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Xanthoria elegans (Link) Th.Fr.


Foliose, with yellow to deep orange, very narrow (< 1mm), adpressed, somewhat serpentine lobes, lacking isidia or soredia; apothecia usually abundant, concolorous with the thallus or more deeply coloured. On nutrient-enriched rocks, walls, concrete; widespread and locally common, though tending to be more frequent in upland areas.

Refs: Smith et al. (2009), 969; Purvis et al. (1992), 646; Dobson (2005), 463 (photo); Dobson (2011), 472 (photo); Fox et al. (2003), plate 8 (photo); Jahns (1983), 248-249 (photo); van Herk & Aptroot (2004, 2013), 396-7 (photo); Wirth (1995), 2: 973, 975 (photo); Wirth et al. (2004), 153 (photo); Wirth, Hauck & Schulz (2013), 2: 1025 (photo, as Rusavskia elegans), 1191; Moberg & Holmåson (1984), 192 (photo); Holien & Tønsberg (2008), 104 (photo); Puntillo (1996), plate 42 (photo); Hansen & Anderson (1995), 72 (photo); Stenroos et al. (2011), 504-5 (photo); Pope (2005), 29 (photo); Hinds & Hinds (2007), 523 (photo); Brodo et al. (2001), 744 (photo); Walewski (2007), 82-3 (photos); McCune & Geiser (2009), 396 (photo); Øvstedal & Lewis Smith (2001), 362, plates 73 & 103 (photos).

Small thalli can very easily be confused with placodioid Caloplaca species, but X. elegans is truly foliose, with a lower cortex and can be peeled from the substrate. Very similar but isidiate and usually lacking apothecia is the circumpolar arctic-alpine species, X. sorediata, not yet found in the British Isles.

 
Xanthoria elegans
Xanthoria elegans
On upland wall, Braemar, Aberdeenshire, March 2008
 
Xanthoria elegans, Switzerland
Xanthoria elegans, Switzerland
On montane rocks, above Lucerne, Switzerland, June 2008


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Uploaded August 2008, last updated December 2013