When: 2009-04-05

Collection location: Madison, Dane Co., Wisconsin, USA [Click for map]

Who: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)

No specimen available


Proposed Names

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It was raining
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-05-06 05:14:02 EEST (+0300)

Just a drizzle, but the lichens were soft and brittle and crumbled when I tried to lift a piece off the rock. So I’ll wait till it dries out a little and will go and get a sample.

May be easier dry
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-05-06 05:09:01 EEST (+0300)

Although generally if I’m having trouble removing a specimen from rock it helps to spritz it with water first. But it does get a lot softer and more delicate, too. Looks like some of the lobe tips should come away intact, at least…

Will have to find better samples
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-05-06 04:54:17 EEST (+0300)

I will go there again when the rain stops and try to use magnifying glass to see if there are any rhizines. All I’ve seen so far is the black stuff underneath, and I couldn’t discern any rhizines. I’m afraid I might be looking not at the lichens’ underside but the soil underneath it instead. I just can’t separate the lichen’s body from that black stuff.

No way, that’s good news!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-05-06 04:33:01 EEST (+0300)

Phaeophyscia rubropulchra (notwithstanding the cool orange medulla) is common as dirt. This must be more interesting. I keep running through the Phaeophyscia and I just can’t convince myself it’s any of them. Another genus I don’t think we’ve considered is Physconia. Like P. detersa maybe? Did you happen to note what kind of rhizines it had? Physconia of course has those conspicuously bottle-brushy pointy rhizines. But black underneath certainly rules out Physcia, Heterodermia, Physciella. Not much left…

Bad News
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-05-06 01:56:59 EEST (+0300)

Well, I’ve had a chance to look at these again. They don’t produce any orange upon scratching or smudging the upper surface. Underneath it’s all black, although it’s not clear if it’s a lower surface or a substrate accumulating in the rock’s depressions on which the lichen grows (I could not separate the lichen from the black stuff underneath – flipping one over revealed black soft substance). So I guess it doesn’t seem to be either P.rubropulchra or P.melanchra. Or does it?

Excellent, lichens have it too easy, anyway.
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-04-24 17:35:30 EEST (+0300)
Will torture
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-04-24 08:08:44 EEST (+0300)

I’ll be torturing my specimen this season rather than just looking at them.

Orange usually easy to see
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-04-24 07:53:02 EEST (+0300)

if you scratch it, too. It’s not a subtle “is that considered orange?” kind of orange. It’s DANGER! orange. :)

Phaeophyscia rubropulchra?
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-04-24 07:37:02 EEST (+0300)

Phaeophyscia rubropulchra looks very promising. I have numerous photos from places around the city, so it’s very common here. Most guides say it’s bark-dwelling species, but I’ve found it on rocks around here too. Most of my specimen are brighter green, but it’s supposed to be very variable colorwise. I think I know where I found this and can go back this season and double-check on underside.

I’m liking Phaeophyscia better now
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-04-24 05:16:10 EEST (+0300)

But we should consider Physciella melanchra as well. Is it possible these are even Phaeophyscia rubropulchra?? Surely we’d see the orange medulla in a crack or broken lobe somewhere in all of that, right? It’s entirely possible this is the same as observation 66118. Definitely would be good to know if it’s black underneath.

(Gorgeous specimens, by the way. Not generally a photogenic group, but here you even have a colony abundantly fertile on top of everything. Amazing.)