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Images of British Lichens

Lecanora compallens Herk & Aptroot

Thallus a thin, grey crust, initially dotted with small, yellowish-green soralia and becoming uniformly powdery-sorediate, save for about a 1mm marginal zone, scratching whitish; apothecia unknown. This lichen is distinguished from the very similar and more common L. expallens by its lack of reaction with bleach, sodium hypochlorite (L. expallens giving a C+ deep yellow to red reaction). Widespread and probably locally frequent on bark of wayside and parkland deciduous trees, reported also on timber, but first recognised as a species in 1999 and distribution still poorly known.

Refs: Smith et al. (2009), 481; Dobson (2005), 217-218 (photo); Dobson (2011), 223 (photo); van Haluwyn et al. (2009), 150-1 (photo); van Herk & Aptroot (2004, 2013), 204-205 (photo); Wirth, Hauck & Schulz (2013), 1: 564 (photo), 565.

In addition to L. expallens, this species can be confused with Pyrrhospora quernea, which is more buff in colour, has somewhat coarser soredia and frequently has red-brown apothecia, and, like L. expallens, tests orange to red with bleach.

Lecanora compallens
Lecanora compallens
On bark, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, May 2009, det. P.A. Wolseley, upper photograph showing negative test with bleach

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© A.J. Silverside
Uploaded June 2012, updated December 2013