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Common Name: The Pelt Lichens. Echoes the genus name and describes the general resemblance of the species to various animal skins.
Small to large stratified foliose lichens, corticate above, noncorticate below, isidiate, sorediate or lobulate or not, cephalodiate or not, lobes loosely attached, short to subrotund, averaging to 1–3 (–4) cm wide, thin or thick. Upper surface greenish, greyish or brownish, smooth or somewhat roughened, naked or tomentose. Lower surface pale or dark, usually veined, bearing numerous rhizines, these short or long, slender or tufted. Medulla white. Photobiont green and/or blue-green.
Apothecia appressed on upper surface near margins, often saddle-shaped, disc brownish; spores 4-celled to multi-celled, ellipsoid or needlelike/acicular, colourless or brown at maturity, (2–) 8 per ascus.
Over soil and moss, occasionally over trees.
Notes: All but one of the 30 Peltigera species reported for North America are known to occur in B.C. Peltigera is a taxonomically rather difficult genus containing a number of species groups that are not yet satisfactorily elucidated. Chemistry is highly variable in this group; though thin-layer chromatography may help to identify some species, spot test reactions do not.
Photobiont a lime-green to grass-green alga; upper surface generally greenish, especially when wet (Note: check sheltered lobes); wart-like cephalodia sometimes present over upper or lower surface AND
Cephalodia present over upper surface AND
Lower surface darkening abruptly inward of lobe tips; undersides of apothecia green-corticate throughout; veins generally either indistinct or absent AND
Mature cephalodia peltate (i.e., slightly raised and free at margins: check sheltered lobes), usually flat or concave, frequently detached when mature, leaving white scars, occasionally enlarging into distinct bluish lobes; humid localities at lower elevations
Under humid conditions the cephalodia may grow out into distinct thalli. These represent P. britannica’s bluegreen phototype. See notes under P. aphthosa.
Both phototypes: phlebic acid A, phlebic acid B, and various unknowns (Tønsberg and Holtan-Hartwig 1983).
Source: Lichens of British Columbia