Niebla tesselata

The World Botanical Associates Web Page
Prepared by Richard W. Spjut
January 2004, Sep 2012, Nov 2021

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.



Mesa SE of Puerto Catarina, Spjut & Marin 13108, Apr 1994, holotype

Mesa San Carlos, Spjut & Marin 13403, Apr 1996


     Niebla tesselata is a rare and unusual fruticose lichen endemic to the Northern Vizcaíno Desert of Baja California.  It is distinct for the thallus appearing to have the measles, but is not infected; rather, it is densely covered with black pycnidia from head (apex) to foot (base), especially in the upper half.  This appears to be an ancestral trait in view that most species of Niebla produce pycnidia on fragmentation branchlets, or generally along cortical ridges above the mid region of branches.  The species was first known only from the type locality, a mesa southeast of Puerto Catarina along the Pacific Coast midway between Tijuana and Guerrero Negro, accessible only by foot; however, later (at the time of publication, Spjut 1996) it was found on Mesa San Carlos, also accessible only by foot.  But DNA may show these to be distinct if they can be recollected.