Southern Marsh Orchids

Southern Marsh Orchids

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Golden Days

At a site, in the mid Cynon Valley, this afternoon, I was photographing the apothecia of the lichen Xanthoria parietina, which appear to be host to a lichinocolous fungus (possibly Lichenoconium xanthoriae), I noticed another yellowish lichen on a nearby branch of the same tree and immediately recognised it as the rare (for Wales, anyway) Teloschistes chrysophthalmus, or Golden-eye Lichen.
In autumn 2015, the first record of it in Wales was made further up the Cynon Valley, though not by me and since then I have been keeping my eye open for it.
Strangely; straight after the first discovery in 2015, I went on holiday to Dorset and accidentally found it on Winfrith Heath nature reserve. It isn't quite so rare down there, but it was a first for the reserve.
The position of the first site is being kept secret, as these foliose lichens on trees are very vulnerable to accidental damage, so I will not divulge its location here. As far as I am aware, this is only the second record in Wales, though hopefully someone will put me right on that.

Sorry about the photo. The camera was on a tripod, but there was just enough breeze to gently move the tree as I tried to photograph it.

Teloschistes chrysophthalmus, The whole lichen is only around 15mm across.

Xanthoria parietina. The middle two apothecia have black dots on them. Those
are the pycnidia of a lichenocolous fungus; possibly Lichenoconium xanthoriae.
I took a specimen and will check it out.


  1. That's superb news, Mark. I have been looking out for Goldeneye in south Wales, but haven't seen any yet. Well done indeed!!

  2. The surprise for me was that it is in an area with quite a lot of air pollution.