Caloplaca (biatorina?) "Orange Rock Firedot Lichen"
National Bison Range, MT
June 8, 2014
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.
Rhizocarpon geographicum “Map Lichen"
Mount Rainier National Park, WA
August 9, 2013
Map Lichen is an easily recognizable montane species of crustose lichen that can be found throughout the Pacific Northwest. Look for its characteristic yellow thallus with black apothecia (the black dots surrounded by yellow). Individual lichens are bordered by a thick black line (seen clearly in the center left of this image) which makes them look somewhat like delineated countries on a map (hence the name).
Caloplaca luteominia var. bolanderi "Ruby Firedot Lichen"
March 14, 2014
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.