Dog Lichen – Peltigera Canina

This splendid Dog Lichen, Peltigera canina, was growing on a mossy boulder in a very damp section of oak woodland on Dartmoor. There are several similar other species of Peltigera, so the usual caveats to my non-birding ID skills apply. In particular Peltigera membranacea can look very similar, although the white hairy structures at the edge of each “leaf” tend to be more pronounced in this lichen.

Peltigera lichen grow well in poor conditions, and as such are common pioneer species on freshly disturbed sandy soil, and even on fields of ash after volcanic eruptions. In this case the thin layer of moss on top of the granite boulder provided ideal conditions, and there was a lot of this lichen spread throughout the wood.

These lichen are quite common, and can be confused with dead, gone over liverworts. Although Peltigera can range in colour from green to grey it is somewhat less fleshy than most liverworts, and has distinctive white hairy structures on the underside of its “leaves”.

By Chris Eyles, Senior Warden for Exmoor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *