Observation 15843: Cora Fr.

When: 2008-12-21

Collection location: Parque Nacional Puyehue, Los Lagos, Chile [Click for map]

Who: Jason Hollinger (jason)

No specimen available

This is a very cool lichen, one of the few true basidiolichens, related to Thelephora. Apparently the relative quantity of algae to fungus can make a large difference in thallus structure. This particular specimen is dominated by the fungus. The hymenium is smooth and disintegrates rapidly when it dries out (hidden below in the photo). The algae can be clearly seen (when wet) with a hand lens as a continuous dark green layer just beneath the surface. It is a cyanobacterium in the genus Scytonema. This lichen is primarily a “tropical montane” species (and genus), but here it is at 41 degrees south in the Valdivian temperate rain forest.

Check out these links for more info (the first two) and photos:

1) 1911encyclopedia.org (search for “dictyonema”)
2) amjbot.org
3) fieldmuseum.org (search for “dictyonema” again)
4) Paul Hofmann

The nomenclature is very complicated, also having been called (and still being called in some cases) Dictyonema glabratum, C. pavonia, D. pavonium, and Thelephora glabrata (at least in 1820!). C. glabrata is the currently accepted name on Index Fungorum, at least…

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Add Comment
thought I’d seen this before…
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2009-10-26 14:26:30 -05 (-0500)

before I read the entire description, my first instinct was to propose one of the depreciated names you listed toward the end, Dictyonema pavonium. thank you for the detailed description and updated (or perhaps continually updating) taxonomic data.

You are very kind!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2008-12-30 17:54:18 -05 (-0500)

But lichens already have so much life on their own!, with two and sometimes three things getting all cozy. (And now some say films of regular bacteria might play a key role as well, making it no fewer than four kingdoms of life all wrapped up in one “organism”??…)

Nice Jason; you bring lichens to life!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2008-12-29 18:21:53 -05 (-0500)