Cladonia parasitica, commonly known as the fence-rail cladonia, fence-rail cup lichen[1] or parasite club lichen, is a species of fruticose, cup lichen in the family Cladoniaceae. It was first described by Hoffmann in 1784 under the name Lichen parasiticus, until he reclassified it under the genus Cladonia in 1795.

Cladonia parasitica
Cladonia parasitica
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Lecanoromycetes
Order: Lecanorales
Family: Cladoniaceae
Genus: Cladonia
C. parasitica
Binomial name
Cladonia parasitica
Hoffm. (1796)
  • Cladonia delicata auct. non (Ach.) Ehrh. Flörke (1828)
  • Cladonia squamosa var. delicata Ehrh. Fr.
  • Lichen parasiticus Hoffm.



Cladonia parasitica mainly grows on old oak and pine wood. The thallus is brown or grey. The squamules are minutely divided and look like coral or small scales. When apothecia are present they take the form of small brown morel-like protrusions atop the branches. The species is found in North America and Eurasia in the boreal, boreal-nemoral, and nemoral regions. Cladonia parasitica is considered a red-listed species in Sweden, categorized as (Near Threatened). It is used as a signal species, indicating high-value old-growth forest. [2] Its secondary metabolites include barbatic acid, decarboxythamnolic acid and thamnolic acid. [3]

See also



  1. ^ "Standardized Common Names for Wild Species in Canada". National General Status Working Group. 2020.
  2. ^ Källén, 2015. Environmental variables determining the occurrence of Cladonia parasitica and Hertelidea botryosa, two boreal lichens confined to wood.
  3. ^ "LIAS light - Item Descriptions".
  • Hoffm., Deutschl. Fl., Zweiter Theil (Erlangen): 127 (1796)
  • Georg Franz Hoffmann 1796 ['1795']. Deutschlands Flora oder Botanisches Taschenbuch. Zweiter Theil für das Jahr 1795. Cryptogamie.: 1–200. Mattick Rec.# 23603 – Recent Literature on Lichens doi:10.5962/bhl.title.126793