Observation 70352: Bacidina Vězda

When: 2011-06-19

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

Who: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)

No specimen available



Proposed Names

34% (2)
Recognized by sight
56% (1)
Recognized by sight: see (the voluminous!) notes

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
They don’t make patio blocks like they used to
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-02-18 16:45:42 PST (-0800)

Pretty sure it’s not eganuloidea. Why was that… Oh right, the hypothecium was clearly pigmented. So can’t be eganuloidea. (Also eganuloidea is supposed to be on granite, not cement.)

My two cents: B. inundata appears to be the closest name for this material. Clearly other people (e.g., R.C. Harris) have noticed that there’s something else besides inundata in the area, but for whatever reason, no one’s taken the time to research it carefully and publish it. Therefore, I would guess that your thing is either not being recorded at all, or it’s being called “inundata” in the meantime.

Pardon my dust.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2012-02-18 16:26:41 PST (-0800)

I actually sent you the entire patio block – I don’t know why only dust arrived. Must be those darn shippers not handling it with care as requested :-)
On a serious note, thanks a lot for the investigation.
Only two Bacidina species described for WI in Thomson: B.inundata and B.egenuloidea. Both are on siliceous rocks along the shores of rivers and lakes. I’ve found what seems to be several images of B.inundata (I don’t know the accuracy “rate” of the sites involved – could be amateurish like mine :-) All show bigger, flatter and lighter colored apothecia. I can’t find anything on B.egenuloidea :-( I’m mighty surprised that this lichen is not in every children’s lichen book – this thing has got to be as common as dirt (or dust:-) On the other hand, what if my patio blocks were imported from China, and the lichen arrived with them ? :-)))

Revisited with microscopy
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-02-18 15:04:13 PST (-0800)

I received your vial of dust. I had equal luck squashing an apothecium. Which is to say, bubkis. I wound up sprinkling the dust on a drop of thin Elmer’s glue on a microscope slide, waiting for it to dry, then doing a proper apothecial section of a good mature apothecium. Still hard to find spores, but finally managed it. Also could see details of exciple and hypothecium this way, which turns out to be very important.

The spores were long needle-shaped things about 20-25×2µm, more than 5 per ascus, and conspicuously not sprialed. That blows Scoliciosporum out of the water. (I was wrong about this once before, though, with a species of Scoliciosporum I’d never even heard of, but let’s assume this urban phenomenon is not some unusual poorly-known species!)

Instead, it suggests Bacidia or Bacidina (more likely the latter given the very narrow needle-shaped spores). Checked keys in Wong & Brodo southern Ontario checklist, in B. Ryan’s keys, Ozark Flora, and British Flora. Only get a plausible match in Ryan’s and Wong & Brodo’s. Both suggest two species. First is Bacidina inundata, but this should be smoother, with a white prothallus, should have K+ violet hypothecium (yours is entirely K-), and it is supposedly rare. The second is merely “uncommon”, but ironically is undescribed. It’s known in these two works as simply “Bacidina sp. #1 sensu R.C. Harris”. It matches pretty well, at least those details the keys include. They specifically mention, for example, an unusual pigmentation pattern: the exciple and hypothecium are both hyaline or pale brown except that the outer margin of the exciple and the upper part of the hypothecium are dark red-brown. Interestingly, there is a photo on-line labelled “Bacidina inundata” which looks exactly like yours.


However, I’m told this photo doesn’t look like true B. inundata at all, which should be smoother. It’s possible this photo is the same thing as yours, and is just mislabeled.

For now, at any rate, I will propose Bacidina for this observation. That much is fairly likely, at least.

What kind of magnification were you using?
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-09-25 16:21:44 PDT (-0700)

Smashing apothecia should be effective for finding spores. (Not so useful for observing characteristics of the exciple, hypothecium, etc.) If you scrape the apothecia into a little baggie or something, dump it all under a dissecting scope, tease out one or two apothecia and remove the chaff with tweazers and razor blade (wetting might help), then squash those on a slide and look at it with at least 400x, you might have better luck. Be careful not to allow any sand or other non-smashable material to remain — that will prevent you from squashing the apothecia and freeing up individual asci and spores. Spores generally look “cleaner” and more uniform than hyphae and crystals and granules and other crap, so they should be obvious. (Obviously seeing a bunch of different types of spores in good specimens of other crusts will help improve your confidence level.) Note that rock crusts often produce fewer spores than bark crusts for whatever reason. Sometimes you have to squash several apothecia and search them all very carefully just to find a handful. (ugh) Also, you can try sampling apothecia of varying ages. (Check the rims: well-developed rims are often on young apothecia, and the rims will become thinner and disappear in older apothecia.) Sometimes young apothecia have no spores, sometimes old apothecia have only skeezy withered spores, sometimes you have to get just the right age to get good spores. Other times you get inundated with spores of all ages in the smallest section. You never know. Depends on growing conditions, herbivory, time of year, among other things, no doubt.

Dead end
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-09-25 15:56:12 PDT (-0700)

So I scraped some apothecia off, inevitably grabbing some of the thallus matter. I smashed them in the drop of water and put them under the microscope. I couldn’t see those spiral spores (or any spores, for that matter) in the resulting brine. I just don’t have enough experience with this yet, so we’ll have to consider this ID tentative until something new emerges, or I learn how to extract and recognise spores, or I obtain equipment to enable me to photograph what’s under microscope (have none at this point). Rain just came and went, and the lichen on the patio blocks looks juicy and lush, teasing me to ID it or ship the whole block to someone who can :-)

Look for spiral spores
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-08-24 17:45:55 PDT (-0700)

Here’s an example: http://liquenesdealmeria.blogspot.com/... … It should be obvious. As to getting the right species with the genus… Not sure I can help there, since I don’t have any literature on Scoliciosporum. If they aren’t spiral… post photo or description and let’s go from there! Black lecideine crusts are the hardest, no question.

What to look for?
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-08-24 14:58:49 PDT (-0700)

OK, I’ll try doing that. But how do I confirm the species (or otherwise) since I don’t know what to compare the spores to? Could you point me to any good picture of this alleged species spores?

By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-08-21 11:32:30 PDT (-0700)

Better would be to scratch off an entire apothecium. Chances are good if you plop an apothecium on a glass slide in a drop of water and squash it, you’ll see loads of asci.

Scraping dust onto a slide is a very fascinating experience — you’d be amazed how many weird spores and pollen and algae you’ll see in the average mote of dust! — but not so productive and confidence-inspiring.

Iodine can be found at the drug store. Ideally you’d like Lugol’s solution, I believe for ascus stains, or maybe Melzer’s (a controlled substance), but neither are likely to be found at a drug store. You’re more likely just to find tincture of iodine or some such. It might work just as well. All you’re trying to do is see which parts of the fancy little nozzle apparatus in the tip of the ascus are amyloid (contain starches?) I think any of the above iodine preps will show this. But be warned: there are papers detailing observed differences in I, Lugol’s and Melzer’s, so they are emphatically not all identical.

As for actually seeing the structure, assuming it stains correctly… Best I can do is wish you luck and hope you have access to high quality optics! I find ascus stains to be the most difficult microscopic technique I’ve ever tried by a significant margin.

Spores, on the other hand, are a piece of cake. No need for iodine or fancy microscopes to see them. Have fun!

Pardon my dust.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-08-21 07:04:23 PDT (-0700)

So if the spores are such a prominent feature in this (alleged) species, would you be able to extract them from the dust that’ll result after I scrape some of this material from my patio blocks?
As far as the I test goes, I’d need iodine and potassium iodide solution to perform it – neither of those are in my cupboard.

Could be…
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-08-18 23:21:25 PDT (-0700)

You’re right, it matches the description in the Sonoran Flora superficially. Microscopically, Scoliciosporum is obvious (in my one experience!) with those funky long coiled spores. I’m not sure what Thomson was referring to with his I+ blue thing. The asci should stain blue around the outside with Lecanora-type apparatus at the tips; maybe that’s what he was talking about. But this is certainly not unique or even unusual among crustose genera, and totally unhelpful macroscopically.

Scoliciosporum umbrinum?
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-08-13 18:21:25 PDT (-0700)

Looks like Bacidia umbrina is a synonym. Without microscopy, no one can tell for sure, especially since there are not supposed to be any substances, except Thomson mentions I+ blue, but I don’t know what that test means. Thomson also mentions moderately thick thallus, which is not the case here, although I have photos from nearby of the ones that do have fairly thick thallus (different species?). However, photos posted on Discoverlife show similar lichen with thin thallus. Also, some of the descriptions fit pretty well, like the tolerance to pollution and growing in urban settings as a result – I’ve seen them in the midst of the city. It’s suppoesd to have a sister species growing on trees, but I’ve yet to find that one.

I have a rock saw
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-07-26 20:14:39 PDT (-0700)

I could promise to return (most of) your patio block. Would your wife sign off on that??

Mostly cement and rocks.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-07-26 20:08:29 PDT (-0700)

These guys are always saxicolous, it seems. Going through my old photos, it looks like I have quite a few of these from natural settings too, and on landscaping rocks too. I’m going to think about how to get a decent sample other than just grabbing one of my patio blocks – I don’t think my wife will sign off on that. Just scraping them off the rock will produce dusty mess and is not an option here.

I’d never challenge your fairy tale
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2011-07-25 21:46:20 PDT (-0700)

But it takes as much chutzpah as I can manage to suggest a name! It sure looks an awful lot like Bacidia schweinitzii. I’ve seen it on rock once, but apparently that’s very rare. But there are other species of Bacidia… and of course, lots of Lecidea and other things with black apothecia, sigh.

Same species, different age.
By: Andrew Khitsun (Andrew)
2011-06-27 19:14:16 PDT (-0700)

All specimen are on stone blocks on my patio. Two upper photos are from relatively new blocks, laid only few years ago. Bottom photos are from the older blocks, being there for 20 or so years. If I’m not mistaken, it’s the same species. Just starting out as small circles with few apothecia inside on younger blocks, on the older ones the thallus is much bigger and almost impossible to see the edges: the little circles grew bigger and merged. Now I’m waiting for someone to challege my fairy tail.

Created: 2011-06-27 19:03:27 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2012-02-18 16:47:25 PST (-0800)
Viewed: 243 times, last viewed: 2017-10-29 16:46:10 PDT (-0700)
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