensis (Nyl.) S. Ekman
When: 2012-05-22
Herbarium specimen reported

Notes: on Si rock upper littoral to lower supralittoral

with Hydropunctaria maura* and Xanthoria candelaria

*Latest Lichenologist has interesting paper by Orange – “Semi-cryptic marine species of Hydropunctaria (Verrucariaceae, lichenized Ascomycota) from north-west Europe” – possibly something other than H. maura

H. alaskensis seems quite common in this area. Its morphology is quite variable – I’ll post one that looks very different.

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Recognized by sight
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Comments

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Interesting, so the “fountain” structure of the hypothecium is distinctive of Herteliana?
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-05-23 19:02:06 BST (+0100)

Or is it just H. alaskensis? If you say this is H. alaskensis then I believe you! I know nothing about it. But I’m eager to learn.

beautiful Herteliana
By: Richard Droker (wanderflechten)
2012-05-23 18:05:29 BST (+0100)

Actually I’m quite confident about this identification. In the field I thought this might be something like Arthonia phaeobaea (see observation #93439), but examined microscopically it clearly was the same as the specimen I had recently found at Pass Island (observation 94419). Although H. alaskensis varies considerably in color it is really quite distinctive and I am not aware of anything to be confused with it. According to McCune’s Miscellaneous Keys to Microlichens of the Pacific Northwest of North America (Herteliana, revised 2006) H. alaskensis is “deeply areolate-cracked but not cracked completely through thallus; light grey, light purplish-gray but more commonly mottled with tints of grey, tan, black and/or purple; apothecia common…hypothecium hyaline with a fountain-shaped arrangement of gray, POL+ crystals that are insoluble in K [bold by me]…spores 8/ascus, hyaline, acicular, 0-3-septate… pycnidia common, tan to black, immersed, often many per areole; conidia arcuate…on seashore rocks (esp igneous) just at the upper edge of the Verrucaria zone, western North American endemic…” Also “The dark numerous pycnidia can be very conspicuous against the pale thallus and distinctive, even when apothecia are lacking.” (I haven’t had the opportunity to see McCune’s most recent reference.)

tried to write this in bold letters – “hypothecium hyaline with a fountain-shaped arrangement of gray, POL+ crystals that are insoluble in K” ! – compare the apo sections of this observation and of #94419 (added another image)

Jason – (nice to hear from you, and you are usually exceedingly helpful) When I saw the apo section under polarized light it didn’t seem worth my time to look at spores, etc. If you ask me though, I’ll do that.

With respect to prettyness, I find most lichens beautiful now, and some spectacularly so. Perhaps when someone looks closely at something its beauty becomes evident. Alternatively, perhaps when one is obsessed then something he sees as beautiful actually would never be considered beautiful by other people.

I’ll post another different looking H. alaskensis.

Interesting apothecia
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-05-22 19:37:32 BST (+0100)

They almost look like mazaedia, like in Thelomma… but obviously not, looking at the apothecial section. You found no spores, I assume? As usual, I’m no help. Sure is pretty, though. (If you find these little crusty lichens pretty, at least!)

Created: 2012-05-22 06:52:45 BST (+0100)
Last modified: 2012-05-23 19:10:36 BST (+0100)
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