Identification: Long branch hanging type of lichen

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by treeguy123, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. treeguy123

    treeguy123 Active Member

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    Does anybody know what type of lichen this is? I found it hanging in the branches of a old (Juniperus virginiana) tree, in full to partial sun. It's about 5.5 to 6 inches long. Some were even a little longer than this one in the picture. Alabama Zone 7a
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Probably a species of Usnea. Hard to judge the size though with using those obscure archaic measurements.
     
  3. treeguy123

    treeguy123 Active Member

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    Thanks, I was thinking maybe Usnea but wasn't sure.

    It's very easy to convert using Google ;-)
    5.5 in = 139.7 millimeters
    6 in = 152.4 millimeters
    (1/8) in = 3.17500 millimeters
    (1/4) in = 6.35 millimeters
    (1/16) in = 1.5875 millimeters
    (1/32) in = 0.79375 millimeters << the smallest line mark.

    Just type: 6 in to mm OR 1/4in to mm etc. into Google search and you will get your answer, for ones using metric ;-)
     
  4. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Try pulling a length apart to see if there is an elastic central cord inside that stretches slightly before snapping.
    This cord is characteristic of Usneas in my region, distinguishing from Alectorias.

    frog
     
  5. treeguy123

    treeguy123 Active Member

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    Yes, the green would crack in 3 to 4 places or so, and stretch ever so slightly before breaking, with white bands between each crack.
     
  6. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Interesting - I wonder if the white bands could be a species characteristic?

    I should have asked earlier also: Do you see any fruiting bodies / apothecia? Typically these would be small (sometimes tiny) disc shapes, sometimes a different colour than the rest of it.

    The complete absence of visible fruiting bodies would narrow down the identification possibilities. Or, if fruiting bodies are present, their colour and shape will also help with the ID.

    cheers!
    frog
     
  7. treeguy123

    treeguy123 Active Member

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    Sorry, I should have really said: a central white band or cord between each crack. (Not bands)

    I saw no apothecia or fruiting bodies on this one I have, but this is only one specimen I have of the lichen.
    I did not look close at the several others, at that location (where I found it) in the Juniper tree.
    But I would guess this type is absent of visible fruiting bodies or apothecia.

    It likely is in the genus: Usnea
    I read this from Wikipedia: "Usnea lichens can be easily identified by pulling back the outer sheath on the main stem. Usnea lichens have an elastic pure white cord running through the center of the main stem. Lichen species which resemble Usnea do not have this white cord, and appear grey-green throughout."

    So I guess that narrows it to Usnea sp.
    Now the species will be hard to figure out probably. :)
     

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