A problematic Parmelia

Mark Powell
Regular user
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:31 pm

Re: A problematic Parmelia

Post by Mark Powell » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:52 am

I wholeheartedly agree with the tone of Chris and Neil's replies. If anyone has any genuine queries then we can all learn from having them posted on this forum. There are two aspects in particular that I like about airing queries in public. First is the way that so many others can learn from the discussion. Second is that it provides a sort of informal peer review. In the past, most determinations were an interaction between only two people. The forum is a very efficient means of sharing the identification process.

There will be instances where online determinations are not possible and a referee will have to handle the specimen. However, in most cases the determination can be discussed online which helps people to help themselves (much more so than a name scribbled on to a returned packet).

The best lichenologists are usually the most willing to accept that mistakes are made (and Neil is one of the very best). Sometimes a rush to help leads to insufficient consideration, other times an aberrant form throws us off guard, and we all have our weak spots. The collective wisdom of the community on a forum can often lead towards a satisfactory resolution.

Mark - thanks for performing the medullary reactions again and letting us know. I think we will provisionally consider your lichen to be a grey individual of Xanthoparmelia conspersa (fairly high probability). I am a strong advocate of examining things side by side and in this case, if you come across more typical X. conspersa, this could be used as comparison.

Mark Walters
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:10 pm

Re: A problematic Parmelia

Post by Mark Walters » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:45 pm

Thanks once again Mark/Neil for your input on this and the advice on chemical testing procedures. Will compare a good X. conspersa when I see one

I can only echo everyones comments about how useful it is to have a forum discussion about ID or other aspects of lichen. It really helps with all of the common pitfalls and mistakes that we make with identification as beginners.

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