Letharia is a genus of fruticose lichens belonging to the family Parmeliaceae.[2]

Letharia vulpina JHollinger crop.jpg
Letharia vulpina in the San Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles USA.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Lecanoromycetes
Order: Lecanorales
Family: Parmeliaceae
Genus: Letharia
(Th.Fr.) Zahlbr. (1892)
Type species
Letharia vulpina
(L.) Hue (1899)
  • Chlorea Nyl. (1855)
  • Evernia subdiv. Letharia Th.Fr. (1871)
  • Nylanderaria Kuntze (1891)
  • Rhytidocaulon Nyl. ex Elenkin (1916)

There were historically two species of Letharia: L. vulpina and L. columbiana.[3] Recent molecular sequence studies published in 2016 confirm at least 6 species in Western North America alone, with more expected to be confirmed using similar methods in other parts of the world.[4]

The typical photobiont is a green alga of genus Trebouxia.[5]

Here, Letharia vulpina is visualized using an infrared spectrometry. The chlorophyll in the fir needles reflects near infrared wavelengths of light, but the green vulpinic acid of the wolf lichen does not.


  1. ^ "Synonymy: Letharia (Th. Fr.) Zahlbr., Hedwigia 31: 36 (1892)". Species Fungorum. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  2. ^ Wijayawardene, Nalin; Hyde, Kevin; Al-Ani, Laith Khalil Tawfeeq; Somayeh, Dolatabadi; Stadler, Marc; Haelewaters, Danny; et al. (2020). "Outline of Fungi and fungus-like taxa". Mycosphere. 11: 1060–1456. doi:10.5943/mycosphere/11/1/8.
  3. ^ Brodo, Irwin (2001). Lichens of North America. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 411–413.
  4. ^ Altermann, Susanne; Leavitt, Steven D.; Goward, Trevor (September 2016). "Tidying up the genus Letharia: introducing L. lupina sp. nov. and a new circumscription for L. columbiana". The Lichenologist. 48 (5): 423–439. doi:10.1017/S0024282916000396. ISSN 0024-2829.
  5. ^ "Letharia". Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria.