E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Peltigera malacea (Ach.) Funck
Apple pelt

Introduction to the Lichens

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #12471)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Peltigera malacea
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Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria map

Species Information

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Illustration By: Trevor Goward

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.
Species description:
Photobiont a greyish blue to dark blue cyanobacterium; upper surface generally greyish to bluish or brownish, never bright green when wet; cephalodia absent; bearing soredia, isidia or marginal lobules AND
Not attached to Peltigera aphthosa aggregate AND
Soredia absent AND
Isidia and lobules absent or lobules occasionally present along stress cracks and/or lobe margins AND
Greenish lobules absent; distribution various AND
Upper surface minutely woolly/pubescent, hairs closely appressed or erect and feltlike (Note: Hairs are often confined to immediate vicinity of lobe tips and may be difficult to observe) AND
Upper surface dark greenish when wet, bearing minute, erect, feltlike hairs, especially near lobe tips; lower surface lacking veins or with few and very broad veins; medulla thick
(Tenuiorin, zeorin and various unidentified substances [Holtan-Hartwig 1988].)

Source: Lichens of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Habitat: Frequent over soil and moss in open, usually dry inland forests and alpine ridges
World Distribution: circumpolar, S to CO.

Source: Lichens of British Columbia

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References