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Fairy Barf

Icmadophila ericetorum


I was delighted to find this lichen with pink apothecia, as pink isn't the most common color in lichens, and even more delighted to learn its common name. I was also amazed that the thallus of this lichen (the whitish crust) seemed to be covering a substantial surface area, and other lichens seemed to be growing on top of it.


Fallen tree on a beach, I believe Sitka Spruce. Izhut Bay, Afognak Island. I zoomed in on the last photo on my computer and found 5 other lichen species surrounding it! Cladonia, Bryoria, Sphaerophorus, Parmelia, and either Usnea sp. or Alectoria. It was amazing to see this community of organisms all living so close to one another.


Lichens are composite organisms consisting of algae or cyanobacteria (in the cast of this species, Coccomyxa, a green algae) living among multiple fungi species. The lichen is named after a fungal partner. They present an interesting challenge to the idea of stratifying organisms, as they are not wholly fungi nor are they fully lichen, but most often are classified under fungi for organizational purposes.

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Spotted by

Alaska, USA

Lat: 58.25, Long: -152.32

Spotted on Sep 18, 2019
Submitted on Oct 27, 2019

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