Caloplaca (biatorina?) "Orange Rock Firedot Lichen" 

National Bison Range, MT
June 8, 2014
Robert Niese

Caloplaca lichens are a relatively abundant, easily recognizable group of lichens here in the PNW. Most orange, crustose lichens growing on rocks in our area belong to this genus. Unfortunately, the genus is impossibly large and making species identifications may require a close analysis of spore morphology.

Caloplaca luteominia var. bolanderi "Ruby Firedot Lichen"

Missoula, MT
March 14, 2014
Robert Niese

Caloplaca luteominea is a relatively common endolithic species of crust-like lichen. The little red cups that you see here (<1mm in diameter) are actually the reproductive structures (called apothecia) of the fungus. The rest of the organism lives within the rock (endo = within; lithic = rock), between the cracks and grains of the granite.