Lichen determination keys

A. "Traditional", articulated keys, taxonomical / geographical arrangement ( B. Interactive keys )
These keys can be downloaded and used with an internet browser to keep the link functions, or (many of them) printed and used like a traditional, printed key. Several keys are presented with the internet adaptation developed by Tom Hollowell (Smithsonian Institution, Washington), whose cooperation is gratefully acknowledged. For further lichenological web publications see Zschackia.

Last update 24 August 2012; information about further web keys and changed addresses will be much appreciated.

A geographical arrangement of available keys is available in the world checklist website. Select the desired country and click the button for keys.

Archived versions of these keys can be found at

B. Interactive keys.
These keys are based on a character set in a database and can be used only with a computer. They allow access with the users' own selection of characters.
For the latest, updated information see the LIAS site.
Available subsets from the LIAS project:

  • Lichen Genera of Germany - BETA version - 96-07-22 - by G. Rambold & D. Triebel, This subset includes the (partly incomplete) data of 270 lichen genera.
  • Genera with Foliicolous Taxa - BETA version - 96-11-22 - by G. Rambold & D. Triebel. (most data sets revised by R. Lücking). This subset includes the (partly incomplete) data of more than 80 lichen genera.
  • Lichenologists involved in flora projects may obtain as well other subsets of the generic key right now.
  • For the following genera subsets for species determination are available, prepared in cooperation with specialists: Arthonia (red-fruited), Biatora (Europe), Bunodophoron, Cladonia p.p., Diploschistes, Epigloea, Lecanora (key to 193 species of Lecanora s.str.), Lecideaceae (Europe), Megalospora, Miriquidica, Phaeophyscia, Rimularia, Tephromela, Vulpicida.
  • LIAS-light: trimmed for the identification of (mainly) European lichen species; datasets for Germany and Great Britain are almost complete now; shortcut.

Further available:

© Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin
page editor: Harrie Sipman, this page last partially updated 24 May 2013.