Lichen Slang

We had a bit of a slow morning bird ringing the other week, so naturally I decided to have a nose around and ended up spending some time engrossed in twigs trying to remember what the name of that lichen with ‘jam tarts’ was – aka a crustose lichen with fruiting bodies that look suspiciously like mini jam tarts….. Or so I remember them being described to me once by my university lecturer! The lichen in question I believe is Lecanora chlarotera.

Lecanora chlarotera with 'jam tarts' - photo Eleanor Page

Lecanora chlarotera with ‘jam tarts’ – photo Eleanor Page

There was also one with long marginal ‘whiskers’ (cilia) – Physcia tenella seen here with Xanthoria parietina 

Physcia tenella

Physcia tenella

Physcia tenella with marginal cilia or 'whiskers' - photo Eleanor Page

Physcia tenella with marginal cilia or ‘whiskers’ – photo Eleanor Page

Not exactly technical I know, but when I’m looking down my hand lens at a small twig talking about jam tarts and whiskers, suddenly people seem to take an interest 😉 and for me (and my terrible memory) it definitely helps to get things to stick in my head!

Other lichen finds from the day:

Amandinea punctata

Amandinea punctata with black fruiting bodies 


Lichens of Kempton Nature Reserve

First off, I have some very exciting news; I have be offered a 3 month placement this summer July-September on Skokholm Island, located off the south-west coast of Pembrokeshire, where I will be working alongside the wardens maintaining the island, greeting visitors and surveying and ringing puffins, manx shearwaters and storm petrels among other wonderful things! I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity 😀

Apart from it’s seabirds, Skokholm is known for its amazing array of lichens. This got me thinking about the lichens I have previously noticed in one particular area of Kempton Nature Reserve. So I went back to have a proper look and ended up spending a lovely sunny afternoon on my knees half way up a gravelly lichen-covered bank with my face and hand lens to the ground…. An afternoon well spent I think! I am definitely no lichenologist, but  I had a good stab at identifying what I found. And had a lot of fun along the way! As always feel free to correct me.

Cladonia portentosa

Cladonia portentosa


Cladonia pyxidata

Cladonia pyxidata


Cladonia pyxidata with C. portentosa

C. pyxidata with C. portentosa

Peltigera hymenina

Peltigera hymenina

Peltigera hymenina, showing the pale rhizines

Peltigera hymenina, showing the pale underside and rhizines

IMG_4143Next task is to get stuck in to the bryophytes…. That might require more than one afternoon though 😉