T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Cladina (Reindeer lichens)

Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Lecanoromycetes
Order: Lecanorales
Family: Cladoniaceae
Genus: Cladonia
Subsection: Cladina
Common names: Reindeer lichens,

Some seventy species of lichens in the genus Cladonia and have been observed in New Zealand. These lichens have a world-wide distribution.

Although the phylogeny of the genus Cladonia is still under investigation, two main morphological groups are commonly differentiated by taxonomists: the Cladonia and the Cladina. The Cladonia's has many more species, and is generally described as a group of squamulose (grow from squamules), cup-bearing lichens. The Cladina's species are often referred to as forage lichens, mat-forming lichens, or reindeer lichens (due to their importance as caribou winter forage).

Lichens are in the subsection Cladina are earth frequenting moss like lichens which can form dense mats. Below are photos of some species of New Zealand Cladina types.