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Images of British Lichens

Xanthoria candelaria (L.) Th.Fr.

Description, based on tabulated characters in Kondratyuk (1997) and on the photographed material:
Minute (1–2 mm in height), foliose but densely tufted and appearing almost fruticose, yellow to deep orange (or grey-yellow in shade), lobes often very narrow, to 0.5mm in width, those in exposed parts of the thallus not or little expanded towards the tips, margins and undersurface budding rounded blastidia, 20–35 µm in diameter (microscope), some agglomerated into larger 'conblastidia', 40-110 µm diameter, rhizines absent; apothecia frequent, spermatia (in orange, laminar pycnidia) ellipsoid. Probably widespread on nutrient-enriched trees, fence-posts and rocks, apparently more frequent on the coast, but distribution and occurrence now uncertain due to confusion (both ways) with the recently described X. ucrainica. See that species for further discussion.

Refs: Kondratyuk (1997); Smith et al. (2009), 969; Dobson (2011), 471. The following generally refer to X. candelaria in the broad sense, but the photographs cited seem likely to be X. candelaria, sens. strict.: Purvis et al. (1992), 645 (might be mixed concept as describes rhizines); Allen (2007), 27 (photo); van Haluwyn et al. (2009), 78-9 (photo); Wirth (1995), 2: 972-3 (photo); Wirth, Hauck & Schulz (2013), 2: 721 (photo, as Massjukiella candelaria), 1190; Moberg & Holmåson (1984), 190 (photo); Holien & Tønsberg (2008), 105 (photo); Stenroos et al. (2011), 503 (photo); Brodo et al. (2001), 743 (photo); McCune & Geiser (2009), 395 (photo).

Xanthoria candelaria
Xanthoria candelaria
Xanthoria candelaria
On coastal rock, single population showing variation in lobe shape and colour intensity with degree of exposure to strong sunlight, Turnberry, Ayrshire, June 2011
Xanthoria candelaria on fence post
Xanthoria candelaria, close-up, with apothecia
On coastal fence-post used by birds as a perching site, Whiteness, Nairnshire, July 2008
(identification supported by microscopic examination of the blastidia as well as presence of apothecia)

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Uploaded August 2008, last updated December 2013 (replaces page first hosted at, January 2003)