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Usnea species | by Curiosity thrills.
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Usnea species

The Lichen equivalent of a Brittlestar !!!! Found on Birch in deciduous woodland.

* Initial ID (U. florida) by Kiril (Bushman.K)


Seems that this is NOT U. florida but more likely U. subfloridana or U. wasmuthii or other ! please read notes below. These were supplied to Mark Pollit of DGERC (Dumfries & Galloway Enviromental resources center) from members of the Yahoo lichen group.


Nice pic, but the “gizz” id not Usnea florida, more like U. subfloridana, which can also produce star-shaped apothecia. also, the branches appear too rough, with what look like incipient soralia – although those portions of the branch were unfortunately not sufficiently in focus to tell for sure. We have seen enormous apothecia on U. subfloridana from Knoydart, so they can be tricky. Nice one, though. Cheers, Brian (Coppins)


Nice photo! Usnea is a notoriously tricky genus. They draw you in with a promise of tangibility, but often you end up in a tangle of names and characters. In the picture-books, Usnea florida looks like an easy spot, with it's abundance of flowery discs, but the tricky part is that in western parts of Scotland, other species can be almost as florid. I have certainly found very fertile specimens which got named as Usnea subfloridana at the time (I suspect might now be U. wasmuthii, but I'm rather out of touch). The crucial point, I think, is that U. florida has only long fibrils and raised papillae -- never soralia or isidia. From what I see on this photo, I perceive a suspicion of soralia, but really I'd need to see a specimen to be sure. And given the difficulty of the genus -- and it seems to have been subject to some revision lately -- it would probably have to go to an expert. All best, Joe heart sunk at the prospects of identifying an Usnea from a photograph, but this question is quite easy; this is not Usnea florida!The stems clearly have circular soralia, which although a bit blurred also have isidia growing from them. This rules out Usnea florida, as this had neither soralia or isidia. Could not say quite what this is but most probably fertile Usnea subflorida, a common species but not normally fertile. I would need to see the lichen to actually confirm this. Neil.


So all clear now ? :^)

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Taken in March 2013