gw4288's picture

Lichen on tree branch

Observed: 8th October 2011 By: gw4288
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - current student
gw4288’s reputation in Fungi and Lichens

Caution: Do NOT use iSpot to identify fungi to eat!

Some fungi are very poisonous so a mistaken ID could have serious consequences.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


AlanS's picture


From the habitat and shape of the lobes this might well be Parmelia sulcata, a common species.

However, the focus is too poor for any critical detail to be seen, and there are other possibilities.

Photographing lichens on branches is always a problem - very difficult to hold the camera still enough and often out of easy reach of a tripod. In this era of digital photography, multiple attempts are possible, no longer worrying about waste of film, and one person I know has success using a "gorillapod", wrapping the legs around the branch.

Flash freezes movement (more or less) but the focus still has to be correct at the time of the flash.

Everyone photographing lichens evolves their own technique, but the basic point is that photographs do have to be close and sharp, as otherwise the tiny but critical features for identification will not be visible.

So I regret I cannot give a formal ID.


AlanS's picture

Other possibilities

Just to confirm why I think any form of identification, even to genus, is unwise, I cannot rule out it being a Hypotrachyna (revoluta or afrorevoluta), or a Punctelia (e.g. H. jeckeri). These have distinctive features if we had a clear view of the surface, but we don't.

The smaller thallus to the upper right I think is quite likely a young H. revoluta, in outline appearance, but whether that increases the chance of the main thallus being the same I am not sure.