Vulpicida canadensis “Brown-eyed Sunshine Lichen”
Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, MT
October 24, 2015
These lichens are quite common east of the Cascades where they are regularly found on the low, bare branches of young conifers such as Pinus and Abies. It is not uncommon to see branches where almost all of the bark is obscured by lichen growth. In such instances, I regularly find eight or nine species within a few inches of each other. This particular specimen was found alongside Bryoria, Nodobryoria, Usnea, Letharia, two species of Cetraria, two (or three) species of Hypogymnia, as well as several crustose species I was unable to identify. That’s a lot of diversity for one tiny twig!