Cladonia deformis


Cladonia deformis

(L.) Hoffm. (1796)
Conservation Status
DD NR (Key)
BLS Number
Taxon Photo
General Description

A Red Pixie Cup, similar to Cladonia sulphurina, also with the podetia covered in fine soredia, but less strongly yellow tinged, with more regular cups (despite its name) and lacking the highly characteristic bright UV+ fluorescence of Cladonia sulphurina. Rare, if potentially over looked, with authenticated material recorded from only single a glen in the Cairngorms. Here it was found on fallen Scots Pine trunks.


Similar to Cladonia sulphurina, but with ± regular cups (despite its name) that tend to be less strongly yellow-pigmented but orange-yellow in necrotic basal parts. Thallus C–, K–, KC+ yellow, Pd–, UV– (usnic acid, zeorin). 

Zeorin can be detected as needle-shaped crystals on the surface of old dried specimens. Most old records of C. deformis need confirmation; they probably refer to C. sulphurina.


On rotting, fallen pine trunks, in a native pinewood

Distribution Map
Key to map date classes

So far only confirmed from a single site in the Cairngorms (Glen Quoich).

Threats & Status

Pino-Bodas, R., Sanderson, N., Cannon, P., Aptroot, A., Coppins, B., Orange, A. & Simkin, J. (2021). Lecanorales: Cladoniaceae, including the genera CladoniaPilophorus and PycnotheliaRevisions of British and Irish Lichens 19: 1-45. Link

Text by Neil A Sanderson, based on Pino-Bodas et al (2021)