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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

11 January, 2017

Collema cristatum: crustose lichen

This is one of several similar species of crustose lichen and as I am no expert I am going to have to play the 'percentage game' and stick my neck out and say that this is Collema cristatum. I am fairly certain it is a collema species and that means it is one of four possible species. All are widespread and common so for the non-expert this is a challenge!
Here is my logic! C tenax occurs on earth, sand and brick mortar not on rocks so three left. C auriculatum has lobes up to 3mm across, this species is muuch finer so two left. C crispum is the slighly more 'chunky' of the two remaining (no point in using the technical term here because lichen have a language of their own!) leaving Collema cristatum which is the finer of the two and this looks very fine to me.
A common species on calcareous rocks, walls and mortar and quite frequent around the rocky coasts of Dorset.
Collema cristatum: crustose lichen