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

Phaeophyscia orbicularis (Necker) Moberg
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Introduction to the Lichens
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Distribution of Phaeophyscia orbicularis
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Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria map

Species Information

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Illustration By: Trevor Goward

Common Name: The Shadow Lichens. Alludes to the dark colour of the upper surface of most species. Small to medium stratified foliose lichens, corticate above and below, isidiate or sorediate or not, lobes closely appressed to semi-erect, elongate-linear to elongate (rarely short), averaging to 0.2–1.5 (–3) mm wide, thin. Upper surface usually brownish, K- (atranorin absent), dull, lacking pruina and white-spotting. Lower surface dark brown to black, occasionally pale, bearing scattered, short, simple rhizines. Medulla white (ours). Photobiont green.
Apothecia located over upper surface, averaging to 1–2.5 mm across, rim occasionally bearing short colourless hairs, disc dark; spores 2-celled, ellipsoid to spindle-shaped, brown, 8 per ascus.
Over rock, bark, moss and other substrates.
Notes: Of the 19 species of Phaeophyscia reported for North America, ten are known to occur in B.C. Phaeophyscia was formerly treated within Physcia.
Species description:
Lobes averaging to less than 1.5 mm wide; upper surface convex to rarely concave at lobe tips; rhizines projecting or not; distribution and status various AND
Thallus sorediate and/or isidiate (check lower surface of lobe margins); apothecia generally absent AND
Thallus distinctly sorediate, soredia usually finely granular, never coralloid-branched; upper surface pale or brownish, never dark brown AND
Soralia variously distributed, but usually in part well developed over upper surface (including along lobe margins); rhizines often distinctly projecting past lobe tips; widespread; common AND
Soralia mostly finely granular, located primarily over upper surface and near the lobe margins; common; widespread
The B.C. material may be heterogeneous.
All spot tests negative.

Source: Lichens of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Habitat: Frequent over rock and deciduous trees and shrubs in sheltered sites at lower elevations throughout, except possibly absent from boreal regions
World Distribution: probably incompletely circumpolar, N to BC, S to CA.

Source: Lichens of British Columbia

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Physcia orbicularis

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links

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General References