|I’d Call It That||3.0||5.44||1||(jason)|
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Thanks for pointing to those two observations. And fair enough, I can’t possibly claim to have the final word on these species!
My experience in Nevada has left me convinced that R. melanophthalma is the variable one, and the others are well-behaved. I would not, for example, call those other two observations you point to R. subdiscrepans anymore. But I guess in effect all I’ve done is decide to use one name as the “garbage bin”, and reserve the other names for certain well-defined morphotypes.
(Although, I do still recognize two forms of R. chrysoleuca: one has a distinctly greener thallus than the other. At least in sunlight: they tend to look identical under artificial light, frustratingly. But they are both clearly far closer to each other than to any of the other forms. It would over-stretch even R. melanophthalma to include the green one in it!)
But thanks to you, I am starting to remember comments from Brodo and Ryan about subdiscrepans being just as variable as melanophthalma. It’s just so easy to convince yourself that how a species “works” in one small area must apply everywhere. Thanks for gently reminding me to keep my mind open!
although like you mention there may be several different species mixed in that were not recognized so far. Check out this one:
R. melanophthalma is already well-known to hide several semi-cryptic species within its absurd morphological variation. My experience with R. subdiscrepans (admittedly limited to Nevada) is that it is a very consistent species. And it always looks exactly like your material with orange apothecia.
I guess I’m just recommending you keep an open mind about whether these two color morphs are the same species or not.
I like the green apothecia sharing the space with orange ones.
Created: 2018-06-09 18:57:13 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2019-03-17 20:41:28 PDT (-0700)
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