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Images of British Lichens

Fuscidea gothoburgensis (H.Magn.) V.Wirth & Vězda

Thallus of pale- to brown-grey, dispersed, flat to somewhat convex areoles, seated on a dark grey to black prothallus that is clearly exposed between the areoles (compare F. recensa), soralia usually present, rounded, whitish- to greenish-grey, chemical tests (C, K, Pd) negative; apothecia rare, brownish black, sessile, spores ellipsoid. Very local on hard, siliceous rocks in the north and west, mainly in the Scottish Highlands.

Refs: Smith et al. (2009), 409; Purvis et al. (1992), 253; Wirth (1995), 1: 400, 405 (photo, as F. maculosa, a variant now included in F. gothoburgensis).

Fuscidea is part of the very large 'Lecidea group' of lichens – crustose species with dark or black apothecia that lack distinct 'thalline' margins, though they will usually have differentiated 'proper' margins the same colour as the disk. Microscopic examination of mature apothecia (and sadly they are often not mature) is usually necessary even to be sure of the genus, and field identification of all but a few distinctive species is risky. Dobson (2011), pp. 236-7, gives an invaluable analysis of the component genera.

Fuscidea gothoburgensis
Fuscidea gothoburgensis
On coastal pebble, Kingston on Spey, Morayshire, August 2010 (BLS meeting)

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Uploaded March 2011, last updated July 2012