Lecidea atrobrunnea

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Lecidea atrobrunnea
Brown tile lichen found on Frazier Mountain, Los Padres National Forest, Southern California
Brown tile lichen found on Frazier Mountain, Los Padres National Forest, Southern California
Scientific classification
L. atrobrunnea
Binomial name
Lecidea atrobrunnea
(Ramond) Schaer.

Lecidea atrobrunnea is a crustose lichen in the Lecideaceae family, found in mountains of the continental western United States and Alaska.[1] With other lichen communities, it forms dark vertical drip-like stripings along drainage tracks in the rock faces, resulting in Native Americans giving the name "Face of a Young Woman Stained with Tears" to Half Dome.[1]:8 This combined lichen community appears black from a distance, but brown up close.[1]:8

It varies greatly in its overall appearance from colony to colony. L atrobrunnea subsp. atrobrunnea has been found to be common in very common in high montane zones and alpine zones. L atrobrunnea subsp. saxosa ("saxosa" meaning "rock") has been found in high elevations in the San Francisco Peaks and San Bernardino Mountains. The prothallus and apothecia are black, while the thallus areoles are brown. "Atro" is from Latin for "black" and "brunnea" for "brown".[dubious ] It was named by Ramond. The upper surface is usually pale to dark reddish brown in the center of areoles. In squamulous specimens, the lower surface can be seen, and is shiny and dark.[citation needed]

It is commonly found on rock faces in the Sierra Nevada.[citation needed] The communities often completely cover the exposed surface of the rock, or form intricate multicolored mosaics with other lichen communities.[1]:8 Its communities are part of the aesthetic appeal to visitors of Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park.

It is found in the Rocky Mountains, including in alpine zones,[citation needed] and in the United States Sierra Nevada range. It tightly adheres to the rock faces giving it the appearance of being painted on.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d McCune, Bruce; Grenon, Jill; Mutch, Linda S.; Martin, Erin P. (7 March 2007). "Lichens in relation to management issues in the Sierra Nevada national parks". North American Fungi. 2: 1–39. doi:10.2509/pnwf.2007.002.003. Retrieved 19 November 2018 – via openjournals.wsu.edu.