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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Lesser Tundra Owl Lichen - Solorina bispora

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S1S2
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from a few locations in western Montana.
General Description
Thallus foliose, generally poorly developed, mostly less than 1 cm wide, often just a small lobate rim on the apothecia; apothecia with 2 spores per ascus; lower surface tightly appressed to the substrate and difficult to determine; and photobionts green and blue-green (McCune and Geiser 2009).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Small thallus with relatively large apothecia. Examine thin sections of the apothecia under the compound microscope and look for 2 spores per ascus.

Range Comments
Mostly an arctic-alpine species, extending south in the Rocky Mountains to Colorado (McCune and Geiser 2009).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 5

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

On calcareous soil or humus on moist sites in alpine to subalpine habitats.

Photobionts: green algae and cyanobacteria (nitrogen-fixer).

Reproductive Characteristics
Reproduces sexually by spores from the apothecium. There are two spores per ascus.

Threats or Limiting Factors
None identified.

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Citation for data on this website:
Lesser Tundra Owl Lichen — Solorina bispora.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from