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Photobiont green (Trebouxia). Habitat: On organic matter, soils, and in non-calcareous grassland habitats. Chemistry: All spot tests negative. Comments: This species is similar to Aspicilia reptans, but the thallus of A. filiformis is more fruticose, with narrower, more elongate and stringy lobes and well-defined margins. Aspicilia californica (C+ red) is similar but has less distinct lobe tips and is not common in the Colorado Plateau region. Elevation 4,000 3,500 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 Meters 44 Aspicilia fruticulosa Common name: Coral lichen Synonym: Lecanora fruticulosa Description: Thallus fruticose, olive-green to brownish or gray, spherical, coarsely branched, 2 cm broad, free from the soil.

Lobes foliose or subfoliose, up to 5 mm long. Margins distinctively finger-like, lobate. Marginal lobes similar in length and radiating out like fingers on a hand. Lower surface pale with sparse, dark rhizines. Apothecia rare, reddish brown to black, laminal or marginal, up to 2 mm diameter. 5 µm. Photobiont blue-green (Nostoc). Habitat: Moist sites, often on mosses and soils on north-facing slopes. Chemistry: All spot tests negative. Comments: This is a nitrogen-fixing lichen. Widespread but seldom common, this late successional species is less frequent in arid deserts than in the more moist Great Basin sites and grassland habitats.

2 2a) Lobe margins with tiny white hairs; fairly common, often on soils and mosses................................................................... Leptochidium albociliatum 2b) Lobe margins lacking tiny white hairs............................................................. 3 3a) Thallus dull and smooth or coarsely wrinkled under a hand lens, lacking a cortex; margins of lobes swollen or nodulose (with minute lumps) but not fringed; often with abundant isidia.............................................................

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A Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of Western U.S. Drylands by Lichen


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