Heterodermia leucomela is a rather inconspicuous fruticose lichen which forms loose tufts up to 10cm across. The grey-white thallus is highly dichotomously branched, the branches being between 3-5mm in width. The margins of the branches are lined with many black cilia or "whiskers" up to 5mm long. The lower surface ihas a broad, white, slightly sunken channel along the centre, which appears slightly rough under a lens due to the lack of a cortex here. This is in contrast to the smooth raised margins on each side. Apothecia have not been observed in British material.
Photo: Alan Hale
H. leucomela can superficially appear similar to several of the shrubby Cladonia species, and to some species of Physcia that are similar in colour and have dark cilia. However, on closer inspection these are all quite distinct. It is hard to confuse this species with any other British taxon.
|Location||Grid Reference||Year Last Rec||Recorder||SSSI|
|Anglesey: Rhoscolyn Head||SH 2574 7552||2002||B. Edwards||Yes|
|Anglesey: Penrhosfeilw Common, Penrhyn Mawr||SH 2118 7959||2002||B. Edwards||Yes|
|Caernarfon: St Mary's Well, Lleyn||SH 1387 2521||2003||A.D. Hale & T. Dines||Yes|
|Caernarfon: Trwyn y Gwyddel||SH 1399 2506||2003||A.D. Hale & T. Dines||Yes|
|Caernarfon: Slopes of Mynydd y Gwyddel||SH 1413 2490||2003||A.D. Hale & T. Dines||Yes|
|Caernarfon: Ynys Enlli, above Pen Cristin||SH 1218 2122||1992||A. Fletcher||Yes|
|Caernarfon: Ynys Enlli, southern tip, western side||SH 110 204||2001||A. Fletcher||Yes|
|Caernarfon: Ynys Enlli, southern tip, eastern side||SH 114 207||2001||A. Fletcher||Yes|
|Caernarfon: Ynys Enlli, southern tip, western side||SH 12 21||2001||A. Fletcher||Yes|
|Pembroke: St. David's Head||SM 724 280||2005||A.D. Hale & R.G. Woods||Yes|
|Pembroke: Saddle Point, Broadhaven||SR 981 940||2005||R.G. Woods||