Litmus is a water soluble mixture of different dyes extracted from lichens. It is often absorbed onto filter paper to produce one of the oldest forms of pH indicator, used to test materials for acidity. Litmus was used for the first time about 1300 AD by Spanish alchemist Arnaldus de Villa Nova. From the 16th century on, the blue dye was extracted from some lichens, especially in the Netherlands. Litmus can be found in different species of lichens. The dyes are extracted from such species as Roccella tinctoria (South America), Roccella fuciformis (Angola and Madagascar), Roccella pygmaea (Algeria), Roccella phycopsis, Lecanora tartarea (Norway, Sweden), Variolaria dealbata, Ochrolechia parella, Parmotrema tinctorum, and Parmelia. Currently, the main sources are Roccella montagnei (Mozambique) and Dendrographa leucophoea (California).