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Fuscidea kochiana (Hepp) V.Wirth & Vězda


Thallus almost white to pale grey, often tinged brown, cracked areolate, the areoles smooth, flat to slightly convex; apothecia brownish black, irregularly angular, set in the thallus, one or more together between the areoles, margins inconspicuous or obscured as the apothecium develops. In lichen mosaics on sandstone and other rocks (including basalt in my area), northern and western, predominantly upland. The overall appearance is much like an almost white Rhizocarpon geographicum, with which it often occurs.

Refs: Smith et al. (2009), 409; Purvis et al. (1992), 254; Dobson (2005), 177 (photo); Dobson (2011), 183-4 (photo); Wirth (1995), 1: 400, 401 (photo), 403 (photo); Wirth et al. (2004), 203 (photo, in mosaic with Rhizocarpon geographicum); Wirth, Hauck & Schulz (2013), 1: 489, 490 (photo); .

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.

FGBI: http://fungi.myspecies.info/all-fungi/fuscidea-kochiana

 
Fuscidea kochiana
On upland boulder, Mar Estate, Aberdeenshire, April 2008


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Uploaded August 2009, last updated January 2016