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Lecidea lapicida (Ach.) Ach.


Thallus whitish to grey, or variably rust-coloured, cracked-areolate, areole surfaces often appearing smooth and polished; apothecia black, flat to convex, set within the areole surface. On siliceous, usually upland rocks in the north and west, locally common; part of a complex of species that require chemical tests for reliable identification.

Refs: Smith et al. (2009), 513; Purvis et al. (1992), 330; Dobson (2005), 236; Dobson (2011), 241 (photo); Hansen & Anderson (1995), 99 (photo); Wirth (1995), 1: 510; Wirth, Hauck & Schulz (2013), 1: 619 & 654 (photos), 637; Valcárcel et al. (2003), 224-5 (photo); Brodo et al. (2001), 393 (photo); Pope (2005), 57 (photo); Thomson (1997), 356, 357 (photo).

Lecidea is, obviously, 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.

 
Lecidea lapicida
On siliceous boulder in moorland, Strathardle, Perthshire, April 2003


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Uploaded March 2008, last updated September 2013