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Images of British Lichens

Degelia plumbea (Lightf.) P.Jørg. & P.James

Thallus lead grey, paler when dry, marked above with longitudinal marks and striations and with lobes usually concentrically undulate-ridged, felted blue-black beneath and at the margins, lacking isidia, apothecia usually plentiful, red-brown, lacking thalline margins but with pale 'proper' margins. Mostly in the north and north-west, on mossy trunks and sometimes rocks.

Refs: Smith et al. (2009), 371; Purvis et al. (1992), 230; Dobson (2005), 161 (photo); Dobson (2011), 167-8 (photo); Whelan (2011), 91 (photo); Wirth (1995), 1: 369 (photo), 370; Wirth, Hauck & Schulz (2013), 1: 447 (photo); Nordic Lichen Flora (2007) 3: 97, 177 (photo); Moberg & Holmåson (1984), 167 (photo, as Parmeliella plumbea); Holien & Tønsberg (2008), 106 (photo); Arup et al. (1997), 177 (photo); Valcárcel et al. (2003), 178-9 (photo); Puntillo (1996), plate 15 (photo); Hinds & Hinds (2007), 233 (photo); Lichen Atlas of the British Isles 4: 1029 (1999).

A taxon previously considered a variant of D. plumbea but recently restored to specific rank is D. cyanoloma. It differs in its larger size, apothecia often darker brown to blackish, lobe-tips less divided and with more prominent, curved, transverse ridges on the lobes giving it a distinctly shell-like appearance (see Blom & Lindblom (2009), Lichenologist 42: 23-27). It has been widely collected in Norway and it is proving to be locally frequent and certainly more common than D. plumbea in north-western Scotland, and in Ireland. The photographs cited above all appear to represent true D. plumbea.
Another but smaller look-alike is Pannaria rubiginosa, which has the same blue-black, felted margins to the lobes, but with upper surfaces of lobes smooth and with apothecia that have distinct, crenulate, truly thalline margins.


Degelia plumbea
Degelia plumbea
Glen Tilt, Perthshire, April 2008

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