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Lichen: Toninia aromatica

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Toninia aromatica frequently grows along rock crevices.

Toninia aromatica frequently grows along rock crevices.

Toninia aromatica: note the nodular/squamulose grey thallus.

Toninia aromatica: note the nodular/squamulose grey thallus.

Name: Toninia aromatica (Turner ex Sm.) A. Massal. (1855)

Pronunciation: Toninia aromatica

Popular Name: Black Blister Lichen Body Type: Crustose

Conservation Evaluation: Least Concern

Description: The thallus is made up of dark grey lumpy squamules, sometimes with a hint of green and sometimes pruinose. The lower cortex is not well developed. The apothecia are black with a diameter of 1.5 mm; they may be pruinose. Toninia aromatica tends to grow along crevices in rock. Ascospores 12-23 × 3-6 µm, (1-)3-septate, thinly ellipsoid with rounded ends. Lichen products not detected.

Toninia aromatica: note the nodular/squamulose grey thallus.

Toninia aromatica: note the nodular/squamulose grey thallus.

Chemical Tests: K-.

Nature Notes: Common throughout Ireland, particularly on shales and Carboniferous rocks such as slate and limestone. It is part of the coastal community, being found on the upper shore and on shell-sand dunes. Favours non silica-rich rocks such as limestone; it is also found on mortar on old walls and in fissures and other drainage tracks. Rarely found on trees.

Toninia aromatica: this section through an apothecium shows the lack of photobiont in the upper part.

Toninia aromatica: this section through an apothecium shows the lack of photobiont in the upper part.

Vice County distribution map of Acarospora fuscata: See Map

Link: Map this species on the Lichen Survey

Other species recorded in Ireland

Toninia aromatica: note the 3 septate spore and some green chlorococcoid photobiont cells.

Toninia aromatica: note the 3 septate spore and some green chlorococcoid photobiont cells.

  • Toninia diffracta (A.Massal.) Zahlbr.
  • Toninia episema (Nyl.) Timdal
  • Toninia mesoidea (Nyl.) Zahlbr.map-toninia-aromatica
  • Toninia sedifolia (Scop.) Timdal
  • Toninia thiopsora (Nyl.) H.Olivier
  • Toninia verrucarioides (Nyl.) Timdal

Text and images © Paul Whelan, 2009.