Colorful Sun Protection


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Lichen, Little Manatee River State Park, Florida July 2020

Christmas Wreath Lichen (Cryptothecia rubrocincta) is quite eye-catching. This crustose lichen earned both its common and binomial names since the red outlines the thallus, resembling a wreath (rubrocincta translates as red wreath).

Found along the Gulf Coast, all the way down into the tropics of South America, lichenologists agree that the red coloration probably acts a sunscreen.

Categories: Nature Notes

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