Peltigera neopolydactyla

Peltigera neopolydactyla is a large, loosely aprressed foliose lichen with lobes measuring between 2 and 4cm across. The upper surface of the thallus is olive green to pale or dark blue-gray with plane to undulating margins. The sexually reproductive apothecia are brown and tooth-like on raised lobes arranged along the lobe margins. The lower surface of the thallus is whitish with broad veins and black, unbranched rhizines up to 7mm long.

The substrate preferred by P. neopolydactyla is varied: rock, moss, soils and logs of open to shady forests at all elevations forest occur. Occurances of P. neopolydactyla becomes increasingly rare as you travel eastward though very common a coastal forests. Of the genus Peltigera, P. neopolydactyla is the most common species with large lobes and a smooth surface west of the Cascade Mountain Range.

The geographic distribution stretches from the northern boundary in Alaska south to California and inland to Montana.

P. neopolydactyla is one of the most conspicous of the ground dwelling lichens and easily identified due to the smooth upper surface and rhizines on the lower surface. The upper surface can vary among three colors: olive green, milky blue and dark slate blue. The different colors are hypothesized to represent different races though no conclusions have been drawn.

The common name of P. neopolydactyla has been reported as Carpet Pelt.

References

Brodo, I.M., S.D. Sharnoff and S. Sharnoff (2001) Lichens of North America. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut.

McCune, B. and L. Geiser (2009) Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon.

Pojar, J. and A. McKinnon (1994) Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Lone Pine Publishing, Washington, Canada.

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