“Gold Cobblestone Lichen”: {A. contigua}

Acarospora contigua

Description: Thallus bright sulphur-yellow to greenish yellow, composed of scattered or contiguous areoles 1-2.5 mm in diameter, convex or flat, with smooth or scalloped margins, sometimes lightly dusted with a white pruina. Apothecia reddish brown to very dark brown, immersed in the areoles, 1-4 per areole, sometimes becoming somewhat prominent with thallus-colored margins; disks often broken up with patches or a network of sterile thallus-colored tissue; spores ca. 3-4 x 2-3 um, many per ascus.

Chemistry: Cortex & medulla PD-, K-, KC-, C- (pulvinic acid pigments).

Substrate: On siliceous rock in open, arid sites.

Range: Probably widespread throughout the arid southwest, but also known from glades in the Ozarks.

Lookalikes: The closely related A. schleicheri grows on soil & has a more marginally lobed thallus. The taxonomy of this group is still poorly worked out, & so precise distribution maps of A. contigua & A. schleicheri are impossible at this time.

BibliographyLichens of North America, by Brodo, Sharnoff, & Sharnoff

Database Entry:  Distance Everheart 12-26-13

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