Caloplaca squamosa (B. de Lesd.) Zahlbr. — Overview

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 Life habit: lichenized; Thallus: squamulose, subsquamulose, margin abrupt at edge, without elongated lobes; prothallus: absent; surface: orange, smooth, without asexual propagules; cortex: cellular, 20-100 µm thick, granules absent; medulla paraplectenchymatous, without granules; Apothecia: present, erumpent or adnate, 0.5-1 mm in diam., lecanorine; disc: orange, flat, epruinose; margin: persistent, flush; thalline margin present, concolorous with thallus; proper margin visible, concolorous with disc; parathecium: cellular (paraplectenchymatous) including exciple below hypothecium; epihymenium: golden, K+ red, 10%N-, cN-, C-; hymenium: hyaline, 60-80 µm tall; paraphyses: 2-3 tip cells slightly swollen, with few branches; subhymenium hyaline; asci: cylindrical, 8 per ascus; ascospores: hyaline, 2 locules, ellipsoid, 11-12.5 x 5.5-7 µm, isthmus 3-4 µm, spore end wall thin; Pycnidia: present, mostly immersed, ostiole orange; Spot tests: apothecial margin K+ red, 10% N-, cN-; thallus K+ red, 10%N-, cN-; medulla IKI-; Secondary metabolites: unidentified anthraquinones.; Substrate and ecology: on non-calcareous or calcareous rocks; World distribution: southwestern North America; Sonoran distribution: southern California, Arizona, Baja California, Baja California Sur, western Chihuahua, Sonora, and northern Sinaloa.; Notes: Both Caloplaca squamosa and C. subsoluta are very variable and this has led to the numerous synonyms. The most characteristic features of both species are the yellowish orange areolate to subsquamulose or squamulose thallus with slightly uplifted margins and the paraplectenchymatous hypothecium and medulla. The typical C. subsoluta has a thinner, flatter, areolate to subsquamulose thallus. Typical C. squamosa is thicker, more convex, and usually distinctly squamulose. However, at the edges of the range of C. squamosa it becomes much more like C. subsoluta, especially in Texas and California. Another factor in the variability is the presence of lichenicolous fungi that can strongly alter the appearance of the thallus. These two species frequently occur together on the same rock. The apothecia of C. subsoluta typically have no obvious thalline margin while C. squamosa always does. 


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© Lichen Unlimited: Arizona State University, Tempe.

Source: Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region

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