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    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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Looking for Lichens

Photo of lichen Caloplaca Candelariella growing on the edge of a rock.

Lichen Caloplaca Candelariella growing on the edge of a rock.

NPS Photo

As impressive as the list is, we know it is incomplete. There are more than 200 species of lichens known from alpine tundra in Colorado. The park should provide habitat for most or all of them but currently there are few researchers working on this fascinating topic.

In 2005, thanks to the help of two great volunteers, John and Donna Woods, the park has added lichens to the growing set of park species checklists available on our website. This was compiled from several sources- personal communications from University of Colorado- Boulder emeritus professor William Weber, a list of lichens used by air quality researcher James Bennett, and a list of lichens donated to the park's museum collection by Dr. Robert Egan's Rocky Mountain Nature Association Seminar lichen class for 2004. A special thanks also goes to Connie and Stan Heginbotham for providing so many outstanding photos to illustrate this list.

Scientific Name
Common Name
Acarospora molybdina
Acarospora schleicheri
Allocetraria madreporiformis
Arctoparmelia subcentrifuga
Arthonia sp.
Aspicilia caesiocinerea
Aspicilia calcarea
Aspicilia sublapponica
Bacidia subincompta
Brodoa oroarctica
Bryoria fuscescens Pale-footed horsehair lichen
Buellia leptocline
Caloplaca exsecuta
Caloplaca sinapisperma
Caloplaca sp. 1 NPS Photo
Caloplaca sp. 2
Caloplaca sp. 3
Caloplaca sp. 4
Caloplaca vitellinula
Calvitimela armeniaca
Candelariella sp.
Candelariella terrigena
Carbonea vorticosa
Catapyrenium daedaleum
Cetraria aculeata
Cetraria ericetorum
Iceland lichen
Cetraria islandica
Chaenotheca ferruginea
Chromatochlamys muscorum octospora
Cladonia cariosa
Cladonia cenotea
Powdered funnel lichen
Cladonia cervicornis
Ladder lichen
Cladonia chlorophaea group
Cladonia coccifera
Cladonia coniocraea
Common powderhorn
Cladonia cornuta
Bighorn lichen
Cladonia cornuta groenlandica
Cladonia deformis or sulphurina
Cladonia didyma
Southern soldiers
Cladonia ecmocyna Frosted cladonia NPS Photo
Cladonia ecmocyna intermedia
Cladonia gracilis
Cladonia macilenta bacillaris
Cladonia macroceras
Cladonia macrophyllodes
Large-leaved cladonia
Cladonia phyllophora
Cladonia sp. 1
Cladonia sp. 2
Cladonia sp. 3
Cladonia sp. 4
Cladonia sulphurina
Cypehlium notarisii
Dermatocarpon miniatum Leather lichen
Dermatocarpon reticulatum
Diploschistes muscorum
Cowpie lichen
Evernia divaricata
Mountain oakmoss lichen
Flavocetraria cucullata
Flavocetraria nivalis Crinkled snow lichen
Flavoparmelia caperata
Flavoparmelia rutidota
Hypogymnia bitteri
Hypogymnia farinacea
Icmadophila ericetorum
Imshaugia aleurites
Ionaspis lacustris
Lasallia papulosa
Lasallia pensylvanica
Lecanora allophana
Lecanora chloropolia
Lecanora epibryon
Lecanora impudens
Lecanora novomexicana
Lecanora polytropa
Lecanora rupicola
Lecanora sp.
Lecanora thomsonii
Lecidea atrobrunnea
Lecidea promiscens
Lecidea sp.
Lecidea tessellata Tile lichen NPS Photo
Lecidella scabra
Leciophysma furfurascens
Lepraria sp.
Melanelia exasperatula Lustrous camouflage lichen
Melanelia glabroides
Melanelia subolivacea
Brown-eyed camoulage lichen
Micarea tuberculata
Miriquidica garovaglii
Mycobilimbia berengeriana
Nephroma bellum
Nephroma parile Powdery kidney lichen
Ochrolechia upsaliensis
Parmelia fraudans
Parmelia saxatilis Salted shield lichen
Parmelia sulcata Hammered shield lichen NPS Photo
Parmeliopsis ambigua
Green starburst lichen
Parmeliopsis hyperopta
Gray starburst lichen
Peltigera aphthosa Felt lichen
Peltigera canina Dog lichen
Peltigera collina
Peltigera horizontalis - polydactyla
Peltigera malacea Veinless pelt
Peltigera rufescens Field dog lichen
Peltigera sp. NPS Photo
Peltigera venosa
Phaeophyscia constipata
Physcia stellaris
Star rosette lichen
Physconia muscigena
Placidium lachneum
Placynthium nigrum
Polyblastia cucurbitula
Polychidium muscicola
Porocyphus dispersus
Porpidia superba
Porpidia thomsonii
Protoparmelia atriseda
Protoparmelia badia
Pseudephebe minuscula
Pseudephebe pubescens?
Psora luridella
Psora montana
Psoroma hypnorum
Green moss-shingle
Punctelia perreticulata
Rhizocarpon disporum
Rhizocarpon geographicum Yellow map lichen
Rhizoplaca chrysoleuca
Rhizoplaca melanophthalma
Rinodina mniaraea
Rinodina turfacea
Tundra pepper-spore lichen
Schaereria cinereorufa
Solorina crocea Orange chocolate chip lichen
Staurothele clopimoides
Stereocaulon sp.
Stereocaulon tomentosum group
Thamnolia subuliformis
Toninia tristis
Trapeliopsis granulosa
Mottled-disk lichen
Umbilicaria americana Frosted rock tripe
Umbilicaria decussata
Umbilicaria deusta
Umbilicaria hyperborea Blistered rock tripe
Umbilicaria krascheninnikovii
Salty rock tripe
Umbilicaria lyngei
Umbilicaria torrefacta
Umbilicaria vellea Alpine rock tripe
Umbilicaria virginis
Usnea cavernosa
Usnea lapponica Powdered beard lichen NPS Photo
Vulpicida pinastri
Powdered sunshine lichen
Vulpicida tilesii
Xanthoparmelia coloradoensis Colorado rock-shield lichen
Xanthoparmelia coloradoensis or cumberlandia
Xanthoparmelia sp. NPS Photo
Xanthoparmelia wyomingica Shingled rock-shield lichen
Xanthoria sorediata

* Photo courtesy of Connie and Stan Heginbotham

Did You Know?

a photo of a spider web

Hummingbirds use spiderwebs to bolster their nests, which are the size of a walnut shell. Hummingbird eggs are the size of a Tic-Tac breath mint.