Northwest Lichenologists

Cladonia confusion

  • 19 Feb 2021 4:25 PM
    Message # 10118128

    Hello everyone, 

    I have two Cladonia specimens from the Evergreen State College campus leading to some confusion. I am hoping these compilation photos I put together will be large enough to act a visual aids without confusing which specimens I am referring to below. I am using Macrolichens, 2nd ed. to key.


    Both specimens lead me to the C. subulata / C. coniocraea / C. ochrochlora section of the key, but then things become muddy. For example, the perforations in Cladonia 1 could be C. subulata though the substrate isn't right and the squamules are quite large. Cladonia 2 also has very large squamules and could be C. ochrochlora but apothecia in this species are rare. They could also both be the same thing. I am curious to know what others think.


    Thanks for your time and guidance! 



    Cladonia 1


    Cladonia Key: 1b Stalks simple to few-branched, pointed, blunt or tipped with cups, 2b Apothecia brown or lacking, 3b Podetia present, 4b Podetia lacking definite cups, 6b Podetia sorediate —> Group 6: 68b Thallus UV-, 73b Podetia gray-green, green, or brownish, usnic acid lacking, 75b Soredia fine, powdery; thallus P– or P+R, 78b Podetia P+O or R (fumarprotocetraric acid); squamules various…


    Substrate: PSME bark, moss Ecology: Low elevation, second growth forest, conifer dominant overstory Chemistry: UV-, P+O, K-


    Cladonia 2


    Cladonia Key: 1b Stalks simple to few-branched, pointed, blunt or tipped with cups, 2b Apothecia brown or lacking, 3b Podetia present, 4b Podetia lacking definite cups, 6b Podetia sorediate —> Group 6: 68b Medulla UV-, 73b Podetia gray-green, green, brown, usnic acid lacking, 75b Soredia fine, powdery; thallus P– or P+R, 78b P+O or R (fumarprotocetraric acid) squamules various 79b Podetia corticate toward base, with or without cups...


    Substrate: PSME bark, moss Ecology: Low elevation, second growth forest, conifer dominant overstory Chemistry: UV-, P+O, K reaction was pretty dingy yellow on it's own


    2 files
    Last modified: 19 Feb 2021 4:28 PM | Stephen Sharrett
  • 20 Feb 2021 7:35 AM
    Reply # 10119130 on 10118128
    Bruce McCune (Administrator)

    At the time that book was written I would have probably called these C. ochrochlora. But apparently the distinction between that and C. coniocraea is not supported by molecular markers, so one could call it all the name with precedence, C. coniocraea. In PNW forests the appearance of these is quite variable, even within a colony.

  • 20 Feb 2021 9:50 AM
    Reply # 10119499 on 10118128

    Thank you Bruce!  

  • 20 Feb 2021 10:58 AM
    Reply # 10119646 on 10118128

    When I collect anything that looks like that I check the base of the podetium right away and look for some cortex there. That sp is so variable, but that smooth cortex helps a lot with ID!


  • 20 Feb 2021 6:48 PM
    Reply # 10120572 on 10118128

    Thanks Daphne! I'll definitely keep an out for that in the future!

  • 22 Feb 2021 12:49 PM
    Reply # 10126088 on 10118128

    The perforations on the stalk and the one open axil through me. I have't observed this in C. ochrochlora/coniocrea. I wonder how common this is. Bruce, in the online key, it says "never" so maybe that should be changed to occasional or rarely? 

    Last modified: 22 Feb 2021 12:49 PM | Lalita Calabria
  • 23 Feb 2021 7:19 AM
    Reply # 10128765 on 10118128
    Bruce McCune (Administrator)

    Never and always are dangerous words in biology.

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