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Description

 Thallus: areolate, overall up to 5 cm wide; areoles: usually round, (0.2-)0.7-1(-1.3) mm in diam., 0.2-0.6 mm thick, solitary, dispersed or emerging along an axis or from other lichens, becoming contiguous through division of the thallus along fissures in upper surface down through attaching hypha; rim: ±down-turned, sometimes white; upper surface: dark to yellow brown or an orange-brown, glossy, convex, rugulose, fissures evident in even smallest thallus, epruinose; lateral cortices: paraplectenchymatous but originating from anticlinal prosoplectenchyma, 30-40 µm thick; cells: regular, obscured in water, clear in K; syncortex: 6-35 µm thick, with thin periclinal to intricate hyphae usually visible; eucortex: upper layer various shades of golden or reddish brown fading into indistinct lower hyaline zone 15-20 µm thick; algal layer: uneven, algal cells not dense, interrupted by hyphal bands (but in very flat specimens appearing solid with a plane upper surface); medulla: white, obscure, intricately prosoplectenchymatous; lower surface: white, ecorticate; attachment: broad and eventually elevating areoles (gomphate) without forming a stipe; Apothecia: 1-4 per disc, forming in the center of areole, immersed, with visible beginning of a thalline margin, rarely becoming sessile and fully lecanorine; disc: brown or black, plane, smooth or rough, sometimes convex; occasionally with interascal plectenchyma forming gyrose formations; parathecium: expanding around disc up to c. 35 µm wide; epihymenium: reddish brown, thickly conglutinated, 15-20 µm thick; hymenium: pale yellow to hyaline, 80-110 µm tall; paraphyses: 1.7-2 µm wide at base; apices expanded, 3-4 µm wide; subhymenium: pale yellow, c. 10 µm thick; hypothecium: distinct, c. 10 µm thick; asci: narrowly clavate, 70 x 10-15 µm, 100+-spored; ascospores: hyaline, simple, narrowly ellipsoid (3-)4.5-6 x 1.6-2 µm; Pycnidia: c. 100 µm in diam. (Magnusson 1933); conidia: bacilliform, 2.5-3 x 0.8-1 µm (Magnusson 1933); Spot tests: UV-, cortex C+ red; Secondary metabolites: gyrophoric acid (major), lecanoric acid (minor), 3-hydroxygyrophoric acid (trace), methyl lecanorate (trace) (HPLC, J.A. Elix, pers comm.); Substrate and ecology: on granite and volcanic rock; juvenile parasite in one specimen (Nash 16, 215 ASU) growing on and out of Aspicilia species, but no evidence it is obligate or host-specific parasite; World distribution: southwestern North America and Mexico; Sonoran distribution: Arizona, southern California (Santa Cruz Island), Baja California (Guadalupe Island), Baja California Sur and Sonora.; Notes: This description differs slightly from details of Magnusson's description of the holotype (UPS!), because the type is not a typical specimen. The center of distribution appears to be in Mexico. Specimens differ and a more accurate description and distribution should emerge from further collections and study. Some specimens of A. nevadensis can look similar to A. interspersa, but the areoles of the former species are not as consistently round and its spores are broadly ellipsoid and have a mucilaginous layer around the thick walls. Tentatively a collection by Wet-more with no chemistry from Santa Cruz Island is included in this taxon; its spot tests reactions are negative, and it needs further comparisons with collections from the Channel Islands and central California. 

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© Lichen Unlimited: Arizona State University, Tempe.

Source: Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region

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