Observation 60716: Umbilicaria phaea Tuck.

When: 2010-12-12

Collection location: Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve, Butte Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: David Rust (incredulis)

No specimen available



Proposed Names

45% (2)
Recognized by sight
56% (1)
Recognized by sight

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Sounds wonderful
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2010-12-13 10:44:58 CST (-0600)

I’ll have to stop by on the way through some time to check this place out for myself!

It’s common to find a few species of Umbilicaria in any given location in which they occur, so it is well worth checking them out carefully next time you’re there.

Unfortunately I have yet to figure out how to see the underside without destructively removing the occasional one from the rock completely. It helps to wet them down first, then after a few seconds for them to absorb the water and become less brittle, carefully insert a knife underneath and try to cut the umbilicus at the center. A spritzer bottle and palette knife are standard field equipment for a lichenologist for just this sort of thing.

Your picture is great. If you can get more like that of the underside, it should be easy to id.

Umbilicaria phaea ID
By: David Rust (incredulis)
2010-12-13 10:27:15 CST (-0600)

I’d be happy to go back some time and do another photo if that helps. It’s kind of a haul from Oakland, but BCCER is a long term project. This is a unique habitat and there are lots of really old lichens on the volcanic rocks. Thanks, Jason!

By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2010-12-13 09:09:35 CST (-0600)

From the top it’s nearly impossible to tell these two species apart. Underneath phaea looks like coarse black emery paper, angulata has little rhizines or tattered “plates”. But in CA I would expect phaea to be much more common.

Created: 2010-12-12 23:03:59 CST (-0600)
Last modified: 2010-12-13 11:11:02 CST (-0600)
Viewed: 29 times, last viewed: 2017-06-08 06:40:06 CDT (-0500)
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