Thursday, 21 January 2016

Liking lichens

There have been some really interesting posts on lichens on the pan-species listing facebook recently, and seeing as my UK list hasn't made it into double figures yet, I thought I should take a closer look at some of the lichens at The Lodge. The first one I found is the extremely common Xanthoria parietina, which is one of the few on my list already, but when I posted the photo to check I'd got the identification right, it turned out that a second common species, Physcia adscendens was also present, tick!
Xanthoria parietina
Xanthoria parietina, with little bits of Physcia adscendens poking through
My next find wasn't a lichen, but an impressive display of one of the few fungi I'm able to confidently identify, the excellently named Turkey-tail. Shortly afterwards I was rather surprised to see a leafhopper braving the near zero conditions. It's one of the difficult Idiocerus group, but with the pale markings on the head and pronotum it can be identified with reasonable confidence as Tremulicerus vitreus, a fairly common species associated with sallow and poplar, and in winter with conifers.
Turkey-tail, looking rather like a Turkey's tail!
Tremulicerus vitreus
Onto the heath and back onto the lichens with a wonderfully foliose Cladonia species, probably Cladonia ciliata ssp. tenuis according to more knowledgeable people than myself, but not with enough confidence for me to claim another tick. Much more straightforward were the lichens encrusting the concrete rim of the old swimming pool in the garden, the extremely common Lecanora muralis (commonly known as the chewing gum lichen as it often forms small patches on pavements that look like discarded gum), and my final new species for the day, the equally common Physcia caesia. I enjoyed taking a closer look at things that I've previously ignored, so I suspect a few more lichens may appear on this blog in future, at least until the insects are back :)

Cladonia cf ciliata ssp. tenuis
Cladonia cf ciliata ssp tenuis
Lecanora muralis - chewing gum lichen
Physcia caesia

1 comment:

  1. What beautiful, delicate forms.