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Lichen: Pyrenula dermatodes

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Close up of Pyrenula dermatodes

Close up of Pyrenula dermatodes

Pyrenula dermatodes worn from snail-slug feeding activity

Pyrenula dermatodes worn from snail-slug feeding activity

Pyrenula dermatodes on holly

Pyrenula dermatodes on holly

Patchs of Pyrenula dermatodes on beech

Patchs of Pyrenula dermatodes on beech

Vice County Web Map - Pyrenula-dermatodes

Vice County Web Map - Pyrenula-dermatodes

Name: Pyrenula dermatodes (Borrer) Schaer. (1850)

Pronunciation:Pyrenula dermatodes

Conservation Evaluation: Nationally Rare, International Responsibility

Body Type: Crustose

Description: The cracked or areolate and shiny thallus is generally a rusty red-brown colour but sometimes turns yellowish green. Apothecia and pseudocyphellae are absent. Perithecia are abundant and sunken into the thallus with just the grey tip or ostiole showing. Sometimes they emerge (or are grazed by snails/slugs) and are visible as black discs. Spores are 3-septate. It is the only Pyrenula where the perithecia are totally sunken in the thallus.

Chemical Tests: C-, K+ orange red, KC-, Pd-, UV+ yellow orange

Nature Notes: A very rare species and is hardly know outside of Ireland. Only known from two locations in Scotland.  Found in old ‘oceanic’ woodlands. Locally common. Noticed as large red/orange patches on trees such as holly, beech, hawthorn and rowan. It seems particularly fond of holly.

Vice county distribution map: See map

Link: Map this species on the Lichen Survey

Other species recorded in Ireland:

  • Pyrenula acutispora
  • Pyrenula aff. Microtheca R.C.Harris
  • Pyrenula chlorospila Arnold
  • Pyrenula hibernica
  • Pyrenula laevigata (Pers.) Arnold
  • Pyrenula macrospora (Degel.) Coppins & P.James
  • Pyrenula occidentalis (R.C.Harris) R.C.Harris

Text and images © Paul Whelan, 2009.