Terrestrial lichen very near sand dune within 1 mile (or less) of the Pacific Ocean, under Lodgepole pine.


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unwilling to hazard positive id without chemical test or specimen in hand
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2010-10-27 22:07:26 EDT (-0400)

I’m not good with these things still. Under a scope, and with proper K, KC and UV test I’m willing to go out on a limb, but I’m still regularly stumped in the field. (Unless, as I say, you happen to see multiple species growing together, then it is obvious, typically.)

UV test won’t be apparent except under lab conditions: must be very dark, and must be longwave UV, ideally around 350 nm. I found a cute little LED keychain light that’s 370 nm and it works quite well (from BatteryJunction). The cheap ones are often > 390 nm and they just cause everything to look blue.

Not sure now.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2010-10-27 21:40:39 EDT (-0400)

Looked at the lower photo, and most of the branch tips are drooping or hanging downward, but I don’t see any pale gray, just off-white. (Is that the same thing?)

There is some pale green lower on the stem, but that could be from the moss, too.

I don’t see any ice blue coloration, but the day was overcast.

Only one other thing today: saw a large herd of elk (150+) near the Air Museum just south of Tillamook heading back to town. One of the elk is whitish, and is thought to be an albino! I’m thinking this might be part of the food source for elk in poor winter conditions. I was thinking about the rheindeer lichens, though, when I found it. Almost globular above the moss. Similar in form to a healthy chestnut tree if that helps.

I’m guessing holding it parallel to the ground
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2010-10-27 21:30:41 EDT (-0400)

didn’t aid in identification, either.

Reindeer lichen
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2010-10-27 21:24:43 EDT (-0400)

There are four Cladina to consider on the Pacific coast (only two inland, say in the Cascades):

C. arbuscula – green from usnic acid, branch tips mostly not swept
C. rangiferina – pale gray, branch tips usually drooping or swept to one side
C. portentosa – coastal, usually green from usnic, UV+ ice blue
C. wainioi – coastal, pale gray, … beats me, never seen it!

Farther north there is also C. stygia and farther yet east is C. stellaris and these days C. mitis is synonymized with C. arbuscula and…

But C. arbuscula and C. rangiferina seem to be the most common. Seen side-by-side they can be clearly distinguished at a glance. By themselves it can be more problematic.

Very cool!
By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2010-10-27 20:59:45 EDT (-0400)