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Lichen: Leprocaulon microscopicum

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Name: Leprocaulon microscopicum (Vill.) Gams ex D.Hawksw.

800 Leprocaulon microscopicum

Leprocaulon microscopicum: a fragile lichen that is powdery to touch. Photo: J Douglass.

Leprocaulon microscopium. Photo: Paul Whelan

Leprocaulon microscopium. Photo: Paul Whelan

Pronunciation: Leprocaulon microscopicum

Conservation Evaluation: Least Concern
Body Type: Leprose

Leprocaulon microscopicum

Leprocaulon microscopicum

VC Map Leprocaulon microscopicum

VC Map Leprocaulon microscopicum

Description: This lichen has a very simple structure; it lacks a cortex and consists of a loose collection of fungal hyphae and a photobiont. This is referred to as the primary thallus. It is watery green in colour and has a powdery or leprose texture. The secondary thallus grows out of the primary one. This consists of tiny (1-2mm tall) white finger-like structures called pseudopodia. They are covered with minute white granules. Overall the lichen is very fragile and disintegrates when touched.
Chemical Tests: UV-
Nature Notes: This is a coastal species with a preference for silica-rich rocks. It lacks apothecia and any obvious reproductive structure; its method of reproduction is not understood. Leprocaulon is separated from the Lepraria group by the tiny white pseudopodia.
Vice county distribution map: See Map
Link: Map this species on the Lichen Survey
Other species recorded in Ireland:
No other Leprocaulons recorded in Ireland to date.
Text and images © Paul Whelan, 2009.