Sunburst Lichens

(Xanthoria spp.)

Overview
Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria sp.)
Photo by Luciearl
 

Xanthoria is a very common and very widespread genus of lichenized fungi known as Sunburst Lichens, Orange Lichens, or Orange Wall Lichens. In 1997 there were 15 recognized Xanthoria species. In 2013 some of those species were transferred to the genera Xanthomendoza or Rusavskia. The transfer is relatively recent and is not (yet) universally recognized.

Most Xanthoria species grow on trees, but at least one very common species, Xanthoria elegans, grows on rock. Those that grow on trees get all of their nutrients from the air.

 
           
 
Description
 
 

Xanthoria lichens are composed of small, often overlapping scales called squamules. The reproductive structures (apothecia) are raised and plate-like.

All Xanthoria lichens contain parietin, an orangish-yellow pigment that absorbs blue light, protects the lichen from damage by UV-B light, and is the source of the common name of the genus. The pigment often darkens when in direct sunlight and lightens when in shadow.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

4, 7, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.

 
  7/19/2022      
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Phylum Ascomycota (sac fungi)  
  Subphylum Pezizomycotina  
  Class Lecanoromycetes (common lichens)  
  Subclass Lecanoromycetidae  
 

Order

Teloschistales  
 

Suborder

Teloschistineae  
 

Family

Teloschistaceae  
  Subfamily Xanthorioideae  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Common Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria parietina)

Elegant Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria elegans = Rusavskia elegans)

Powdery Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria ulophyllodes = Xanthomendoza ulophyllodes)

Seaside Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria aureola)

Sugared Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria sorediata)

 
       
 

Several Xanthoria species were transferred in 2013 to Xanthomendoza or Rusavskia. The transer is relatively recent and is not (yet) universally recognized.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Orange Lichens

Orange Wall Lichens

Sunburst Lichens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Luciearl

 
    Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria sp.)   Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria sp.)  
           
    Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria sp.)   Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria sp.)  
           
 
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Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Luciearl
10/9/2018

Location: Cass County

It was drizzly day which makes the lichens and moss colors stand out.

Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria sp.)  
  Luciearl
9/26/2018

Location: Cass County

Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria sp.)  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 10/6/2018

Last Updated:

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