Ginny B's picture

Grey-brown lichen - possibly Lecanora sp?

Observed: 14th September 2012 By: Ginny B
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
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Grey-brown lichen

Growing on siliceous rock in the splash zone, a dark grey-brown to lighter grey-brown crustose lichen, that tests C- and K-. The thallus appears thin but cracked where visible and seems to blend into the rock at the edges; the abundant apothecia are up to 1mm in diameter and lecanorine with very dark brown to black discs.
When from a little distance I first saw this small patch of lichen I thought it was black, but on closer inspection much of it is brown, though the rims of some of the apothecia are almost a dark beige.


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Species interactions

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AlanS's picture


I am reasonably sure that it is not a Rinodina, and it doesn't look like R. oleae to me. One feature of R. oleae, as I know only too well, is that its apothecia are so tiny it's difficult to get a decent photograph. It's a very common but inconspicuous species, usually visible as a dark patch on urban sandstone walls, revealing its identity only with use of a hand lens.

As the thallus looks to be pale and the thalline margins are persistent but somewhat contorted, I suspect Lecanora actophila, but I prefer to wait for microscope work before being too positive.


gardener's picture

Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan for reminding me how small R. oleae is - I get too used to looking at lichen on the screen or under the 'scope and often lose sense of their actual size!

Ginny B's picture

Thank you both

Thank you both for your efforts to help me with this one. I had actually looked at both suggestions, but in each case discarded them mainly because of colour. I gather that colour isn't all that reliable to go by though!

This is on the same rock (just a little higher up) as my previous observation that turned out to be Lecanora actophila, which appeared more pale grey-green and not the very dark brown, almost black of this one. I couldn't find anything that looked similar or was described to be quite like this one, hence I was stymied!

I've never used a microscope, however it is possible I might be able to borrow one in the near future, so please could you explain what you would be looking for.