Psilolechia lucida

Psilolechia lucida is a species of saxicolous lichen in the family Parmeliaceae. It is widely distributed through the world, where it grows on natural and artificial rocky substrates in the shade, often in sheltered underhangs. It forms a greenish crust on the surface of its substrate.

Psilolechia lucida
Psilolechia luicda (42199968580).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Lecanoromycetes
Order: Lecanorales
Family: Psilolechiaceae
Genus: Psilolechia
P. lucida
Binomial name
Psilolechia lucida
(Ach.) M.Choisy (1949)
  • Lichen lucidus Ach. (1799)
  • Lichen peltatus * lucida (Ach.) Lam. (1813)
  • Lecidea lucida (Ach.) Ach. (1803)
  • Patellaria lucida (Ach.) Spreng. (1827)
  • Biatora lucida (Ach.) Fr. (1831)
  • Patellaria theiotea (Ach.) Wallr. (1831)


It was originally described by lichenologist Erik Acharius in 1799. Maurice Choisy placed it in the genus Psilolechia in 1949.[2] There are known to be two chemical races of P. lucida. The first, which is known all over the world, contains rhizocarpic acid as a major secondary substance as well as some unknown substances. The second, reported only from Australia and New Zealand, has both rhizocarpic acid and zeorin.[3]


Psilolechia lucida forms a sulphur-yellow to yellowish green crust, although the colour is greener when the surface is wet. The crust comprises powdery soredia that can be thin or thick, and sometimes divided into irregular areoles. The apothecia (typically less than 0.3 mm in diameter) are yellow, ranging in shape from hemispherical to irregular and lumpy, and lack margins. The ascospores, which number eight per ascus, measure 4–7 by 1–2.5 μm.[4]

Habitat and distributionEdit

This is a widespread species that is found throughout the world.[5] It is common and widely distributed in Europe.[6] In Asia, Psilolechia lucida has been reported from Japan;[7] from the Middle East is found in Turkey;[8] from Africa, it is known from the Canary Islands, and Madeira.[5] In South America, it has only been reported from Bolivia and Chile.[6] It has also been found in Oceania,[9] Central America,[5] and the Antarctic Peninsula.[10]

It grows on rocks, both calcareous and siliceous, as well as artificial rocky substrates such as bricks and concrete. The lichen grows in the shade, and is often found growing in sheltered underhangs. Rarely, it is found growing on hardwood tree bark, at the base of the tree or on the roots above ground.[3]

Similar speciesEdit

Chrysothrix flavovirens, the yellow pine dust lichen, is similar in morphology and could be confused with Psilolechia lucida. They differ in their ecology, however: C. flavovirens grows on tree bark, whereas P. lucida is mostly grows on rocks and only sporadically is found as a facultative epiphyte.[3]


  1. ^ "Synonymy: Psilolechia lucida (Ach.) M. Choisy". Species Fungorum. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  2. ^ Choisy; M. (1949). "Catalogue des lichens de la region Lyonnaise. Fasc. 2". Bulletin Mensuel de la Société Linnéenne de Lyon (in French). 18: 137–152. doi:10.3406/linly.1949.13145.
  3. ^ a b c Czarnota, Paweł; Kukwa, Martin (2008). "Contribution to the knowledge of some poorly known lichens in Poland. II. The genus Psilolechia". Folia Cryptog. Estonica. 44: 9–15.
  4. ^ Brodo, Irwin M.; Sharnoff, Sylvia Duran; Sharnoff, Stephen (2001). Lichens of North America. Yale University Press. pp. 596–597. ISBN 978-0300082494.
  5. ^ a b c Coppins, B.J.; Purvis, O.W. (1987). "A review of Psilolechia". Lichenologist. 19 (1): 29–42. doi:10.1017/S0024282987000045.
  6. ^ a b Flakus, Adam; Kukwa, Martin; Czarnota, Paweł (2006). "Some interesting records of lichenized and lichenicolous ascomycota from South America". Polish Botanical Journal. 51 (2): 209–215.
  7. ^ Yoshimura, Isao; Harada, Hiroshi (2004). "Taxonomic notes on Psilolechia lucida as new for Japan". Lichenology. 3 (2): 41–46.
  8. ^ John, Volker; Breuss, Othmar (2004). "Flechten der östlichen Schwarzmeer-Region in der Türkei (BLAM-Exkursion 1997)" (PDF). Herzogia (in German). 17: 137–156. S2CID 163317063. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-02-08.
  9. ^ Elix, J.A.; McCarthy, P.M. (1998). Catalogue of the lichens of the smaller Pacific Islands. Bibliotheca Lichenologica. 70. pp. 1–361.
  10. ^ Øvstedal, D. O.; Smith, R. I. L. (2001). Lichens of Antarctica and South Georgia. A guide to their identification and ecology. Studies in Polar Research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-66241-3.