Rare Species Guide

 Anaptychia crinalis    (Schaerer) Vezda

Hanging Fringe Lichen 

MN Status:
special concern
Federal Status:


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Minnesota range map
Map Interpretation
North American range map
Map Interpretation

  Basis for Listing

Anaptychia crinalis has been found in Minnesota only once since 1902, near Shovel Point in Lake County. Four collections prior to 1902 were recorded from Cook and Lake counties (Fink 1910). Increasing development and recreational use of the Lake Superior shoreline threaten this lichen, which was listed as a special concern species in Minnesota in 1996.


This foliose lichen has a thallus (lichen body) that is grayish-brown, with significant branching. It is usually flattened but sometimes convex and/or pendulous. The thallus is raised up from the substrate. Lobes are usually narrow, less than 1.0 mm (0.04 in.) wide, and have long, brown, unbranched cilia (hairs) on the margins. Dark granules occur on the tips and margins of lobes. Rhizines (attachment devices on the lower surface of the lichen) are simple and unbranched (Wetmore 1981). Anaptychia crinalis contains green algae.


In Minnesota, this rare lichen is found mainly on rocks near the shore of Lake Superior. It is sometimes found on mossy rocks, but rarely on trees or on soil.

  Biology / Life History

Anaptychia crinalis reproduces asexually, usually by dispersal of fragments of the lichen body, which contain both fungal and algal components.

  Conservation / Management

Threats to A. crinalis include climate change and/or lower water levels in the Great Lakes. Because it is found near the border between lake and land, a sudden change in this microhabitat could compromise the viability of the species. Development of the Lake Superior shoreline for recreation, including rock climbing or other uses, may endanger this rare lichen. Fire could also eliminate local populations quickly.

  Best Time to Search

Searches for Anaptychia crinalis may be conducted year-round when they are not covered by snow or ice.

  Conservation Efforts in Minnesota

Scientists are searching for this and other rare lichens in an attempt to identify and possibly preserve local populations.

  References and Additional Information

Brodo, I. M., S. D. Sharnoff, and S. Sharnoff. 2001. Lichens of North America. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut. 795 pp.

Esslinger, T. L. 2007. A synopsis of the North American species of Anaptychia (Physciaceae). The Bryologist 110:788-797.

Fink, B. 1910. The lichens of Minnesota. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium 14(1):1-250.

Wetmore, C. M. 1981 (revised 2005). Keys to the Lichens of Minnesota. Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota. 92 pp.

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