Xanthoparmelia (commonly known as green rock shields or rock-shield lichens) is a genus of foliose lichen in the family Parmeliaceae.[2][3]: 134  Xanthoparmelia is synonymous with Almbornia, Neofuscelia, Chondropsis, Namakwa, Paraparmelia, and Xanthomaculina.[4] This genus of lichen is commonly found in the United States, as well as Australia, New Zealand and Ecuador.

Lichen squamulose.jpg
Xanthoparmelia cf. lavicola on basalt
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Lecanoromycetes
Order: Lecanorales
Family: Parmeliaceae
Genus: Xanthoparmelia
(Vain.) Hale (1974)
Type species
Xanthoparmelia conspersa
(Ehrh. ex Ach.) Hale (1974)
  • Parmelia sect. Xanthoparmelia Vain. (1890)
  • Almbornia Essl. (1981)
  • Chondropsis Nyl. (1869)
  • Chondropsis Nyl. ex Cromb. (1879)
  • Karoowia Hale (1989)
  • Namakwa Hale (1988)
  • Neofuscelia Essl. (1978)
  • Omphalodiella Henssen (1991)
  • Parmelia sect. Xanthoparmelia Vain. (1890)
  • Paraparmelia Elix & J.Johnst. (1986)
  • Placoparmelia Henssen (1992)
  • Xanthomaculina Hale (1985)

The name means 'golden yellow parmelia'. The photobiont (photosynthetic partner) is Trebouxia (a genus of green algae).


Distinguishing between species involves how much they are attached to the substrate, whether or not isidia are present, lower surface color, and chemical spot tests.[3]: 134  All members of the genus react to spot test as K-, KC+ yellow, with medulla reaction varying from species to species.[3]: 134 


Species include:


Xanthoparmelia was originally conceived of as a section of the genus Parmelia by Brazilian lichenologist Edvard August Vainio in 1890, to accommodate yellow species with narrow lobes.[7] Mason Hale considered that the combination of traits including the presence of the cortical pigment usnic acid, and the microscopic structure of the upper cortex were sufficient criteria to segregate Xanthoparmelia from the genus Parmelia. He formally transferred 93 species, including the type, Xanthoparmelia conspersa.[8]

In a 2004 study, molecular analysis was used to help revise the classification of parmelioid lichens containing Xanthoparmelia-type lichenan. This analysis demonstrated that several genera previously segregated from Xanthoparmelia on the basis of physical characteristics did not form distinct clades within Xanthoparmelia, and so Neofuscelia, Chondropsis and Paraparmelia were synonymized with Xanthoparmelia. As a result of this work, 10 new species were published, and 129 new combinations into Xanthoparmelia were proposed.[9] Similarly, three south African genera, Almbornia, Namakwa, and Xanthomaculina, were synonymized with Xanthoparmelia after the limits of the genus were further explored and refined with molecular phylogenetics.[10] Karoowia, a genus that was characterized by features such as its subcrustose growth form and its presence of an arachiform vacuolar body in the ascospores, was synonymised with Xanthoparmelia when it was shown that its species cluster in different clades nested within Xanthoparmelia.[11] The genus Omphalodiella, proposed by Aino Henssen in 1991 to contain the Patagonian species Omphalodiella patagonica,[12] has since been shown to lie within Xanthoparmelia.[13]



  1. ^ "Synonymy: Xanthoparmelia (Vain.) Hale, Phytologia 28(5): 485 (1974)". Species Fungorum. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  2. ^ Smith HB, Dal Grande F, Muggia L, Keuler R, Divakar PK, Grewe F, Schmitt I, Lumbsch HT, Leavitt SD (2020). "Metagenomic data reveal diverse fungal and algal communities associated with the lichen symbiosis". Symbiosis. 82 (1–2): 133–147. doi:10.1007/s13199-020-00699-4.
  3. ^ a b c Field Guide to California Lichens, Stephen Sharnoff, Yale University Press, 2014, ISBN 978-0-300-19500-2
  4. ^ Lumbsch TH, Huhndorf SM. (December 2007). "Outline of Ascomycota – 2007". Myconet. Chicago, USA: The Field Museum, Department of Botany. 13: 1–58. Archived from the original on March 18, 2009.
  5. ^ Dobson, Frank S (2005). Lichens An Illustrated Guide to the British and Irish Species. The Richmond Publishing Co.Ltd. pp. 459–460. ISBN 978-0-85546-095-2.
  6. ^ Hale Jr, M.E. 1984. New species of Xanthoparmelia (Vain.) Hale (Ascomycotina: Parmeliaceae). Mycotaxon. 20(1):73-79
  7. ^ Vainio, E. (1890). Lichens of Brazil. Acta Societatis pro Fauna et Flora Fennica (in Latin). Vol. 7. Helsinki: Heredum J. Simelii. p. 60.
  8. ^ Hale, Mason E. "Bulbothrix, Parmelina, Relicina, Xanthoparmelia, four new genera in the Parmeliaceae (Lichenes)". Phytologia. 28 (5): 479–490.
  9. ^ Blanco, Oscar; Crespo, Ana; Elix, John A.; Hawksworth, David L.; Lumbsch, H. Thorsten (2004). "A molecular phylogeny and a new classification of parmelioid lichens containing Xanthoparmelia-type lichenan (Ascomycota: Lecanorales)". Taxon. 53 (4): 959–975. doi:10.2307/4135563. JSTOR 4135563.
  10. ^ Thell, Arne; Tassilo, Feuerer; Elix, John A.; Kärnefelt, Ingvar (2006). "A contribution to the phylogeny and taxonomy of Xanthoparmelia (Ascomycota, Parmeliaceae)". Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory. 100: 797–807. doi:10.18968/jhbl.100.0_797.
  11. ^ Amo de Paz, Guillermo; Lumbsch, H. Thorsten; Cubas, Paloma; Elix, John A.; Crespo, Ana (2010). "The genus Karoowia (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota) includes unrelated clades nested within Xanthoparmelia". Australian Systematic Botany. 23 (3): 173. doi:10.1071/SB09055.
  12. ^ Henssen, Aino (1991). "Omphalodiella patagonica, a new peltate lichen genus and species from South America". The Lichenologist. 23 (4): 333–342. doi:10.1017/s002428299100049x.
  13. ^ de Paz, Guillermo Amo; Lumbsch, H. Thorsten; Cubas, Paloma; Elix, John A.; Crespo, Ana (2010). "The morphologically deviating genera Omphalodiella and Placoparmelia belong to Xanthoparmelia (Parmeliaceae)". The Bryologist. 113 (2): 376–386. doi:10.1639/0007-2745-113.2.376.