Brief Summary


 Life habit: lichenized; Thallus: large foliose, rarely small to almost squamulose, approximately circular in outline, (1-)2-30 cm in diam., sometimes forming extensive mats among mosses that may extend for several meters, usually lobate; lobes: +flattened and elongate (5-15 mm wide and up to 5 cm long), often dichotomously branched, imbricate or separate; tips: rounded to subtruncate, often ascending; upper surface: gray, bluish gray, grayish brown to brown when dry, bluish gray, blackish green or bright green when wet, smooth, dull or shiny, +scabrid, tomentose or pruinose; with or without isidia or soredia; upper cortex: paraplectenchymatous; medulla: white, +loosely interwoven hyphae; photobiont: primary one usually Nostoc but a few species with the chlorococcoid green alga (Coccomyxa) and then with Nostoc as a secondary photobiont in cephalodia; lower cortex: absent; lower surface: brownish white, densely arachnoid-tomentose or with anastomosing pale or dark brown to black veins, rhizinate; rhizines: white, brown or black, simple, bushy or fasciculate; Ascomata: apothecial, frequent, ovoid, semi-immersed, marginal, often at lobe tips or on ascending lobules, up to 10 mm in diam., hemiangiocarpic; margin: smooth to crenulate; disc: saddle-shaped, flat or oval, red-brown to black, smooth, paler marginally; true exciple: paraplectenchymatous, 100-135 µm wide, marginal cells with short hairs; hymenium: brown above, colorless below, K-, I+ blue; paraphyses: septate, simple, 2-3 µm wide, +swollen at the apices and pigmented; asci: cylindrical, fissitunicate, Peltigera-type, the apex of the endoascus with a K/I+ blue annulus, 8-spored; ascospores: fusiform to acicular, colorless, 3-many septate, 25-75 x 3-7 µm; Conidiomata: pycnidial, brown above, pale below, immersed, up to 2 mm in diam.; conidia: bacilliform or slightly bifusiform, colorless, simple, 4-10 x 2-4 µm; Secondary metabolites: hopane triterpenoids and tridepsides or none detected; Geography: world-wide in moist habitats, especially cool temperate ones in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa; Substrate: most often on soil and among mosses over rocks, rarely on tree trunks. 
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Source: Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region


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In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Lichen / grows on or over
fruitbody of Arrhenia peltigerina grows on or over dead or moribund thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
ascoma of Arthonia fuscopurpurea parasitises old thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
superficial apothecium of Bacidia killiasii parasitises thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / symbiont
immersed, scattered, sometimes confluent apothecium of Corticifraga fuckelii lives on/in slightly discoloured thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
immersed, grouped in circles apothecium of Corticifraga peltigerae parasitises bleached white thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
sporodochium of Illosporium anamorph of Illosporium carneum parasitises discoloured thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
perithecium of Leptosphaeria clarkii parasitises thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
perithecium of Lichenopeltella peltigericola parasitises thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / pathogen
perithecium of Nectriopsis lecanodes infects and damages thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
perithecium of Neolamya peltigerae parasitises old thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
superficial, shortly-stalked apothecium of Pezizella epithallina parasitises discoloured bluish-green thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / gall
perithecium of Polycoccum peltigerae causes galls on thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
perithecium of Pronectria robergei parasitises thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
perithecium of Pronectria tenuispora parasitises thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / gall
immersed to erumpent perithecium of Pyrenidium actinellum causes galls on thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
superficial apothecium of Scutula epiblastematica parasitises thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
immersed ascoma of Skyttella mulleri parasitises thallus (underside) of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
perithecium of Stigmidium peltideae parasitises decolourised thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
perithecium of Thelocarpon epibolum var. epibolum parasitises thallus of Peltigera

Lichen / parasite
perithecium of Thelocarpon epibolum var. epithallinum parasitises thallus of Peltigera


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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records:695
Specimens with Sequences:684
Specimens with Barcodes:670
Species With Barcodes:103
Public Records:646
Public Species:102
Public BINs:0
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)


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Barcode data

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)


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Peltigera is a genus of approximately 91 species of foliose lichens in the family Peltigeraceae.[1] Commonly known as the dog lichen, lichens of Peltigera are often terricolous (growing on soil), but can also occur on moss, trees, rocks, and many other substrates in many parts of the world.[2]

Many Peltigera species are cyanolichens (having a cyanobacteria symbiont), but some Peltigera spp. have only an algae symbiont, and others have both. Because of their ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, such lichens are influential in soil composition and generation.


Species of Peltigera are foliose, with broad lobed thalli. Although the size of the thalli is variable and species-dependent, in some species the thalli can grow quite large, up to 30 cm in diameter.[3] The color of the upper surface may range from drab gray, brown or greenish. Lower surfaces are typically without a cortex (unlike other foliose lichens),[4] and cottony, often with fungal hyphae fused to form a network of veins. The reproductive structures isidia, soredia or lobules may be present in some species.[5]

All species of Peltigera associate with the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria Nostoc.[6][7]


P. didactyla is a common pioneer species on disturbed soils and nutrient poor grasslands in Western Europe.[8] At Deception Island in the South Shetlands archipelago, P. didactyla was found growing extensively on ash from volcanic eruptions that occurred in the late 1960s and 1970.[9]


In 1753, Linnaeus first described the species Lichen apthosus and L. caninus back when all known lichens were grouped into the genus Lichen.[10] Later, in 1787, Willdenow circumscribed the genus Peltigera, and redescribed P. aphthosa and P. canina.[11]

The generic name is derived from the Latin language pelta (small shield), and refers to the shield-shaped thallus in these species. The common name, the dog lichen, refers to the perceived resemblance of P. caninus to a dog.[12]


In a comparative analysis of both morphological and chemical characteristics as well as sequences of large subunit nuclear ribosomal DNA, it was shown that the genus Peltigera is monophyletic.[13]


The Peltigera have a widespread distribution, and are found on all continents. There are 34 North American species, 30 European species, 25 species from South America, and 16 species from New Zealand.[2][3][14][15]



Peltigera species has been used historically to treat wounds, urinary disorders, thrush, tuberculosis, and rabies.[12][16][17] P. apthosa was used as a remedy for cough[18] and infantile aphthae.[19] P. furfuracea has shown potent antioxidant activity and reducing power.[20]

Food source[edit]

Although a few reports have described caribou and reindeer feeding on the thalli of Peltigera,[21] in general, species of Peltigera are not commonly used as a food source by mammals.[22][23] A study of the grazing habits of the land snails Cantareus aspersa and Limax species revealed that these snails prefers to eat Peltigera species (such as P. praetextata) lacking in secondary metabolites.[24]

Bioactive compounds[edit]

Peltigera leucophlebia contains the compounds tenuiorin and methyl orsellinate, which are inhibitory to the enzyme 15-lipoxygenase.[25] Tenuiorin is also known to occur in P. apthosa, P. malacea and P. neckeri.[26] A mixture of methyl and ethyl orsellinates have been identified from P. aphthosa that had antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and -negative bacteria.[27] The novel non-protein amino acids solorinine and peltigerine have been detected in various species of Peltigera.[28]



  1. ^ Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA. (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi. (10th ed.). Wallingford: CABI. p. 504. ISBN 978-0-85199-826-8. 
  2. ^ a b Martinez I, Burgaz AR, Vitikainen O, Escudero A (2003). "Distribution patterns in the genus Peltigera Willd". Lichenologist 35 (4): 301–323. doi:10.1016/S0024-2829(03)00041-0. 
  3. ^ a b Vitikainen O. (1994). (1998). Taxonomic notes on neotropical species of Pelitgera. In: Lichenology in Latin America: history, current knowledge and applications. Edited by M. P. Marcelli, and M.R.D. Seaward. CETESB, Companhia de Tecnologia de Saneamento Ambiental, Estado de Sao Paulo. pp. 135-139.
  4. ^ Fioliose lichens, Lichen Thallus Types, Allan Silverside, [1]
  5. ^ Geiser, Linda; McCune, Bruce (1997). Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press. p. 198. ISBN 0-87071-394-9. 
  6. ^ Dodds WK, Gudder DA, Mollenhauer D (1995). "The ecology of Nostoc". Journal of Phycology 31: 2–18. doi:10.1111/j.0022-3646.1995.00002.x. 
  7. ^ O'Brien HE, Miadlikowska J, Lutzoni F (2005). "Assessing host specialization in symbiotic cyanobacteria associated with four closely related species of the lichen fungus Peltigera". European Journal of Phycology 40 (4): 363–378. doi:10.1080/09670260500342647. 
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Lewis-Smith RI (2005). "Extensive colonization of volcanic ash by an unusual form of Peltigera didactyla at Deception Island, maritime Antarctic". Lichenologist 37 (4): 367–368. doi:10.1017/s0024282905015252. 
  10. ^ Linnaeus C. (1753). Species plantarum. Stockholm.
  11. ^ Willdenow 1787
  12. ^ a b Sharnoff, Stephen; Brodo, Irwin M.; Sharnoff, Sylvia Duran (2001). Lichens of North America. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-08249-5. 
  13. ^ Miadlikowska J, Lutzoni F (2004). "Phylogenetic classification of peltigeralean fungi (Peltigerales, Ascomycota) based on ribosomal RNA small and large subunits". American Journal of Botany 91 (3): 449–464. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.3.449. PMID 21653401. 
  14. ^ Goward T, Goffinet B, Vitikainen O (1995). "Synopsis of the genus Peltigera (lichenized Ascomycetes) in British Columbia, with a key to the North American species". Canadian Journal of Botany 73: 91–111. doi:10.1139/b95-012. 
  15. ^ Galloway DJ (2000). "The lichen genus Peltigera (Peltigerales:Ascomycota) in New Zealand". Tuhinga 11: 1–45. 
  16. ^ Negi HR, Kareem A (1996). "Lichens: the unsung heroes". Amruth 1 (4): 3–6. 
  17. ^ Moerman, Daniel E. (1998). Native American ethnobotany. Portland, Or: Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-453-9. 
  18. ^ Perez-Llano GA (1944). "Lichens. Their biological and economical significance". Botanical Review 10: 27–40. doi:10.1007/bf02861799. 
  19. ^ Vartia KO. (1950). On the medicinal use of lichens. Academic dissertation. Helsinki: 11–21.
  20. ^ Odabasoglu F, Aslan A, Cakir A, et al. (March 2005). "Antioxidant activity, reducing power and total phenolic content of some lichen species". Fitoterapia 76 (2): 216–9. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2004.05.012. PMID 15752633. 
  21. ^ Palmqvist K (2000). "Tansley Review No. 117. Carbon economy in lichens". New Phytologist 148: 11–36. doi:10.1046/j.1469-8137.2000.00732.x. 
  22. ^ Maser Z, Maser C, Trapper JM (1985). "Food habits of the northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) in Oregon". Canadian Journal of Zoology 63 (5): 1084–1088. doi:10.1139/z85-162. 
  23. ^ Kallman S (1992). "Wild plants as food during survival situations". Sven Bot Tidsk 86 (2): 49–52. 
  24. ^ Benesperi R, Tretiach M (2004). "Differential land snail damage to selected species of the lichen genus Peltigera". Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 32 (2): 127–138. doi:10.1016/S0305-1978(03)00141-8. 
  25. ^ Ingólfsdóttir K, Gudmundsdóttir GF, Ogmundsdóttir HM, Paulus K, Haraldsdóttir S, Kristinsson H, Bauer R (October 2002). "Effects of tenuiorin and methyl orsellinate from the lichen Peltigera leucophlebia on 5-/15-lipoxygenases and proliferation of malignant cell lines in vitro". Phytomedicine 9 (7): 654–658. doi:10.1078/094471102321616481. PMID 12487331. 
  26. ^ Holtan-Hartwig J (1993). "The lichen genus Peltigera exclusive of the P. canina group, in Norway". Sommerfeltia 15: 3–77. 
  27. ^ Ingólfsdóttir K, Bloomfield SF, Hylands PJ. (1985). "In vitro evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of lichen metabolites as potential preservatives". Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 28 (2): 289–92. doi:10.1128/aac.28.2.289. PMC 180233. PMID 3834834. 
  28. ^ Matsubara H, Kinoshita Y, Yamamoto Y, Kurokawa T, Yoshimura I, Takahashi K (1999). "Distribution of new quaternary ammonium compounds, solorinine and peltigerine, in the peltigerales". Bryologist 102 (2): 196–199. doi:10.2307/3244359. 

Further reading[edit]

Gilbert, O. Lichens Naturally Scottish. 2004. Scottish Natural Heritage. ISBN 1-85397-373-4

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