Nash, T.H., Ryan, B.D., Gries, C., Bungartz, F., (eds.) 2004. Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region. Vol 2.
Teloschistes californicus: Sipman, Willdenowia 23: 312 (1993). Thallus: subfruticose, 1-2(-6) cm long, rather stiff, composed of one or more blades attached by a permanent basal holdfast and sometimes also with short side lobes (fibrils), erect and spreading or subpendulous, divided from the base into many linear or tapering mostly compressed lobes lobes: often channeled, much divided, undulate, +entangled, often irregular in width, 0.2-13 mm wide, 10-200 µm thick, at the tips often with minute dactyloid or coralloid-branched, c. 0.1 mm wide, with terete branches surface: light gray to gray often with a creamy tinge, although often appearing darker gray or pale brown due to parasites and dust particles caught in the usually rather dense tomentum (which may disappear in older thallus parts), often perforate, not ciliate lower surface: concolorus with upper side, cracked in most parts exposing the medulla with remaining cortex strands forming a reticulate pattern, parts of the lower cortex is usually regenerated, sometimes hairy on the cortex strands hairs: straight, 0.08-0.25 mm long, at base 10-20(-35) µm wide, composed of bundled and strongly conglutinated hyphae, unbranched or with short perpendicular branchlets or sometimes with coarser branches soredia: farinose, green to greenish gray, diffusely spread over large parts of the lower side where the medulla is exposed, but most common near the lobe tips, also on the upper side where holes or slits have been formed in the cortex lobe anatomy: composed of three irregular layers upper cortex: prosoplectenchymatous, composed of +longitudinally running hyphae, 10-100 µm thick or running through all the way to the bottom medulla: mostly just around the algal layer which is 45-75 µm thick, interrupted by cortical strands with algae in scattered groups lower cortex: prosoplectenchymatous, 0-50 µm or running all the way from top to bottom, having the same composition as the upper layer, thin patches of medulla exposed to the lower side instead in places where the cortex is missing; cortex hyphae: 3.5-6 µm thick with 1-1.5 µm thick walls, rigid and strongly conglutinated (pretreated in K followed by water) Apothecia: infrequent, laminal to submarginal in older parts of thallus, stipitate, 1-3(-9) mm wide, strongly constricted at base when young disc: orange to reddish orange, concave initially, becoming plane; thalline margin: initially prominent but less so with age, thin, whole to somewhat crenulate and flexuose when mature, concolorous with thallus, often becoming excluded with age, usually hairy asci: oblong to clavate, 40-55 x 12-18 µm, 8-spored ascospores: hyaline, polarbilocular, oblong to narrowly ellipsoid, 11-20 x 5-8 µm; septal width 3-4 µm Pycnidia: protruding in yellow to orange warts, 0.1-0.17 mm in diam., mostly laminal or more rarely marginal conidia: ellipsoid when young, narrowly ellipsoid to bacilliform when mature, 3-4 x 1.5-1.7 µm Spot tests: K- (thallus) or K+ purple (apothecia and pycnidia), C-, KC-, P- Secondary metabolites: anthraquinones in the apothecial discs and pycnidia: parietin (major), fallacinal, teloschistin, and parietinic acid (all minor), and emodin and erythroglaucin (both minor) (chemosyndrome A); thallus devoid of secondary metabolites. Substrate and ecology: on twigs of trees and shrubs, in coastal desert with abundant fog World and Sonoran distribution: southern California, Baja California and Baja California Sur. Notes: The claimed hair length of c. 1 mm (Sipman 1993, p. 313) is a typographic error, the hairs of the isotype in LD are mostly 0.1-0.2 mm long, and Sipman reports it as 0.2 mm in another place in the publication (p. 314). In some specimens soralia are rare, but some soredia can nearly always be found near the lobe tips of the lower side. Almost always attacked by the conspicuous lichenicolous fungi Sphaerellothecium subtile Triebel & Rambold that forms a black network on the thallus, sometimes interspersed with small, black perithecia. On the islands off the mainland, T. californicus is attacked to a lesser degree. Teloschistes californicus, together with T. contortuplicatus and several other Teloschistes species, will be separated into a new genus in the near future. The nearest relative, T. villosus (Ach.) Norm. (similar, but non-sorediate), does not occur in the area (nearest locality is in Peru), so there is little risk for misidentification once you have established it is a Teloschistes. Some specimens of sterile Tornabea species (Physciaceae) are very similar to T. californicus, but can be distinguished by their more steel gray color, brown pycnidia, and presence of a lower cortex.