Observation 102211: Physciella chloantha (Ach.) Essl.

When: 2012-07-13

Collection location: Governor Dodge State Park, Wisconsin, USA [Click for map]

Who: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)

Specimen available



Proposed Names

57% (1)
Recognized by sight
86% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: ID provided by T.Esslinger

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
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Physciella chloantha – ID provided by T.Esslinger
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-06-30 02:38:11 EEST (+0300)

So Jason, you were right in your initial ID.

I’d rule out Phaeophyscia nigricans
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2012-07-20 04:17:12 EEST (+0300)

While it’s expected in WI (but hasn’t been found so far), I looked at Stridvall’s photos, and it looks totally different.

Yeah, it doesn’t seem to be so common anywhere
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-07-20 03:58:49 EEST (+0300)

I’ve only seen it a handful of times. I think it gets a bad reputation as a “weed” because it likes polluted areas and manmade surfaces like fences, trees next to dusty trails, walls, etc. It is also probably overlooked because it is kind of nondescript.

Not that many photos around of this species (P. chloantha)
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2012-07-20 03:54:34 EEST (+0300)

But I just checked “Ways of Enlichenment”, and it seems that this specimen is very similar to the ones depicted there, except for the white rims of the “vases” with soralia (mine doesn’t seem to have them).
P. melanchra appears to be flatter against the surface, although all of my observations of that are saxicolous.

Check for Physciella melanchra, too
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-07-20 03:50:26 EEST (+0300)

Only difference is that P. melanchra has at least some non-marginal soralia.

Also I find that both species typically have “eroded” soralia that leave a conspicuous whitish flap of cortex like a collar around the edge of the soralia. This specimen doesn’t really show that. And you’ve shown specimens of Phaeophyscia pusilloides which do show this character. So that observation might be completely useless, at least in Wisconsin.

I think there is a difference in the arrangement of hyphae in the upper and/or lower cortex between Phaeophyscia and_Physciella_, too, but don’t quote me.

It’s possible
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2012-07-20 03:44:21 EEST (+0300)

I haven’t seen Physciella chloantha before, so I wouldn’t be surprised not being able to recognize this one if it were that species. Thomson says that species is uncommon in WI. I believe this one is common, but I might be visually confusing it with Phaeophyscia species. I guess from now on I’ll have to check lower surface of everything similar to this to figure out whether P. chloantha (if that’s the case) is actually uncommon.

All K- and white below
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-07-20 03:32:07 EEST (+0300)

Leaves only Physciella (and the odd Phaeophyscia which don’t occur there?, e.g., Phaeophyscia nigricans and P. insignis). This must be Physciella chloantha. What do you think?

Identity Crisis
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2012-07-20 03:17:21 EEST (+0300)

Shame on me for not being able to figure this out – I must be entering marasm period of my life. These grow everywhere (on aspen in this case), and for some reason I always assumed it’s Phaeophyscia pusilloides. When I picked this one, I realised the lower surface was white – that’s where I got stumped. Neither cortex, medula or soralia respond to K test. Soralia resemble pompouns from afar, but are actually vase-like.

Created: 2012-07-20 03:09:00 EEST (+0300)
Last modified: 2014-06-30 02:38:51 EEST (+0300)
Viewed: 36 times, last viewed: 2018-10-29 05:55:30 EET (+0200)
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