Story: Lichens

Splash cups

Splash cups

The fungal partner of most lichens reproduces by shedding spores from its splash cups. These orange splash cups are on the upper surface of Sticta filix. In wet conditions, the cup releases its spores and some are carried away on drops of water that splash into it. Once a fungal spore germinates, it needs to combine with a photosynthetic partner before it can form a new lichen.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by Bill Malcolm

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Lichens - Features and life history', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/10985/splash-cups (accessed 12 July 2020)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 24 Sep 2007