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Images of British Lichens

Cladonia subcervicornis (Vain.) Kernst.

Thallus of rather large, elongated (to 2cm) basal squamules and sparse or absent, inconspicuous podetia, basal sqamules grey to grey-green, white beneath and typically blackened at base, podetia irregularly cup-shaped, expanded from the base and sometimes with secondary cups proliferating from the centres or rims; apothecia small, brown, often in clusters on the rims of the podetial cups. Mainly in the north and west, especially in soil crevices amongst rocks in upland and coastal areas.

Refs: Smith et al. (2009), 336; Purvis et al. (1992), 207; Nordic Lichen Flora (2013) 5: 76, 108 (photo); Dobson (2005), 145 (photo); Dobson (2011), 152 (photo); Jahns (1983), 218-219 (photo); Whelan (2011), 81 (photo); Wirth (1995), 1: 314; Krog et al. (1994), 170 (photo); Holien & Tønsberg (2008), 95 (photo, dried); Stenroos et al. (2011) 174 (photo); Valcárcel et al. (2003), 170-1 (photo); Thomson (1967) 99, plate 10, fig. 52 (photo, dried, poor resolution); Lichen Atlas of the British Isles 2: 421 (1996).

Undersides of basal squamules can develop pale, greyish areas with a faint violet tint. It is evident that this species is being confused with C. firma, a species of coastal turf in the west and said to have basal squamules violet-grey beneath. Twice I have been with parties where an experienced lichenologist has named populations as C. firma, but after being suspicious of my photographs I have examined voucher material and found it to be C. subcervicornis, and the same must be said for some hopeful photographs of my own finds. In truth, there is a lack of easy characters to separate them, both species being K+ yellow, but presence of tiny podetia is a good indication that C. firma is unlikely. Hopefully this will be updated when at last I find C. firma!


Cladonia subcervicornis
Cladonia subcervicornis, enlarged view
In crevices on drystone wall, Muirshiel, Renfrewshire, October 2010
Cladonia subcervicornis
On soil amongst wet rocks, Braemar, Aberdeenshire, March 2008

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© A.J. Silverside
Uploaded March 2009, last updated January 2016