MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Tar lichen (Verrucaria maura)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Verrucaria maura is a lichen that forms a thin, matt-black layer on rock surfaces that can resemble an oil stain. Reproductive bodies may be present as tiny black spots. Under magnification the surface is seen to be covered with a mesh of fine cracks that resemble dried mud.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Very common on rocky shores all around the British Isles.

Global distribution

Widely distributed on the shores of northwest Europe.

Habitat

Verrucaria maura is found intertidally on almost all rocky shores except where the rocks are soft and crumbly. It is usually the main constituent of the black band of lichens below a band orange lichens and extends from well above the level of high water down to the zone of mussels and barnacles. The width of the band depends on the wave and tidal exposure of the shore.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • An encrusting lichen forming a thin, matt-black coating, up to 1mm thick, on rock surfaces.
  • May cover a large area.
  • Difficult to remove from the rock.
  • The surface appears cracked under magnification.
  • Reproductive bodies, or perithecia, may be present as black dots.

Additional information

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Listed by

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Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. CABI Bioscience, 2000. Index Fungorum Database. [On-line] http://194.131.255.3/cabipages/index.htm, 2002-04-23

  2. Dobson, F.S., 1997. Lichens of Rocky Shores. [Foldout pamphlet]. Shrewsbury: Field Studies Council.

  3. Dobson, F.S., 2000. Lichens: an illustrated guide to the British and Irish species. Slough: The Richmond Publishing Co. Ltd.

  4. Fish, J.D. & Fish, S., 1996. A student's guide to the seashore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  5. Fletcher, A., 1975a. Key for the identification of British marine and maritime lichens. 1. Siliceous rocky shore species. Lichenologist, 7, 1-52.

  6. Fletcher, A., 1975b. Key for the identification of British marine and maritime lichens. II. Calcereous and terricolous species. Lichenologist, 7, 73-115.

  7. Gibson, R., Hextall, B. & Rogers, A., 2001. Photographic guide to the sea and seashore life of Britain and north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  8. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

Datasets

  1. Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre, 2017. BRERC species records recorded over 15 years ago. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/h1ln5p accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. British Mycological Society, 2018. Fungal Records Database of Britain and Ireland. Occurrence dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/ietmop accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  3. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  4. Cofnod – North Wales Environmental Information Service, 2018. Miscellaneous records held on the Cofnod database. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hcgqsi accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  5. Dorset Environmental Records Centre, 2017. Dorset Sites of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) species records 2000-2008. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/r1ebqb accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  6. Dorset Environmental Records Centre, 2017. Dorset SSSI Species Records 1952 - 2004 (Natural England). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/vcjzts accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  7. Environmental Records Information Centre North East, 2018. ERIC NE Combined dataset to 2017. Occurrence dataset: http://www.ericnortheast.org.uk/home.html accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-38

  8. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2015. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/xtrbvy accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  9. Kent & Medway Biological Records Centre, 2017. Lichens: Records for Kent.. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/c9skic accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  10. Lancashire Environment Record Network, 2018. LERN Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/esxc9a accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  11. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2017. Isle of Man wildlife records from 01/01/2000 to 13/02/2017. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/mopwow accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  12. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/aru16v accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  13. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1995 to 1999. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/lo2tge accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  14. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  15. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/opc6g1 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  16. Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service, 2017. NBIS Records to December 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/jca5lo accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  17. North East Scotland Biological Records Centre, 2017. NE Scotland fungus and lichen records 1800-2010. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/v6mt0g accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  18. OBIS,  2018. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2018-10-16

  19. Outer Hebrides Biological Recording, 2018. Fungi and Lichens, Outer Hebrides. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/tmlsm4 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  20. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2018. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Herbarium (E). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ypoair accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  21. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Lichen (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/pzectv accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  22. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. Dr Mary Gillham Archive Project. Occurance dataset: http://www.sewbrec.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-02

  23. Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service., 2017. Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service (SBIS) Dataset. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ab4vwo accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  24. Greater Manchester Ecology Unit, 2018. Distribution of Fungi and Lichen in Greater Manchester. Occurrence dataset: https://www.tameside.gov.uk/ecologyunit accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-27.
  25. John Muir Trust, 2017. Knoydart Lichens, 1990. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/bxyy29 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Avant, P. 2008. Verrucaria maura Tar lichen. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 16-10-2018]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1769

Last Updated: 22/05/2008