Lichen: Teloschistes chrysophthalmus
Name: Teloschistes chrysophthalmus (L) Th.Fr.
Pronunciation: Teleoschistes chrysothalumus
Popular Name: Gold-eye Lichen Body Type: Fruticose
Conservation Evaluation: Nationally Rare
Description: This is an unmistakable lichen with its dazzling colour and bouquet-like display of gold coloured apothecia. The apothecia are large (1 mm to 4 mm) and fringed with cilia in an eyelash fashion giving the gold coloured apothecia a larger-than-life appearance. The thallus radiates from a holdfast and is richly branched; the branches (0.5 mm to 1.5 mm wide) are ridged and green-white below and orange above. Rhizines are absent. Soralia are rarely present, pycnidia are common, isidia are absent. The photobiont is the single celled green algae Trebouxia. Eight colourless polarilocular spores per ascus.
Chemical Tests: K+ purple.
Nature Notes: Ireland is the northern limit of this Mediterranean/Tropical lichen. Its only recorded sightings have been in Co. Cork. It likes well lit nutrient enriched Hawthorn branches although the author has found it on beech.
Vice County distribution map of T. chrysophthalmus: See Map
Link: Map this species on the Lichen Survey
Other species recorded in Ireland
- Teloschistes flavicans (Sw.) Norman
Text and images © Paul Whelan, 2009.