Niebla lobulata

The World Botanical Associates Web Page
Prepared by Richard W. Spjut
April 2003, Oct 2005, Sep 2012

Niebla and Vermilacinia (Ramalinaceae) from California and Baja California.  
Spjut, R.W., 1996. ISSN 0833-1475, 208 pp.  
Sida, Botanical Miscellany: 14. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Inc.

 

niebla_lobulata_11557b.jpg (198694 bytes)

Bahía de Santa María
Spjut & Marin 11557
May 1991

niebla_lobulata_9567.jpg (195460 bytes)

Vizcaíno Peninsula, Mesa 
above Arroyo San Andrés, 
Spjut 9567, May 1986

niebla_lobulata_9584.jpg (137207 bytes)

Vizcaíno Peninsula, Mesa 
above Arroyo San Andrés,
Spjut 9584, May 1986

niebla_lobulata_9784A.psd.jpg (142447 bytes)

Morro Santo Domingo, type locality, Spjut 9784A
May 1986

niebla_lobulata_9784D.psd.jpg (70892 bytes)

Morro Santo Domingo,
type locality, Spjut 9784D
May 1986

niebla_crenulata_11306.jpg (135506 bytes)

Mesa Camacho,
Spjut 11306, Apr 1990

niebla_tortuosa_13051.jpg (175767 bytes)

Mesa Camacho,
Spjut & Marin 13051
Apr 1994

Mesa Camacho,
Spjut & Marin 13095,
Apr 1994

Vizcaíno Peninsula, Mesa 
above Arroyo San Andrés,
Spjut & Marin 10336, Apr 1990

Isla San Martín,
Beauchamp s.n. (COLO)

Geographical occurrences
 

Illustration of TLC Data for Niebla spp.

     Niebla lobulata is a lichen that is endemic to Baja California, occurring on Is. Guadalupe, Is. San Martín, and on the main peninsula from the Vizcaíno Peninsula north to Punta Canoas.  It usually grows on red volcanic rocks at the fringe of the fog zone.  The species is generally  characterized by having flattened branches with rounded lobes, but lacerated forms are also included as shown for one specimen from the Vizcaíno Peninsula; however, a thallus may have both tooth-like and round lobes as seen in the specimen from Is. San Martín. 

     Niebla lobulata is somewhat of a cryptic viral species. While it is generally recognized by a flabellate form with various marginal features, it often appears to 'adopt' character features of other species it closely occurs with such as N. caespitosa (divaricatic acid), N. dilatata (divaricatic acid), N. flabellata (salazinic acid), N. marinii (salazinic acid), N. podetiaforma (divaricatic acid), N. rugosa (divaricatic acid), and N. sorocarpia (divaricatic acid). Its variable cortical features and lobed margins are much like the variable marginal features recognized for Niebla laminaria, which differs chemically (divaricatic acid) and in having a thicker, more rigid, and less flattened branches. Determination of the secondary metabolite, sekikaic acid, is often necessary for positive identification of N. lobulata, while it also appears to intergrade with other sekikaic-acid species such as N. suffnessii.   Thalli on the Vizcaíno Peninsula were found to have larger spores and additional triterpenes.

      Internet Images of Niebla thalli reportedly taken in the Santa Monica Mountains by Jason Hollinger (2011-10-19), which were identified N. homalea, appear to be N. lobulata.  The Baja California thalli have a relatively thin cortex over a subfistulose medulla, whereas the California thalli may be recognized to have firmer branches as a result of a thicker cortex. Further study may include specimens from Morro Bay and Channel Islands.