Checklist of the Lichens of Australia and its Island Territories

Updated 17 December 2014

Slideshow of Australian Lichens

Also available:

NOW 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 | All Illustrations

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

The lichen flora of Australia and its island territories includes 3742 species and infra-specific taxa in 503 genera; 1343 taxa [36%] are thought to be endemic. The six States, together with the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, have 3537 taxa; 1262 [36%] are endemic. Australian oceanic islands in the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans support 585 taxa; 68 [12%] 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 3099 nomenclatural and taxonomic synonyms and names that have been misapplied to Australian specimens.

Names added or updated in 2009 are in blue; entries for 2010 are in red; entries for 2011–2014 are in green.


Map of Australia
Cladia retipora

Cladia retipora © Bill Malcolm 2004

    Taxa Endemic
Australian Capital Territory ACT 457 6
Christmas Island CI 99 4
Heard Island HI 111 13
Lord Howe Island LHI 188 21
Macquarie Island MI 128 19
New South Wales NSW 1635 122
Norfolk Island NI 168 6
Northern Territory NT 322 11
Queensland QLD 1880 271
South Australia SA 543 27
Tasmania TAS 1187 133
Victoria VIC 1031 46
Western Australia WA 744 93


* Accepted name based on an Australian type specimen

[*] Taxonomic synonym based on an Australian type specimen

Cite as ...

McCarthy, P.M. (2014), Checklist of the Lichens of Australia and its Island Territories.
Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Version 17 December 2014.


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, 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.