Saturday, 10 December 2016

Aspicilia calcarea - Big white lichen on top of limestone walls

If you are in the centre of Settle look up to Castleberg Crag. The big white patches on the south facing cliff are Aspicilia calcaria.
I would like to give this lichen  the English name: "Big white lichen on top of limestone walls"

How to remember the word Aspicilia: - 
 Ass Pee Sillier.
What could be sillier than an Ass  balanced on top of a wall, or on top of a cliff?
The margin of the thallus can sometimes be slightly lobed and have a dark grey/black margin.
I have just discovered the French Website for Lichens so here the link to Apsicilia
Climb up and look at it more closely. (The yellow patches are Caloplaca flavescens .. that is for the next species)

On the cap stones on the wall at the summit you can find more.

Of visit the Locks, Langcliffe and see it on the wall there: (First 30sec only)

Here is some on the vertical leg of a tombstone at Horton Churchyard, with A.P. The  cat seems interested too,

Left: Verrucaria fusconigrescens 
Right:  Aspicilia calcarea

Apothecia 0.2-1 mm of Ø, ± immersed, round or angular, with a slightly protruding thalline rim, black disk, not or only slightly pruinous, sometimes ± confluent.
Ø means diameter
The thallus does protrude above the rock and is white chalky to gray whitish.

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