Observation 86377: Lichen P. Micheli

When: 2012-01-14

Collection location: Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve, Solano Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Byrain

No specimen available

All white thallus, no apparent apothecia, it was growing from moss on a rock alongside the road near the trail head. My pictures don’t show the moss well, as that was more apparent higher up on the rock where it would of been more difficult to take quick pictures and get away from the semi busy road.



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Inconclusive results
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-01-29 23:00:13 PST (-0800)

This is beyond my ability. I think I’d stick with cariosa until we know better. A stronger K+y test (confirming presence of atranorin in addition to fumarprotocetraric acid) or nearby presence of cariosa-like podetia would both have convinced me. But absence of these characters doesn’t disprove the hypothesis or – more importantly – suggest better hypotheses. Sigh. This is how the sterile Cladonia usually play out, alas.

K+ yellowish/brownish.
By: Byrain
2012-01-29 22:53:08 PST (-0800)

But I couldn’t find any “small uncupped “ugly” podetia”, either they’re really small or not present. After the recent rain, the upper surface has discolored bluish/green (Looked more green in person and more blue in the photo so I’m not sure which it is).

It’s a tricky thing
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-01-16 12:57:13 PST (-0800)

The times I’ve found large patches of sterile C. cariosa, I have always been able to find some “true” cariosa somewhere in the vicinity. The problem is (of course) that the “true” cariosa could be a different species than the sterile thing. Arg. The best hope is to collect a bit of both, and compare the squamules and chemistry carefully. Assuming there really is any fertile material nearby!

By: Byrain
2012-01-16 11:59:22 PST (-0800)

It will be easy to find again, I will get chemistry next time I visit. And I did look for the podetia, but didn’t spend a lot of time on the nearby patches so perhaps I missed it.

Darn it, these are tough
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-01-15 21:28:54 PST (-0800)

It’s coming out as Cladonia cariosa or “C. cervicornis group”. But the latter just doesn’t work. (See J. Lendemer’s paper on C. maritima in Opuscula Philolichenum 6: 121-124, free on-line.) Best I got: cariosa. Should be K+ yellowish/brownish. Should be able to find small uncupped “ugly” podetia somewhere in the vicinity, if not on this particular patch.