Sightings – Lichen

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 12/4/09

Observation Time: 3:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road opposite soccer fields

Common Name: British Soldier Lichen

Scientific Name: Cladonia cristatella

More Information: Backyard Nature: Lichen

British Soldier Lichen

Compare the British soldier lichen to the pink earth lichen below. These photos were taken at about the same time, and in the same area.

British Soldier Lichen


Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/17/10

Observation Time: 9:10 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Common Greenshield Lichen

Scientific Name: Flavoparmelia caperata

More Information: Wikipedia

Common Greenshield Lichen

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/12/09

Observation Time: 11:00 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Pink Earth lichen

Scientific Name: Dibaeis baeomyces

More Information: Lichens of North America

Pink Earth Lichen

Pink Earth Lichen

Observer: Kathy Farrell

Observation Date: 10/30/2018

Observation Location: Mountain Street

Common Name: Rock Tripe lichen

Scientific Name: Umbilicaria mammulata

Comments: This lichen is edible (after boiling several times). It is considered to be “starvation food.” There are stories of George Washington’s troops eating it when they had nothing else. I found it in a rocky cliff area.

More Information: and

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/16/19

Observation Time: 12:55 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Rock-shield Lichen

Scientific Name: Xanthoparmelia sp.

Comments: A lichen is a composite organism that emerges from algae or cyanobacteria living among the filaments of the fungi in a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship. The fungi benefit from the carbohydrates produced by the algae or cyanobacteria via photosynthesis. The algae or cyanobacteria benefit by being protected from the environment by the filaments of the fungi, which also gather moisture and nutrients from the environment, and (usually) provide an anchor to it.

More Information: Project Noah and Wikipedia