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Bryophytes & Lichens Outing

02 December 2019

The Bryophytes and lichens outing took place on Saturday 16th November, with a cold 9˚C start to the morning.  This however did not stop the eager few who attended.

The beginning of the outing started with an introductory talk on the Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) and lichens found in Gibraltar.  A few species of mosses and liverworts were found, these included the Yellow crisp moss (Tortella flavovirens), Bark Signal moss (Sematophyllum substumulosum), Silky Wall Feather moss (Homalothecium sericeum), Crescent Cup liverwort (Lunularia cruciata) and the Spanish Frillwort (Fossombronia caespitiformis). The use of hand lenses was crucial in order to observe these species.

Observing lichens seems to have been quite popular with the group as a number of species were spotted throughout the outing. Gibraltar’s most common lichen, the Maritime sunburst lichen (Xanthoria parietina) was prominent along limestone rocks at Princess Caroline’s battery. A spot test was performed to show the effects of potassium hydroxide on the unique chemical properties of this lichen. A crimson colour change was observed to the joy of those around.  Other notable species found during the morning included Green shield lichen (Flavoparmelia caperata), Elegant script lichen (Graphis elegans), Black jelly lichen (Collema cristatum) and the Farinose cartilage lichen (Ramalina farinacea).


Mike with group
Mike showing mosses to the group
Tortilla flavovirens
Yellow crisp moss Tortilla flavovirens
Yvonne moss
Observing mosses with a hand lens
Ochrolechia parella
Ochrolechia parella
Caloplaca saxicola
Rock Fire Dot lichen Caloplaca saxicola
Spot test
Albert demonstrating a spot-test on Xanthoria
Xanthoria parietina
Sunburst lichen Xanthoria parietina
Parmotrema hypotropum
Scatter Rag lichen Parmotrema hypotropum
Ramalina fastigiata
Strap lichen Ramalina fastigiata


Species list


Yellow crisp moss (Tortella flavovirens)

Bark Signal Moss (Sematophyllum substumulosum)

Silky Wall Feather Moss (Homalothecium sericeum)

Bi-coloured Bryum (Bryum dichotomum)



Crescent Cup Liverwort (Lunularia cruciata)

Spanish Frillwort (Fossombronia caespitiformis)

Dilated Scalewort (Frunallia dilata)

Mannia androgyna



Sunburst lichen (Xanthoria parietina)

Green shield Lichen (Flavoparmelia caperata)

Elegant script lichen (Graphis elegans)

Black jelly lichen (Collema cristatum)

Farinose cartilage lichen (Ramalina farinacea)

Rock Fire Dot or Rock Jewel Lichen (Caloplaca saxicola)

Strap lichen (Ramalina fastigiata)  

Ruffle or Scatter Rag Lichen (Parmotrema hypotropum)