Observation 66118: Phaeophyscia adiastola (Essl.) Essl.

When: 2009-06-21

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

Who: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)

No specimen available



Proposed Names

57% (1)
Recognized by sight

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Specimen solved the problem
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-07-15 21:16:57 CDT (-0500)

Some of the mysteries began to unravel after picking up actual specimen. Thanks for the ID, Jason.

By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-04-24 09:43:49 CDT (-0500)

I have 100% confidence in Brodo’s identifications (with one exception in the Peltigeras :), but it must be stated somewhere for the record, I suppose, that the Sharnoffs had a real talent for finding and/or presenting material that looks unlike anything I’ve ever seen for that same species! I will often go in to the field in a new location after looking through his book to know what to look for. When I finally actually find the things I’m looking for I invariably say “What? That’s what it looks like?!” The key characters are all there, but somehow they managed to make it look bigger, more beautiful, more colorful, etc. And yes, I suspect Brodo went out of his way to choose photos that exaggerated key characters (otherwise they wouldn’t be visible without magnification).

Moral of the story: take the Sharnoff photos with a grain of salt. They’re correct, but not necessarily representative of average material.

(They sure are purty, though. :)

Lichens of North America
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-04-24 00:24:53 CDT (-0500)

I was looking in Brodo’s Lichens of North America, where I can see rhizines in many photos of Phaeophyscia, some so thick that they look like brush when you look at it from above, but again, it only has about half the species that are potentially found in Wisconsin. Most of the rest are very seldomly illustrated, if at all. In fact, the rhizines are my most hated visual clue. I often match the lichens almost perfectly when trying to identify, just to encounter bushy rhizines sticking from under the species in question in the book or website, where my photo would have none visible. Like with Hollywood stars, authors like the pictures of unshaven ones.

Your source is misleading
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-04-23 23:51:13 CDT (-0500)

Only a few species, e.g. hispidula and it seems rubropulchra (looking through my photos of the genus), have obvious rhizines seen from above. Most do not in my experience.

14 species
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-04-23 23:12:45 CDT (-0500)

Looks like we should have 14 species of Phaeophyscia in WI. But as far as I can tell, most of them show rhizines sticking out from under the tallus even if one looks from afar. But I didn’t find the images for all of the species.

Okay, that makes lobes ~0.5 mm wide
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-04-23 20:55:45 CDT (-0500)

That’s small but not minute (rules out a few like Physcia subtilis and in my experience Myelochroa obsessa). I’m thinking maybe Phaeophyscia instead (black underneath with lots of tiny short unbranched black rhizines, try P. pusilloides or P. orbicularis. That genus is totally K- (cortex and medulla).

Not tiny
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-04-23 20:28:59 CDT (-0500)

This lichen is in our city park. I will go there a bit later in the season to catch it in fresher state and check out the things to help ID. As far as the size goes, you can see Periwinkle leaf right next to it on one of the photos. Those are usually inch to an inch-and-half in size.

Two more possibilites…
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-04-23 19:44:03 CDT (-0500)

Myelochroa obsessa — are these really tiny? That should be black underneath (but very difficult to remove from the rock).

Parmelinopsis minarum — should have true isidia and stubbier lobes, though.

another stumper
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-04-23 19:41:29 CDT (-0500)

I can’t quite make out all the important details. They look small, without markings on the upper surface, and have pustules in the interior.

I’d rule out Xanthoparmelia based on the pustules (instead of fine isidia) and Flavoparmelia (based on size, not broad rounded lobe tips). It looks a bit like a small Parmelia but that should have obvious markings on the surface (and should be bigger). Some Punctelia have odd knobby isidia, but those also should have obvious white spots on the surface. Physcia is the right size, but I don’t know any with isidia, knobby or otherwise. Surely anything that large and abundant must be at least somewhat common, but I’m running out of possibilities. Imshaugia aleurites is somewhat similar (does it have white or black underside?) Hypotrachyna could look like that, I suppose, but not that far north, surely.

Further observations that could really help, should you ever return:

1. size (total and width of average lobe)
2. color of underside (white or black most likely)
3. type of rhizines (short and unbranched, or forked, or like bottlebrushes)
4. are there any white dots or irregular mottling on the surface?
5. is it shiny or dull (when dry)?
6. is there any pruina (when dry)?

Created: 2011-04-23 19:18:10 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2011-07-15 21:15:18 CDT (-0500)
Viewed: 124 times, last viewed: 2018-07-16 12:02:00 CDT (-0500)
Show Log