Another thank you to brettf@Flickr for sharing a macro glimpse of an organism (original image). Also, a thank you to GORGEous nature@Flickr for identifying it, since I didn’t know about this organism before today. A second image by Brett can be seen here that gives a more distant perspective. Thank you!
Despite its colour, Trentepohlia is actually a green alga. The chlorophyll pigment is masked by the presence of large amounts of β-carotene, the same photosynthetic pigment that causes the orange colouration of most carrots.
The appearance of Trentepohlia so closely resembles a lichen that it warrants a line in the lichen identification keys for British Columbia – a very astute decision, in my opinion.
Read more about this alga at the University of Paisley’s Biodiversity Reference page for Trentepohlia (includes
microscopic photographs photomicrographs!).