Observation 277600: Lichen P. Micheli

When: 2017-05-25

Collection location: Queeny County Park, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA [Click for map]

Who: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)

No specimen available

On wood.


Copyright © 2017 Judi Thomas
Copyright © 2017 Judi Thomas
Copyright © 2017 Judi Thomas
Copyright © 2017 Judi Thomas

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P.S. And I always appreciate be informed of "reasonable
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-05-30 12:08:12 CDT (-0400)

expectations." No sense going on a wild goose chase.

Jason, thank you for taking the time to
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-05-30 12:06:01 CDT (-0400)

teach me that technique. You are a natural-born teacher, and that’s a compliment coming from me:) I guess I’ll be adding a chisel and hammer to my “little red wagon.”

Just to clarify
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2017-05-29 21:27:13 CDT (-0400)

“Hacking out a chunk of bark” is, for better or for worse, the standard technique for collecting most crustose lichens growing on trees. With some practice you minimize damage to the tree. If you don’t cut all the way through the cambium it should be okay. I use a rugged 4 or 5" knife and a hammer. Others use chisels of various sizes. Whatever feels right and works best for you.

Back in the lab, use a fine-edged razor blade to cut a minute slice out of the ascomata. There’s a special knack for these peritheciate things, mind you, since they tend to collapse instead of holding their shape while you cut through them. (Wetting them can help, and using a fresh blade can help.)

The big question here is whether you will be able to find any mature perithecia. You’re looking for pits with the black ball still intact inside, ideally filled with whitish goo when you cut them open. (Look for a tell-tale speck of goo oozing out from the tip of the perithecium, that will signal a good fresh perithecium.) But even hollow ones can sometimes work if there’s enough of the hymenial gel remaining. I’m just worried that all of yours will prove to be hollowed out and dead. But you can get lucky even with old specimens like this. You won’t know until you try. Just trying to keep expectations reasonable!

OK then. It didn’t look like it could be removed from the tree
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-05-29 21:04:01 CDT (-0400)

without hacking out a chunk of the bark, so a microscope is out of the question. Thanks for looking at this interesting specimen anyway. Maybe I’ll come across a fresher one sometime.

If you have access to a microscope
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2017-05-29 20:07:19 CDT (-0400)

then by all means it’s worth trying. But without that (and a great deal of patience!) I wouldn’t personally hold much hope for an id, no matter how good the specimen. :(

Thanks, gentlemen. And schucks regarding the
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-05-29 19:53:48 CDT (-0400)

fact that this might be unidentifiable. I was hoping maybe the way it forms white horizontal “lines” on the tree trunk might be unique clue to the ID. Do you think it’s worth revisiting later or will it not produce any more perithecia at this point?

Zaca probably has a better instinct for these things
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2017-05-29 19:23:54 CDT (-0400)

but I wouldn’t rule out Strigula, Julella, Anisomeridium, … and probably one or two others I’m forgetting. Only problem is it looks like all the perithecia have died and fallen out leaving just a bunch of empty holes. Even with a specimen in hand, I’d bet this would be unidentifiable.

Created: 2017-05-29 15:36:15 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2017-05-29 15:44:20 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 52 times, last viewed: 2019-08-13 01:03:27 CDT (-0400)
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