Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Auricularia ...

Jelly Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae)


The gelatinous and often ear-shaped A. auricula-judae (Auriculariales: Auriculariaceae) is a widespread and common species. It can be found on living or dead branches of a wide variety of hardwoods but especially those of Sambucus nigra, the Black Elder. The above example, one of a small group, was recently photographed at Ebernoe Common in West Sussex.

References:

Buczacki, S., Shields, C. and Ovenden, D. (2012). Collins Fungi Guide: The most complete field guide to the mushrooms and toadstools of Britain & Ireland. London: HarperCollins, p. 592, fig. p. 595.
Kibby, G. (2017). Mushrooms and Toadstools of Great Britain & Europe, Volume 1, pp. 100-101.
O’Reilly, P. (2016). Fascinated by Fungi – exploring the majesty and mystery, facts and fantasy of the quirkiest kingdom on earth. Llandysul: First Nature, p. 298.
Sterry, P. and Hughes. B. (2009). Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools. London: HarperCollins, p. 290, fig. p. 291.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Signs of spring …

Spring Hazelcup (Encoelia furfuracea)




Although widespread, E. furfuracea (Helotiales: Sclerotiniaceae) is generally regarded as an uncommon find in Britain. This irregularly shaped cup fungus can be found during the winter and spring. Typically clustered in small groups on the dead wood of Common Hazel Corylus avellana it has occasionally been recorded on Common Alder Alnus glutinosa.

References:

Sterry, P. and Hughes. B. (2009). Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools. London: HarperCollins, p. 308, fig. p. 309.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Little brown jobs …

Cortinarius pratensis




There are just fourteen records for Cortinarius pratensis currently listed on the FRDBI database [February, 2018]. The above specimens were located in a West Sussex sand dune system during a detailed search of the area in December 2017. My thanks to Nick Aplin of the Sussex Fungus Group for confirming their identification. It’s a fairly nondescript brown toadstool but certainly one to look out for if you enjoy little brown jobs …

References:

Edwards, A. and Leech, T. (2017). Evidence for an interesting association between Cortinarius pratensis (Section Dermocybe) and Sand Sedge, Carex arenaria. Field Mycology, 18(3), pp. 78-81.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Fungi that bite ...

Velvet Tooth (Hydnellum spongiosipes)




H. spongiosipes (Thelephorales: Bankeraceae) is an uncommon stipitate hydnoid fungus. These are a group of ‘tooth fungi’ [fungi that release their spores from tooth-like structures], which have a short stalk or 'stipe', hence the name 'stipitate'.

Stipitate hydnoid fungi are ectomycorrhizal; forming close symbiotic relationships with trees and deriving some of their nutrients from the tree's roots. This aids them in obtaining nutrients where soil quality is poor and means they are always found in association with trees. H. spongiosipes is typically associated with oak, sweet chestnut and, less frequently, beech; this provides a useful, but not necessarily accurate way of distinguishing between this species and H. ferrugineum, which occurs mainly under pine.

References:

Ainsworth, A.M., Parfitt, D., Rogers, H.J. and Boddy, L. (2010). Cryptic taxa within European species of Hydnellum and Phellodon revealed by combined molecular and morphological analysis. Fungal Ecology, 3(2), pp. 65-80.
Dickson, G. (2000). A field key to British non-resupinate hydnoid fungi. Field Mycology, 1(3), pp. 99-104.
Kibby, G. (2017). Mushrooms and Toadstools of Great Britain & Europe, Volume 1, pp.40-41.
O’Reilly, P. (2016). Fascinated by Fungi – exploring the majesty and mystery, facts and fantasy of the quirkiest kingdom on earth. Llandysul: First Nature, pp. 203-205.
Phillips, R. (2006). Mushrooms. London: Pan Macmillan, pp. 323-327.
Sterry, P. and Hughes. B. (2009). Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools. London: HarperCollins, pp. 296-301.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Neottiella ...

Neottiella (Octospora) rutilans




Despite its rich peach-orange appearance N. rutilans (Pezizales: Pyronemataceae) is a small ascomycete fungus that can easily be overlooked where it grows, buried amongst Polytrichum mosses on heathland or in light sandy soils. The shallow cup or disc-shaped fruiting bodies, growing to around 5-15mm across, may become undulating and somewhat contorted where several fruiting bodies are condensed and crowded together. The above examples were recently photographed in a Sussex dune system.

References:

Phillips, R. (2006). Mushrooms. London: Pan Macmillan, p. 367, fig. p. 366, e.
Sterry, P. and Hughes. B. (2009). Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools. London: HarperCollins, p. 314, fig. p. 315.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Rare or under recorded …

Guepiniopsis buccina






The tiny and rarely recorded G. buccina (Dacrymycetales: Dacrymycetaceae). Only 14 records are currently listed on the FRDBI database and 17 on the NBN Atlas [26 November 2017]. The above specimens were recently recorded and photographed at two sites in West Sussex and are new county records. My thanks to Nick Aplin for confirming identification and for the above photomicrographs which show the tuning fork shaped basidium in the left hand image and basidiospores in the right hand image.

References:

Thursday, 23 November 2017

The flea with green ears …

Flea’s Ear (Chlorencoelia versiformis)

What a great name ...



C. versiformis (Helotiales: Hemiphacidiaceae) is a rare saprotroph [an organism deriving nourishment from decaying organic matter] with a restricted range on dead wood of broadleaved species. It is critically endangered in Britain having declined by more than 50% both pre and post 1960.

References: