Observation 49832: Cetraria muricata (Ach.) Eckfeldt

When: 2010-07-21

Collection location: Parker Ridge, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada [Click for map]

Who: Chris Parrish (kitparrish)

No specimen available

Location: 52°10’55.53"N, 117° 6’15.29"W, el. 2265m

Identification: There are two similar species to consider (McCune and Geiser, 2009, pp.103-104):
Cetraria muricata (forming tufts less than 2 cm high; pseudocyphellae infrequent, sparse, round or oval; most frequent at higher elevations)
Cetraria aculeatum (forming tufts less than 4 cm high; pseudocyphellae often abundant, oval or linear; most frequent at lower elevations)
Intermediate forms are common (Brodo; McCune and Geiser). The lichens in these photos form small, rather dense clumps less than 2cm tall, show infrequent, punctate or tiny round pseudocyphellae, and live well above treeline, so I am calling them Cetraria muricata. Both species are assigned to the genus Cetraria in the latest Esslinger checklist (June 2010), to the genus Coelocaulon in the field guides by McCune, and to the genus Cornicularia in Thompson’s “American Arctic Lichens.”

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:04:27 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Parker Ridge, Banff NP, Alberta, Canada’ to ‘Parker Ridge, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada’

Species Lists



Proposed Names

28% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: McCune and Geiser, 2009, pp.103-104; McCune and Goward, 1995, p.88

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2010-08-07 18:37:51 CDT (-0500)

Good to know there is a difference in pseudocyphellae, too. I can’t wait to get my specimens out and compare the high- and low-elevation ones, now…

parallel processing!
By: Chris Parrish (kitparrish)
2010-08-07 17:25:56 CDT (-0500)

Gracious. I was so engaged in piecing together my thoughts that I didn’t see your comment. Then when I thought I had it right, MO wouldn’t print it. Wha? Turned out that I had used the math symbol for “less than” which was getting interpreted as “bury everything beyond this.” Whew … but now it’s right..

Difference between C. aculeata and C. muricata?
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2010-08-07 17:10:27 CDT (-0500)

I’d never heard of C. muricata (= Coelocaulon muricatum), apparently because there is some question if these are actually separate species. I found some unpublished notes (from Trevor) saying:

C. aculeata – broadest branches more than 0.6 mm wide, mostly flattened, furrowed lengthwise
C. muricata – broadest branches less than 0.6 mm wide, mostly rounded in cross-section, not or scarcely furrowed

What does your reference say about them? Just curious.

Created: 2010-08-07 16:52:43 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2010-08-13 22:25:18 CDT (-0500)
Viewed: 302 times, last viewed: 2018-09-09 10:43:10 CDT (-0500)
Show Log