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Images of British Lichens

Parmelia sulcata Taylor
(incl. Parmelia encryptata A.Crespo, Divakar & M.C.Molina)

Thallus foliose, blue-grey (becoming bronze when old and semi-moribund), with conspicuous, white pseudocyphellae forming networks on the lobe surfaces. On older thalli, the pseudocyphellae develop into irregular, laminar soralia. Widespread and common on branches and trunks of trees and less often on rocks.

Refs: Smith et al. (2009), 653; Purvis et al. (1992), 425; Dobson (2005), 302-303 (photo); Dobson (2011), 305 (photo); Jahns (1983), 198-9 (photo); Whelan (2011), 121 (photo); van Haluwyn et al. (2009), 98-9 (photo); van Herk & Aptroot (2004, 2013), 276-277 (photo); Valcárcel et al. (2003), 280-1 (photo); Hansen & Anderson (1995), 46 (photo); Wirth (1995), 2: 646, 663 (photo); Wirth et al. (2004), 97 (photo); Wirth, Hauck & Schulz (2013), 2: 810, 811 (photo); Frahm et al. (2010), 122 (photo); Moberg & Holmåson (1984), 94 (photo); Holien & Tønsberg (2008), 57 (photo); Nordic Lichen Flora (2011) 4: 89, 163 (photo); Stenroos et al. (2011), 306 (photos); Pope (2005), 34 (photo); Brodo et al. (2001), 483 (photo); Hinds & Hinds (2007), 340 (photo); McCune & Geiser (2009), 225 (photo); Lichen Atlas of the British Isles 1: 1022 (1995).

P. encryptata is a newly described "species" distinguished from P. sulcata by molecular data, arbitrarily calculated genetic distance and a strictly cladistical species concept - see Molina et al. (2011) Lichenologist 43: 585-601. Although separable by gel electrophoresis, it is not yet known to have any morphological or ecological validity and its clade is incorporated without difficulty within a broader concept of P. sulcata. It is impossible to know whether any of the photographs below represent this taxon, which I consider a synonym of P. sulcata, deserving, at most, infraspecific status as a chemical variant.

Lichenicolous fungi on P. sulcata include Marchandiomyces corallinus and Nesolechia oxyspora.

Parmelia sulcata
On Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), Kindrogan, Perthshire, March 2008
Parmelia sulcata on Grey Sallow in fen carr
On Grey Sallow (Salix cinerea ssp. cinerea) in carr, Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire, April 2006
Parmelia sulcata with apothecia
Kindrogan, Perthshire, April 2002 (material with apothecia)
Parmelia sulcata with apothecia
Kindrogan, Perthshire, April 2003 (mature material showing laminar soralia developed along the lines of the old pseudocyphellae)
Parmelia sulcata, photomicrograph showing Trebouxia photobiont
Kindrogan, Perthshire, April 2002 (Trebouxia photobiont)

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© A.J. Silverside
Uploaded April 2008, last updated February 2014 (first hosted at, January 2003)