When: 2012-09-02

Collection location: Summit Park, Utah, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dan Molter (shroomydan)

No specimen available

This orange lichen was growing on rocks at the very top of Summit Park mountain, elevation around 8500 feet. It might be the same orange lichen which grows on most of the trees in this area, but I did not notice it on any rocks further down the mountain, only at the summit. The habitat suggests that it might be something different.


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= Observer’s choice
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Sorry, meant to propose some names
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-09-03 03:40:28 EDT (-0400)

but got distracted. I really don’t think Xanthomendoza is a possibility. There are a few species that grow on rock, but not the fertile ones (in North America, at least). I lean toward Xanthoria elegans, but I’ll leave Caloplaca as a close second choice to cover the uncertainty in absence of clear evidence of the thallus rising off the substrate anywhere.

Yes, something different
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-09-03 02:27:50 EDT (-0400)

These things have been kicking my butt. The typical three choices would seem to be Xanthoria elegans, Caloplaca trachyphylla and C. saxicola (just went through Wetmore’s key to lobate Caloplaca and threw out all the strictly coastal / Californian species).

X. elegans – should separate easily from the substrate with intact lower cortex
Caloplaca – fully-attached with no lower cortex except near margins
C. trachyphylla – longer, thicker, more convex, bumpy/warty lobes, apothecia in center
C. saxicola – shorter, thinner, less convex, smooth lobes, apothecia originating immersed in lobe tips, not just in center

C. trachyphylla is rather larger a species than C. saxicola, but like the rest of the differences, they are just relative. It’s hard to assign a confident name to a single specimen in a photo.