A small pioneer saxicolous species with a prominent thallus, consisting of grey to grey-brown, almost squamule-like, so-called subpeltate areoles (shield-shaped, partly protruding at their margin) and numerous black apothecia. Potentially, it can be confused with miniature forms of L. fuscoatra, which are, however, easily distinguished by the C+ red thallus reaction. Within the genus Lecidea s. str., very small ascospores of L. variegatula (maximum 7 µm long) are exceptional.
It is a lichen of siliceous rocks. It overgrows low, protruding, semi-embedded or free-lying stones. In the Czech Republic, it occurs mostly in open cultural landscapes in anthropically affected habitats, such as small clearance cairns, stones in sand pits and embankments along roads. The species seems to avoid eutrophicated ruderal sites. On the other hand, it tolerates extremely acidic and toxic habitats such as power station waste ponds (Palice & Soldán 2004). The species grows naturally e.g. on river gravel bars. Lecidea variegatula has an interesting distribution, being most concentrated in central Europe and completely absent, for example, in the British Isles or the Mediterranean. Quite recently, it has also been discovered in southern Scandinavia (Westberg et al. 2021). Apart from Europe, it has only been recorded in Patagonia (Hertel 2006). In the Czech Republic, the lichen is a rarely found, perhaps overlooked species, occurring sparsely from lowlands to lower mountains.
Literature: Hertel H. (1995): Schlüssel für die Arten der Flechtenfamilie Lecideaceae in Europa. – Bibliotheca Lichenologica 58: 137–180. Palice Z. & Soldán Z. (2004): Lichen and bryophyte species diversity on toxic substrates in the abandoned sedimentation basins of Chvaletice and Bukovina. – In: Kovář P. [ed.], Natural recovery of human-made deposits in landscape (biotic interactions and ore/ash-slag artificial ecosystems), p. 200–221, Academia, Praha. Hertel H. (2006): World distribution of species of Lecidea (Lecanorales) occurring in Central Europe. – In: Lackovičová A., Guttová A., Lisická E. & Lizoň P. [eds], Central European lichens – diversity and threat, p. 19–73, Mycotaxon Ltd., Ithaca. Westberg M., Moberg R., Myrdal M., Nordin A. & Ekman S. (2021): Santesson’s Checklist of Fennoscandian Lichen-Forming and Lichenicolous Fungi. ‒ Uppsala University: Museum of Evolution.taxonomic classification:
Ascomycota → Lecanoromycetes → Lecanorales → Lecideaceae → Lecidea
All records: 14, confirmed 10. One click on a selected square displays particular record(s), including their source(s).