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 

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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

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Cladonia pyxidata

Cladonia pyxidata

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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 😉