Collection location: Edgewood Blue, Wells Gray region, British Columbia, Canada [Click for map]
Something only a mother could love. This is the first so-called calicioid lichen I’ve ever studied. It’s not immediately clear whether this one is in fact a lichen. The greenish pruina on the excipulum pointedly is not algae. (Actually lichenologists call that “yellow”, but hopefully that won’t turn off mycologists with tender budding interest in this fascinating field!) I found it on an old weathered conifer stump among dry, open, mixed birch-aspen-spruce-cedar forest. Photos are all taken under dissecting scope at 30x magnification.
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According to Brodo’s book, they’re primarily found Minnesota and eastward, but there are records from BC (obviously), CO, AZ and even TX. Trevor only lists one collection (his own, from here) in his 1999 book. I think it’s far more likely that these things are overlooked — they are less than 1 mm tall and the heads are no more than 1/3 mm wide. Europe probably has better info on it.
How widespread are these little buggers? Just how big are these?