Species List: Wetmore’s Checklist of the Lichens of the Black Hills (198)
When: 2011-07-20
Observations: 411

Notes: This list was taken from the index of Clifford M. Wetmore’s excellent 1967 lichen flora of the Black Hills (including both southwestern South Dakota as well as the Bear Lodge Mountains and Devil’s Tower in southeastern Wyoming). Much of the taxonomy has automatically been updated by Mushroom Observer thanks to the synonymy presented in the 2010 version of Esslinger checklist of North American lichens.

In several cases 1967 species concepts were too vague, and material that was once called, for example, Punctelia bolliana, is now included in several “new” species (P. bolliana s. str., P. stictica, P. subrudecta, the latter of which has in turn been split up into P. caseana, P. perreticulata, and P. jeckeri in North America). Attempts have been made to examine Wetmore’s brief species descriptions and keys to determine which species he was referring to.

In the P. bolliana case, I have personally observed several of the subsequent species in the Black Hills, so it is unclear which of the species Wetmore saw. (Wetmore himself included comments to this effect, as well, referring to the future paper by Hale which would split the group up, and predicting that multiple of the new species would be found on closer examination of his material.)

Another example is instructive: Wetmore reported Umbilicaria vellea, describing it as having entirely black rhizines. Subsequent to 1967, material with purely black rhizines was split off into U. americana, leaving distinctive material with both long, often brown rhizines mixed with short black knobs in U. vellea s. str. While I have observed both species, U. americana is by far the more common, and his description leaves no doubt that he was referring to U. americana. (He did not report it from Devil’s Tower, the only place I found true U. vellea. But he did report it from the relatively nearby Mt. Nelson, so it is entirely possible he simply glossed over the variation in his description. Examination of his specimens would be the only sure way of knowing.)

I have entered all of Wetmore’s names verbatim, allowing automatic synonymy to handle most name changes. In cases, such as those above, I have taken the approach of proposing alternative names for things like U. vellea.

Wetmore did a very thorough job of sampling over 100 location spread evenly throughout the region, and reports full range of each species he observed. I have made no attempt to preserve this information in this checklist. This is intended simply to be a research aid, helping clear up at least some of the sticky taxonomic problems which have been addressed since 1967.


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Created: 2011-07-20 11:01:37 MDT (-0600)
Last modified: 2011-07-20 11:01:38 MDT (-0600)
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