Checklist of the Lichens of Australia and its Island Territories

Updated 22 January 2016

Slideshow of Australian Lichens

Also available:

J.A. Elix, A Catalogue of Standardized Chromatographic Data and Biosynthetic Relationships for Lichen Substances. Third Edition. Published by the author, Canberra (2014). Download pdf — 2 MB


Classification & Genus Descriptions | Largest Families and Genera

Recent Photographs (2010–2014)

Oceanic Islands | Foliicolous Lichens | Arid & Semi-arid Regions | Marine & Freshwater Lichens | References

The lichen flora of Australia and its island territories includes 3783 species and infra-specific taxa in 507 genera; 1350 taxa [36%] are thought to be endemic. The six States, together with the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, have 3578 taxa; 1269 [36%] are endemic. Australian oceanic islands in the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans support 597 taxa; 68 [11%] are endemic.

This checklist has links to more than 2000 illustrations, mostly colour photographs by Bill Malcolm, Alan Archer, Jack Elix and Neil McCracken, photographs and line-art by Pat McCarthy, and habit and anatomical photographs by Armin Mangold. Click on the camera icons or hyperlinks to view the images. In addition, there are links to about 2200 taxon descriptions, many with distribution maps. The checklist also contains 3114 nomenclatural and taxonomic synonyms and names that have been misapplied to Australian specimens.

Names added or updated in 2015 are green

Names added or updated in 2016 are red


Map of Australia
Cladia retipora

Cladia retipora © Bill Malcolm 2004

States, territories and regions Abbreviation Taxa Endemic
Australian Capital Territory ACT 477 6
Christmas Island CI 99 4
Heard Island HI 111 13
Lord Howe Island LHI 190 21
Macquarie Island MI 128 19
New South Wales NSW 1650 114
Norfolk Island NI 182 6
Northern Territory NT 326 11
Queensland QLD 1937 273
South Australia SA 551 28
Tasmania TAS 1197 134
Victoria VIC 1035 47
Western Australia WA 751 93


* Accepted name based on an Australian type specimen

[*] Taxonomic synonym based on an Australian type specimen

Cite as ...

McCarthy, P.M. (2016), Checklist of the Lichens of Australia and its Island Territories.
Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Version 22 January 2016.


I am especially grateful to the late Lyn Jessup for preparing the keys for online delivery, redesigning the site and teaching me how to maintain it. I also thank Alan Archer, Louise Biggs, Alan Bolin, Ian Cresswell, Rex Croft, Judith Curnow, Richard Droker, Jack Elix, Andreas Frisch, Christy Geromboux, Cécile Gueidan, Robert Ingram, Gintaras Kantvilas, Paul Kirk, Brigitte Kuchlmayr, Naomi Lawrence, Robyn Lawrence, Simone Louwhoff, Thorsten Lumbsch, Bill Malcolm, Armin Mangold, Tom May, Helmut Mayrhofer, Neil McCracken, Roland Moberg, Paul Murray, Dag Øvstedal, Laurens Sparrius, Val Stajsic, Alice Wells and Greg Whitbread.

Patrick M. McCarthy
Australian Biological Resources Study, GPO Box 787, Canberra, A.C.T. 2601, Australia

Megalospora pauciseptata

Megalospora pauciseptata
© Bill Malcolm 2001

Pseudocyphellaria colensoi

Pseudocyphellaria colensoi
© Bill Malcolm 2001

Ramboldia haematites

Ramboldia haematites
© Bill Malcolm 2007



This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from Australian Biological Resources Study. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed in the first instance to Dr P. McCarthy. These pages may not be displayed on, or downloaded to, any other server without the express permission of ABRS.