TYPE. CUBA. LAS TUNAS, Puerto Principe, 1861 (locality indicated in FH-Tuck), 1856-1858, Wright s.n., Lich. Ins. Cubae, ser. 2, 92 (H-NYL 38698, holotype; FH-Tuck, G, TUR-V 17416, isotypes).
Description. Life form: lichenized fungus.
Thallus dimorphic. Primary thallus squamulose, squamules 3-8(-10) x 0.5-1.5(-5) mm, ends obtuse, necrotic ends blackening. Podetia gray, smooth, slender, 0.4-1.5(-2.5) cm tall x 0.8-2.5 mm thick, flexuose, uniformly thick, unbranched or 2-4 times dichotomously branched. Podetial surface corticate, verruculose-areolate. Ascomata biatorine apothecia atop of podetia, brown, up to 1.5 mm diam. Ascospores hyaline, simple, oblong, 8-13 x 2-3.5 μm. Pycnidia on squamules, frequent, globular, 150-300 μm, pycnidial jelly clear; conidia strongly curved, 7-10 x 1 μm.
Chemistry. K+ yellow turning red or K-; PD+ red or yellow. According to Ahti (2000), Cladonia subcariosa consists of six major chemotypes, each of which has been considered a separate species:
I. C. subcariosa s. str. – atranorin, norstictic and connorstictic (inconstant) acids, homoheveadride;
II. C. polycarpia – those in I plus stictic, cryptostictic and constictic acids;
III. C. polycarpoides – norstictic and connorstictic acids and homoheveadride;
IV. C. sobolescens – fumarprotocetraric, protocetraric, and confumarprotocetraric acids;
V. C. subclavulifera – norstictic and fumarprotocetraric acids as major substances;
VI. C. brevis – psoromic, 2'-0-demethylpsoromic, and rangiformic acids.
Substrate and Habitat. Terricolous on sandy or rocky soil.
Distribution. Eastern North America, Neotropics, western Europe, eastern Asia, New Guinea, Australia; in North Carolina throughout. The chemotypes have the following distributions:
I. Cuba, southeastern US coastal plain, Brazil;
II. Southeastern US coastal plain;
III. Eastern North America, Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia;
IV. Eastern North America, Caribbean, eastern Asia;
VI. North America, Europe, east Asia.
Ahti, T. (2000) Cladoniaceae. Flora Neotropica 78, Organization for Flora Neotropica and New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 362 pp.
Nylander, W. (1876) Collemacei, Caliciei, Cladoniei et Thelotremei Cubani novi. Flora (Regensburg). 59: 558-562 (original description).