Lichen - Xanthoria elegans
Family - Teloschistaceae
Also known as - Elegant Sunburst Lichen

Lichen - Xanthoria elegans, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse CCASA3.0
Photo ©2010 Sasata
Click photo for a larger image

Many thanks to Fay Newbury at Reading University for the identification of this Lichen species – Xanthoria elegans.

This is a foliose species of Lichen which grows with a bright Orange or Red colouration on calcareous or siliceous rocks, concrete, occasionally overgrowing moss or litter.  The thallus is foliose, although the central portions may appear Crustose.  Whilst the upper surface is variable, deep yellow through Orange to Red, the lower surface is white.  It is a small lichen, forming rosettes typically less than 6cm (2.4in) wide, with lobes less than 2mm (0.08in) broad appressed.

Xanthoria elegans was one of the sample species used for lichenometry, the technique of estimating the age of rock faces by measuring the diameter of the lichen thalli growing on them.  Exposed specimens subject to higher UV levels tend to have higher larvae carotenoid colourings hence a more "colourful" appearance.

Basic species description for Lichens, other Lichen species in Brickfields Park.

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