Lichen (Buellia subalbula)

Synonyms: Lecidea subalbula
GenusBuellia (1)

Buellia subalbula has yet to be classified by the IUCN.

Buellia subalbula is a species of lichen with a distinctive white, cracked thallus (the main lichen body) which often appears slightly frosted. Several black ‘apothecia’, cup shaped arrangements that contain the asci (sac-like structures in which sexual spores develop), are usually visible on the lichen body (2). 

A widespread species of lichen, Buellia subalbula has been recorded from Australia, Chile, Israel, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Oman, the United States and Yemen (1).

Buellia subalbula typically inhabits rocks, especially in coastal locations, as well as stable sand dunes in the more arid areas of its range (2).

Lichens are a unique group of organisms that consist of two components, a fungus (called the ‘mycobiont’) and an alga or cyanobacterium (called the ‘photobiont’) that live in a close symbiotic relationship (3) (4) (5). The fungus produces the thallus (the main lichen body) which houses the alga or the cyanobacterium, providing protection and creating optimal conditions for the photobionts to photosynthesise. This process produces sugars and nutrients which can then be utilised by the fungus (5).

There are no known threats to Buellia subalbula.

There are no known conservation measures in place for Buellia subalbula.

To find out more about conservation in the United Arab Emirates, see:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. Species 2000 ITIS Catalogue of Life (December, 2010)
  2. Hellyer, P. and Aspinall, S. (2005) The Emirates: A Natural History. Trident Press Limited, London.
  3. Ghazanfar, S.A. and Fisher, M. (1998) Vegetation of the Arabian Peninsula. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
  4. Nash, T.H. (1996) Lichen Biology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  5. Ahmadjian, V. (1993) The Lichen Symbiosis. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.