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Lichen: Catillaria chalybeia

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Catillaria chalybeia apothecia.

Catillaria chalybeia apothecia.

Name: Catillaria chalybeia (Borrer) A. Massal

Pronunciation: Catalaria chalybeia

Conservation Evaluation: Least Concern

Body Type: Crustose

Catillaria chalybeia showing thallus and apothecia.

Catillaria chalybeia showing thallus and apothecia.

Description: Looks like tiny black dots on a dark grey or dark olivaceous, thalline background. The black dots or apothecia are very small, ranging from just 0.15 mm to 0.5 mm in diameter. The rims on apothecia are narrow and black in colour; the discs may be black also, but tend to be dark grey with a convex or flat surface. Apothecia are scattered widely across the thallus; rarely are they found in clusters.map-catillaria-chalybeia

The thallus is rather effuse and broken, sometimes invisible, often spreading across the substrate in a weak mosaic pattern. Colour varies from almost black to dark olive green. Photobiont: Myrmecia. No lichen products have been detected. Ascospores 9 µm to 12 µm.

Chemical Tests: K-

Nature Notes: Found on silica-rich rocks generally, although some specimens have been found on old posts. Very rare on calcareous rocks. Sometimes found on rocky shores. About 150 species are known worldwide from sea level to about 500 m.

Vice County distribution map of Catillaria chalybeia: See Map

Link: Map this species on the Lichen Survey

Other species recorded in Ireland

  • Catillaria aphana (Nyl.) Coppins
  • Catillaria atomarioides (Müll.Arg.) H.Kilias
  • Catillaria chalybeia (Borrer) A.Massal.
  • Catillaria chalybeia var. chloropoliza (Nyl.) Kilias
  • Catillaria contristans (Nyl.) Zahlbr.
  • Catillaria lenticularis (Ach.) Th.Fr.
  • Catillaria minuta (A.Massal.) Lettau
  • Catillaria modesta (Müll.Arg.) Coppins
  • Catillaria nigroclavata (Nyl.) Schuler
  • Catillaria picila (A.Massal.) Coppins

Text and images © Paul Whelan, 2009.