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Why Lecanora zosterae seems rare

Lecanora zosteraLecanora zosterae plays tricks with the eyes, especially when found in abundance on the dead stems of the Sea Pink Armeria maritima. One moment you see it and just as quickly it dissolves leaving you struggling to catch a glimpse of it on the dried stems of a Sea Pink in your hand. Part of this enigma is explained by the thallus losing itself in the dried stems (immersed); part is explained by the similarly coloured apothecial discs. At least this has been my experience of the lichen, and maybe that explains whyI have only seen it twice; once in Co. Clare just north of Kilkee and once on Skellig Michael. The Skellig species was particularly beautiful with large shiny aps. ┬áThe photo here is of that specimen but believe me it looked much better in reality. Lichens are just so difficult to photograph. Is Lecanora zosterae under recorded in Ireland? Is it around our coasts in abundance and we simply cannot see it? The LichenIreland survey doesn’t have it in its online database either so perhaps they also fall prey to its disappearing properties. So how about a Lecanora zosterae hunt along our coast? A hot whisky for those that find it (and photograph it). Believe me you will need a hot whisky to bring life back into you after a search; zosterae loves windswept cliff edges. Be careful. Oh by the way, if you do find it, plot it on the Lichen Survey map on Biology.ie. It’s in our database.