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Images of British Lichens

Lecanora varia (Hoffm.) Ach.

Thallus a thin, pale to yellowish, dispersed-granular to continuous nodulose crust, soredia absent; apothecia usually abundant and often crowded, discs yellow- to red-brown or greenish, thalline margins white, conspicuous, smooth to irregularly distorted or warted. Widespread and often common on worked wood, less often on bark.

Refs: Smith et al. (2009), 501; Purvis et al. (1992), 318; Dobson (2005), 233 (photo); Dobson (2011), 235-6 (photo); Whelan (2011), 106 (photo); Moberg & Holmåson (1984), 116 (photo); Wirth (1995), 1: 460; Wirth, Hauck & Schulz (2013), 1: 570, 616 (photo); Thomson (1997), 310-11 (photo).

L. confusa can resemble this species and sometimes occurs on worked timber. Unlike L. varia its thallus gives a positive (orange) reaction with sodium hypochlorite, and it has longer, narrower spores, given as approx. 10-14×4-5µm (Edwards et al. in Smith et al., 2009), whereas L. varia has egg-shaped spores, approx. 10-12×6-7µm (my measurements). I have seen the two species growing side by side on old railway sleepers.

Lecanora varia
On old fence-post, Shewalton Pits, Ayrshire, May 2009
Lecanora varia, close up
Lecanora varia, close up
Lecanora varia, close up
On bark, Glen Tilt, Perthshire, April 2008

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© A.J. Silverside
Uploaded December 2009, last modified February 2014