Observation 31861: Chrysothrix xanthina (Vain.) Kalb

Location: 29°15’7.40"N, 103°17’50.60"W, el. 1645-2120 m

Substrate and habitat: Growing on bark and wood in an open woodland of piñon, juniper, and oak.

Identification: Chrysothrix are bright yellow leprose lichens. There are two species in North America, and both are reported from Big Bend NP. They are distinguished as follows, according to the key in Harris and Ladd, 2005:
candelaris (on bark, K-)
chlorina (on rock, K+ reddish)

Note added on 16 Jan 2010: Thanks, Brendan! I am adding a link to the Harris and Ladd paper on Chrysothrix that you mentioned.

Reference: Harris and Ladd, 2008, The lichen genus Chrysothrix in the Ozark Ecoregion, including a preliminary treatment for eastern and central North America., Opuscula Philolichenum 5: 29-42

Common name: gold dust lichen

Species Lists



Proposed Names

3% (2)
Used references: Harris and Ladd, 2005, pp.93-94; Brodo, Sharnoff, and Sharnoff, 2001, p.223
50% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: Harris and Ladd were unhappy with their 2005 treatment of Chrysothrix, so they published a Chrysothrix revision in Opuscula Philolichenum (available online; Harris and Ladd 2008). C. candelaris cannot be definitively confirmed for North America. C. xanthina is the only species that has been confirmed to be in Texas as part of the revision and the basic morphology and substrate are right for that species.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Created: 2010-01-11 13:17:22 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2010-01-11 13:17:22 CST (-0500)
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