Bare-bottomed Sunburst

Scientific Name:

Xanthomendoza fulva

Type:

Lichen

Habitat:

Primarily “open” bark, but occasionally in shaded areas and on rock surfaces

Range:

Earth’s northern hemisphere, including North America, and concentrating in temperate climates

Status:

Critically-imperiled in some areas

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

Bare-bottomed sunburst is a type of common lichen. Lichens are complex organisms that arise from symbiotic relationships between fungi and a photosynthesizer, like algae. Of the genus Xanthoria, sunburst lichens are some of the most conspicuous and beautiful of lichens. They are typically bright in color, like the yellow-orange Bare-bottomed Sunburst, and distinctively characterized by the “fairy cup” shape of their foliose (leaf-like feature)

Fast Facts:

  • Brightly colored lichens like the bare-bottomed sunburst have been used to make dyes in the past. The bare-bottomed sunburst is too small to continue making dyes because so many colonies would be required to produce a small amount of dye.

  • Sunburst lichens are frequently the first types of lichens that beginning lichenologists are able to identify. The tricky part is taking care to accurately identify which kind of sunburst lichen a specimen is!

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Taylor Gardner (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

June 16, 2021, 10:42:38 PM