A lichen (Verrucaria mucosa)

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



A thin, encrusting lichen forming bright bottle-green to dark olive green patches on mid shore to lower shore rocks. The thallus is smooth, oily or slightly irregularly cracked in appearance with a white edge around the margin. The thallus may be up to 30cm across. Small, black fruiting bodies are embedded in the thallus and become slightly raised when dry.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Widely distributed around Britain and Ireland on rocky shores but not recorded from the shores of south east England, probably due to a lack of suitable substrata.

Global distribution



Found on well lit rocks from the middle to the lower shore. Rarer on wave sheltered shores.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Thallus bright bottle-green to dark olive green in colour.
  • Thallus bears a white margin (prothallus).
  • Small, black fruiting bodies (perithecia) embedded in thallus when wet and raised when dry.

Additional information

May be confused with Verrucaria maura or Verrucaria striatula. Verrucaria striatula is similar but bears elevated black dots or ridges and prominent black fruiting bodies. Verrucaria maura has a matt black, cracked encrusting thallus with numerous small black fruiting bodies and occurs from just below to above high water level.

Listed by

- none -


  1. CABI Bioscience, 2000. Index Fungorum Database. [On-line], 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. Fletcher, A., 1980. Marine and maritime lichens of rocky shores: their ecology, physiology, and biological interactions. In The Shore Environment, vol. 2: Ecosystems (ed. J.H. Price, D.E.G. Irvine & W.F. Farnham), pp. 789-842. London: Academic Press. [Systematics Association Special Volume no. 17(b)].


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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

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

  10. 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.

  11. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2023. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2023-09-27

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.


This review can be cited as:

Tyler-Walters, H., 2002. Verrucaria mucosa A lichen. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 27-09-2023]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1804

Last Updated: 10/07/2002