Observation 159956: Chrysothrix candelaris (L.) J.R. Laundon

When: 2013-07-30

Collection location: Toft Point State Natural Area, Wisconsin, USA [Click for map]

Who: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)

Specimen available

Species Lists


Proposed Names

2% (2)
Recognized by sight
30% (2)
Recognized by sight
-56% (1)
Recognized by sight
45% (2)
Based on microscopic features: couldn’t find any sign of hyphae, and the alga formed multicellular globules, not the usual chlorococcoid alga of Chrysothrix
28% (1)
Recognized by sight: If it were Chrysothrix, then since it’s growing on cedar and the granules are extremely fine, it should be this species, not C. xanthina.
57% (1)
Used references: ID provided by Jim Bennett

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Aha! Will look at this when I get back this week
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2015-03-17 04:42:42 AEDT (+1100)

My notes are insufficient to answer your question…

I think I got it! (maybe)
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2015-03-16 05:22:00 AEDT (+1100)

Jason, is your specimen, by any chance, on a substrate that’s more like a softish pulp rather than bark? Or bark that comes apart into many threads? It appears to me that I prepared what I thought was two specimen – one was from the protruding surface (bright yellow-green), and another from the depression in the tree (dark green – can be seen in photo). I don’t remember the reasons for not mixing the samples into one observation, but it seems to me I assigned the same number to those differing entities by mistake,and then sent one to you and one to Dr.Bennett. Hard to reconcile now. Anyways, I received the packet back from Bennett, marked Chrysothrix candelaris, and that being UV-. I want to send a piece to you to see if it’s different from what you were looking at (which will confirm my investigation, hopefully). Also, you were making comment that it could be freshly named species of Chrysothrix.

No, no, there is something else – I’ll find out (it’s somewhre in the back of my memory)
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-05-29 14:11:29 AEST (+1000)

There was something with this specimen – some mismatch in the records or something like that. Like I said I am sure I made a mistake, but can’t remember at this point what it was. Maybe this photo doesn’t match the specimen, or there are more than one specimen under the same number – just give me some time.

Very wise of you
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-05-29 13:02:50 AEST (+1000)

Not keeping specimens yourself, that is!

Good, I’m glad Jim will see this, too. I’m very interested what he comes up with. But I doubt you made any fatal error. I think it’s just an occupational risk that every so often something like algae will fool us. It’s happened to me, too. (Kerry Knudsen corrected me that time.)

I have a feeling that I made some fatal error here.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-05-29 11:51:04 AEST (+1000)

I just can’t figure what it was. I will investigate it further, since when you said “Is there any remote chance you collected something from the periphery of this bright yellow thing in the photos?” – it started bothering me, like if I missed something. Sometimes I have that feeling. The problem is – I don’t keep specimens myself, but give them all to Dr.Bennett, so I can’t take another look at them right away. But I should have my notes with details, if anything tricky was encountered. I will look for those, and will go see Jim Bennett. I’ll get back to you once (if) I solve the mystery (if there is such).

Ah, but it’s good to document
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-05-26 12:33:15 AEST (+1000)

how closely some algae can resemble Chrysothrix spp.

This doesn’t bode well for observation 111502
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-05-26 12:27:35 AEST (+1000)

That is probably Algae too. That picture was taken with additional light present, but without flash (and with different camera).

Sure looks like it to me!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-05-26 02:49:53 AEST (+1000)
So it’s pure algae?
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-05-25 23:43:34 AEST (+1000)
My fault, I should have reread the comments
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-05-25 17:58:57 AEST (+1000)

That makes much more sense now. Here’s what I see under the scope:

See my very first comment at the bottom.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-05-25 11:17:52 AEST (+1000)

It’s not as bright in the field, but pretty prominent especially when wet (all the time). This grows on the bottom of white cedars in very dark environment. So flash is needed. However, the flash makes the thing stand out more than it does naturally, making the color “explode” also adding a bit more yellowish hint to it. I would compare this with underwater photography. Have you ever swim on the coral reef? The colors aren’t like they’re in the photo album where corals and other creatures are photographed with flash. The colors you see are appearing much duller in the natural setting. But another thing to notice: when it dried up it became totally dark green and dull – nothing like it was in the nature (even without flash). And it looked even darker under UV.
So the question I have in regards to this: if it was bright in the natural environment (even after considering that I didn’t use right flash compensation), and then became totally dark, and it’s impossible to bring those colors back – would it confirm your finding that it’s algae? When algae dies – it dies, right? No amount of moistening will rejuvenate it? I just don’t know much about these type of algae.

Moral: don’t trust color alone?
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-05-24 16:12:07 AEST (+1000)

The specimen I have in front of me is pure green. It’s hard to believe it ever looked as bright as these photos. I went back and looked at it under the microscope and UV lamp again, and I’m even more positive than ever that this thing has no Trebouxioid alga, nor any hyphae of any sort. It couldn’t be clearer.

Is there any remote chance you collected something from the periphery of this bright yellow thing in the photos?

The other observation worth making here is that on white cedar this should be Chrysothrix chamaecyparicola, a species with rhizocarpic acid, which should fluoresce UV+ orange. But this specimen is dead UV-.

Can this just be some weird trick of the light? And this just looked yellow in the field, but really is this dull vaguely yellowish green I’m seeing on my desk now?


“Just” algae?
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-05-24 13:53:38 AEST (+1000)
Bright “hairs” common under UV
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-02-20 12:51:31 AEDT (+1100)

Paper and cotton fibers especially glow bright in UV, e.g., from packing in specimen packet.

C. chamaecyparicola is relatively newly described, I believe, so I wouldn’t necessarily expect it to be in Thomson or Bennett’s lists yet. But if you get totally UV-, that’s pretty conclusive that it’s the common C. xanthina.

[EDIT: Also note that there are no dots for Great Lakes on CNALH, which would include all of the NYBG specimens used to describe the species.]

That is, assuming it really is lichenized at all!! I’ve had specimens just as bright as this come back revised as “just algae”. But as this is a mushroom website, I say let’s err on the lichenized side for now. :)

Bennett only lists C.candelaris for Wisconsin, and Thomson lists none.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-02-20 12:38:11 AEDT (+1100)

I tested it with the black light in question – nothing but dark-brown view. I can’t even see that it’s green. However, little hairs of something and debris stand out bright-blue on the surface (but white if looked at under microscope – go figure).

Agree with Chrysothrix
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-02-20 11:20:49 AEDT (+1100)

Interesting thing is since this is on cedar, it could be C. chamaecyparicola instead of the usual C. xanthina. A chance to test your UV! C. xanthina should be UV- and the other “UV+ dull to bright orange”. (Just beware, if your UV is too long-wave, it might give false “dull orange” for all yellow or orange lichens.)

Tree species is White Cedar
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2014-02-19 17:01:02 AEDT (+1100)

The lichen thallus looks like a green sand – I’d have a hard time calling it sorediate.
Colors are a bit off here. The lichen is usually duller, but when shone on by flash it becomes so vivid.

Created: 2014-02-19 13:22:15 AEDT (+1100)
Last modified: 2017-02-13 11:30:16 AEDT (+1100)
Viewed: 155 times, last viewed: 2017-06-18 14:25:41 AEST (+1000)
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