Observation 99958: Normandina pulchella (Borrer) Nyl.

When: 2011-06-02

Collection location: Rainbow Falls Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Sevier Co., Tennessee, USA [Click for map]

35.6618° -83.4502° 1748m

Who: Jason Hollinger (jason)

Specimen available

HABITAT hardwood forest high on north slopes; SUBSTRATE Betula bark; ASPECT partly sunny.

All of the many other times I’ve seen this species, it is just a few scattered minute scales growing hidden on another deeply shaded cyanolichen like Leptogium or Fuscopannaria. I’d heard stories of it growing in huge colonies on its own like this, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen it. It’s breath-taking, really. What was so special about this particular tree trunk???


astonishing colony covering a birch trunk
astonishing colony covering a birch trunk
astonishing colony covering a birch trunk

Proposed Names

87% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-07-11 14:46:33 CDT (-0500)

That’s all the essays are intended to accomplish: make you walk and think. :)

By: nastassja (Nastassja Noell)
2012-07-11 14:44:39 CDT (-0500)

Just read Trevor’s IX. Paralichens essay… I see what you mean now about this “bloom” of Normandina, that is really special. (and I wonder how migratory birds play into this whole movement of algae) Paralichens, wow, they are something to take a walk and think about, alot.

Amazingly understandable and lovely diagrams you made, by the way!

By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-07-10 17:22:09 CDT (-0500)

Now you mention it, I remember reading about these septum perfortions before, in some forgotten past life. I’m told that it is fairly certain that it belongs in the Verrucariaceae now, along with a number of “weirdo” lichens like Flakea and Agonimia. We’ll see how that goes in the future… Too bad the photos in that paper are so poor. But still very interesting.

My bit of interesting trivia
By: nastassja (Nastassja Noell)
2012-07-10 16:58:43 CDT (-0500)

was a bit off… the drawing of Woronin bodies was shown next to the septa structures for basidiomycetes in Kendrick’s textbook and my memory had clumped them together… that plus too much coffee got me jumping too quickly… sorry! Woronin bodies are exclusive to Ascomycetes, not Basidiomycetes. They are basically these little balls that float in front of the hole in the septa of Ascomycetes – from what I understand they act like plugs when necessary to close the passage of materials from one “cell” to the next – in the case of damage, or to prevent passage of nuclei (during the dikaryophase I think is when that’d be important, but I could be very wrong). Basidiomycetes have dolipores, way more complex structurally

But there are some other interesting things about this species… a) there is no haustoria, the fungus does not penetrate the algal cells to acquire sugars, begging the question of how the algae is exactly leaking out all those sugars. and b) there used to be a debate about whether N. pulchella is a basidiolichen or ascolichen.

Source: "Contribution to the study of Normandina pulchella: a cytological approach

Where did you find that bit of (interesting) trivia??
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-07-10 16:32:40 CDT (-0500)

What is a Woronin body, to start with????

Trevor is convinced that the rare but striking large colonies of Normandina are examples of his “bloom” phenomenon. He hypothesizes the existence of some sort of saprophytic or parasitic cryptic “parathallus” stage that develops from the spore or soredium and hangs around until conditions are right for lichenization and/or thallus initiation. If the parathallus is sufficiently successful and widespread, and if the conditions are sufficiently unlocalized, when they occur, an entire surface of a tree or rock will suddenly break out in hundreds of indentical thalli. Maybe that’s what’s going on here, too, with Normandina?

That’s a good question about the tree trunk
By: nastassja (Nastassja Noell)
2012-07-10 16:16:28 CDT (-0500)

…what do you think? (I can’t even take a guess, I haven’t found a Normandina yet, not knowingly at least… )

Created: 2012-07-10 15:28:16 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2012-07-10 15:28:23 CDT (-0500)
Viewed: 70 times, last viewed: 2018-10-14 16:16:50 CDT (-0500)
Show Log