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 Thallus: erect-shrubby to subpendant, 3-15 cm long; branching: anisotomic-dichotomous, divergent; basal part: darker than branches or of the same color with conspicuous annular cracks; branches: tapering; lateral branches: not narrowed at attachment point; segments: terete and cylindrical; papillae: absent to numerous and indistinct on main branches; tubercles: absent to numerous on main and secondary branches, usually absent on the terminal branches, short and verrucous, sometimes eroded at top; fibercles: absent to numerous, irregularly distributed on main and secondary branches; fibrils: nearly absent to numerous, short and spinulous to long and slender, irregularly distributed on the whole thallus; soralia: punctiform, irregular in outline, even or slightly stipitate, plane to erumpent, developed initially from the cortex (on the whole thallus) or on top of tubercles (on main branches), or on fibercles (main and secondary branches), nearly absent to numerous, sometimes fusing together and entirely covering the terminal branches; isidiomorphs: always present, generally numerous and conspicuous on secondary and terminal branches; pseudocyphellae: absent; cortex: moderately thick to thick (9-13%), shiny to vitreous, hard, frequently transversally or longitudinally cracked, with a red pigment; medulla: thin to moderately thick, dense to compact, not pigmented; axis: moderately thick to thick, not pigmented; Apothecia: not seen; Spot tests: K+ yellow slowly turning orange, C-, KC-, P+ deep orange; Secondary metabolites: stictic (major), ±norstictic (minor), ±constictic (minor), ±cryptostictic (minor), ±menegazziaic (minor ) acids.; Substrate and ecology: on bark of Quercus spp., Pinus spp., and diverse shrubs, rarely on rock, in oak, pine-oak forests and in chaparral or in coastal scrub communities between 0 and 500 m; or in the southern mountains between 1500 and 2500 m; World distribution: suboceanic, oceanic temperate and tropical regions: Europe, eastern Asia, Australasia, Africa, North and South America, and Macaronesia; Sonoran distribution: coastal areas of southern California (including the Channel Islands), Baja California, and Baja California Sur, and Sinaloa.; Notes: Usnea rubicunda is a very polymorphic species characterized by its red pigment in the cortex and the numerous minute soralia with conspicuous isidiomorphs. 

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© Lichen Unlimited: Arizona State University, Tempe.

Source: Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region

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