Observation 262313: Nectriopsis parmeliae (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) M.S. Cole & D. Hawksw.

When: 2016-11-23

Collection location: Conway Park, Creve Coeur, Missouri, USA [Click for map]

Who: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)

No specimen available

A pinkish-orange non-lichenized fungal parasite found on Physcia aipolia and Physcia stellaris. These tiny (0.5 mm or <) coral-pink “cups” are sharing the Physcia substrate with Marchandiobasidium aurantiacum, another non-lichenized fungus, which appears as orange bulbils, best seen in image #2052. See more about this M. aurantiacum at obs 274737

Species Lists


Copyright © 2016 Judi Thomas
Copyright © 2016 Judi Thomas
Copyright © 2016 Judi Thomas
the coral-pink bulbils of Marchandiobasidium aurantiacum
Copyright © 2016 Judi Thomas
Copyright © 2016 Judi Thomas
Copyright © 2016 Judi Thomas
Copyright © 2016 Judi Thomas
Photo taken indoors in incandescent light.
Copyright © 2016 Judi Thomas
Photo taken indoors in incandescent light.
Copyright © 2016 Judi Thomas

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Good news! We finally have a confirmed ID
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-06-07 19:12:32 EEST (+0300)

for the tiny coral "cups’ seen in this observation, along with the Marchandiobasidium aurantiacum (orange bulbils). Dr. Lendemer informed me this morning that his colleague at the NYBG, Dr. Richard Harris, was able to find some dimorphic spores which confirm the species for this Nectriopsis.

Nectriopsis parmeliae = Oviculispora parmeliae

This is a great case for a “what is taxonomy for?” discussion!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2017-04-26 19:34:24 EEST (+0300)

Of course, it is very insightful to recognize that the same fungus is responsible for both the anamorph and teleomorph. But the standard measure for biodiversity is still the checklist. Should we include only the one name? In some cases the anamorph and teleomorph are vastly different organisms, growing with different frequency, on different hosts, with very different morphology, and often with very different economic and conservation ramifications.

Lichens have other similar cases unique to the symbiotic state: Bryoria fremontii and B. tortuosa have all the same symbionts in the same states yet nevertheless express different morphology, chemistry and ecological preferences. Dendriscocaulon and Lobaria / Sticta / etc. are vastly different organisms despite sharing the same fungus (which is what lichen taxonomy follows, ignoring the other symbionts).

So while in all three broad cases there is a single “official” name for each of these pairs of organisms, maybe there is still some value in using the deprecated synonym for the MO observation? Certainly, in my private notes I will continue to use Marchandiomyces (and Sporobolus and Lichenodiplis etc.), Bryoria tortuosa, and Dendriscocaulon spp. What is appropriate on MO?

As a compromise could we create bogus form names for these things? Examples:

Marchandiobasidium aurantiacum f. anamorph
Bryoria fremontii f. tortuosa
Lobaria amplissima f. dendriscocaulon

These recognize the “correct” name while at the same time adding the additional information of which expression is actually being referred to.

It may be worth articulating the goals. For one, maybe it should be possible to search for Marchandiomyces (and Bryoria tortuosa and Dendriscocaulon) to reach the appropriate observations.

Also, I think diversity figures should reflect the presence of both forms, i.e., a place with both forms should be considered richer than a place in which only one occurs; and a place in which a rare form occurs should be protected appropriately. (Especially if that rare form were critical to the entire species survival!)

Any other ideas?

Thank you J-Dar and Zaca, for those very informative
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-04-23 21:11:07 EEST (+0300)

links. “Phew” is certainly the appropriate expression for describing the information contained therein. I had to read both the paper cited and the Wikipedia definitions twice before getting my brain around the contents. Everyone interested in lichenicolous fungi and/or lichen should check out these links. Interestingly, we can now use the key provided in your link, J-Dar, to expand our “hand lens observations” of the Flavoparmelia, Caloplaca, and Pertusaria species as well as the Physcia in hopes of identifying some additional non-lichenized bulbilliferous basidiomycetes. FUN! And, personally, I find the “one-fungus, one name” decision of the International Botanical Congress to be a welcome development. Time will tell, I guess, if all mycologists will get on board for the long haul.

Thanks also, J-Dar, for your suggestions re: splitting this one observation into two. I also would like to keep the comments intact in order to elucidate the discovery process and teamwork that are the hallmarks of MO’s success … especially when it comes to identifying obscure/cryptic species.

Holomorph: the whole fungus, including anamorphs and teleomorph.
By: zaca
2017-04-22 19:41:19 EEST (+0300)
Hi Judi!
By: J-Dar
2017-04-22 17:46:32 EEST (+0300)

Of course it couldn’t be as simple as ONE lichenicolous fungi, that wouldn’t be the lichen way! As for separating this observation, we don’t want to lose the learning process we all are going through in this observation, so I’d suggest leaving all the pics and comments here as is, keep the name as Nectriopsis physciicola, but change the main thumbnail photo to IMG 2085. For the Marchandiomyces pics you can add text beneath each pic with the name to clarify, and you can edit the notes or create a comment to add the observation number of the new observation you create for Marchandiomyces, in which you add duplicates of these pics.

Now, for the naming of the Marchandiomyces. If you have tried to propose the name Marchandiomyces aurantiacus you will see that it doesn’t exist on MO, so this link probably goes nowhere (create a link by adding underscore _ immediately before and after a name). This name refers to the anamorph and was used before any teleomorph’s had been found and described. Now that the teleomorph has been found, the taxonomic code rules require a different name for the teleomorph. So in 2007 the name Marchandiobasidium aurantiacum was created and proposed as the new name for both the anamorph and the teleomorph. This is my super short interpretation, see Diederich 2007 (http://www.lichenology.info/pdf/DiederichLawreyBurgoa.pdf). So I think the correct name at this time for your new observation should be Marchandiobasidium aurantiacum. Phew.

By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-04-21 20:45:54 EEST (+0300)

Had an email this morning from Dr. Lendemer at NYBG with a progress report. He has identified, to species, one of the fungal parasites in this observation — the coral-pink bulbils best seen in the second image #2052 — as Marchandiomyces aurantiacus. He says that is pretty common on Physcia.

Interestingly, he said he has twice recently seen the same Nectriopsis (the tiny cup-like fruit bodies seen in the other images) in Indiana, and he is “… still looking for a name [species] for that one.” Stay tuned.

Jason and J-Dar: What do think would be the best way to separate this observation into two, or should I keep the string of comments intact for now?

J-Dar, I don’t know if you recall the
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2016-12-01 02:22:20 EET (+0200)

back story on this (see Ob. # 262192), but you and Jason are the ones who pinned this down. Kudos to both of you. I had no idea originally that fungal parasites grew on lichen. MO rocks! If this hadn’t been pink, I would have missed it entirely. I’ll never look at lichen again without my hand lens.:)

By: J-Dar
2016-12-01 00:59:34 EET (+0200)

Great eye Judi on finding this, keep us posted please! Of course, now I’m going to look at all Physcia aipolii everywhere I go…

Voucher mailed to NYBG yesterday
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2016-11-30 21:44:13 EET (+0200)

via USPS Priority Mail.

Definitely bring it inside!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2016-11-24 18:00:45 EET (+0200)

Lichens (and mosses, btw) just air dry. If they’re soaked from being collected in the rain, it’s best to leave them out, say on a window sill, until they’re dry to the touch. Then, stick ‘em in a paper packet approx. the size of a 5×3″ index card. Keep it in a dry place. That’s all. Nothing fancy. They’ve evolved for 100s of millions of years to dry out rapidly and go into dormancy without being damaged. They’ll do most of the work for you!

James Lendemer is my contact at NY. He’s generally amazingly responsive — often within minutes(!) Just tell him you might have an interesting lichenicolous fungus. Just one specimen from Missouri. And he likes it if you donate the specimen. He’s trying his best to grow the collection. (Even though it’s already the largest lichen collection in North America.) His address is jlendemer at nybg dot org.

Absolutely! It would be great to have confirmation
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2016-11-24 17:00:43 EET (+0200)

of the ID (or correction, of course). I’ve never sent a collection of lichen before …. only fungi which I dried before sending. Can lichen be sent “as is”, or what preparation is needed? Should I leave the specimens outside where they are now (on my deck) or bring them into the garage until they go into the mail? We are on the cusp of launching into winter weather here with freezing temps, etc.; so I don’t know if that environment would be detrimental to the specimens.

Actually, wow, this has not been reported for North America
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2016-11-24 06:14:30 EET (+0200)

Can you make a collection with all the usual data — location, lat/long, substrate, habitat, collection number? Maybe send it to NYBG for verification? Richard Harris seems to really be into lichenicolous fungi these days. I can get you contact info if you’re willing to go to the trouble.

Created: 2016-11-24 05:32:56 EET (+0200)
Last modified: 2017-06-07 19:03:57 EEST (+0300)
Viewed: 325 times, last viewed: 2019-05-01 20:25:50 EEST (+0300)
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