Pam Burrow's picture

Ash twig with X.polycarpa

Observed: 25th October 2011 By: Pam Burrow
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
Pam Burrow’s reputation in Fungi and LichensPam Burrow’s reputation in Fungi and LichensPam Burrow’s reputation in Fungi and Lichens
Ash twig with X.polycarpa
Ash twig with X.polycarpa 1

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.

Species with which Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria parietina) interacts


AlanS's picture

Pink blobs

I am afraid this is Xanthoria parietina, not X. polycarpa. The latter is much smaller, with minute, less flattened lobes, but it is difficult to separate from young and small X. parietina and I have seen experienced lichenologists get them wrong. The best separating character is a rather obscure microscopic one. The way they hold the apothecia is different, but it's difficult to put into words.

But onto pink blobs. There are two parasitic fungi on lichens that look like this. I have gone for Illosporiopsis christiansenii, which forms soft piles of pink spores, though it is possible that it is Marchandiomyces corallinus, which forms much firmer pink blobs of uncertain function.
Pictures and brief descriptions at:

Either could occur on Xanthoria parietina, but it is the Illosporiopsis that is a noted pathogen on that species. It is easily visible from your photographs that the Xanthoria is very poorly around the pink blobs. I especially like your left-hand photo - it shows the context of the infection well.


Pam Burrow's picture

Thanks once more, Alan. I am

Thanks once more, Alan. I am reassured by your comments that even experienced lichenologists get things wrong. As I have only been studying lichens for a couple of monthe I really value your expertise and time. Although my course is coming to an end, I'm sure that this is an interest I will continue.
Best wishes,