Gallery of Featured Fungi Number 41-60
Click on image to view associated article
Click on image to view associated article
Featured Fungus Number 41
Nemania serpens var. hydnicola
A fungicolous fungus
Fungi can grow on almost everything, including other fungi. Those that do are called "fungicolous fungi." The photo shows stromata of the xylariaceous Ascomycete Nemania serpens var. hydnicola (Schwein.) Y.-M. Ju and J.D. Rogers, fruiting on the hymenial surface of a detached, rotting Fomitopsis pinicola (Sw.:Fr.) P. Karst. conk collected near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Nemania serpens var. hydnicola differs from the typical variety in that its ascus rings are amyloid, the ascospores have abruptly narrowed or "pinched" ends, and it is frequently fungicolous on Fomitopsis pinicola. Collection records from North America are rare to date, possibly due to the cryptic habit and preferred substrate of this fungus. For more information on N. serpens var. hydnicola, including the unusual ability of an isolate to fruit in culture, click on the accompanying photo. [file size: 675 kb]
Featured Fungus Number 42
A newly discovered endophyte of Whitebark Pine (Pinus albicaoulis)
The asexual fungus Myrothecium roridum is a rather mysterious organism, pathogenic on cotton plants in India, coffee plants in Guatemala, as other hosts on which it produces leaf spots, cankers, or rots. Endophytic isolates of M. roridum can produce biologically active trichothecenes with potential for activity against important plant pathogens such as the rice blast fungus, Pyricularia oryzae and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Although reported from some 263 host species representing 119 genera, until very recently all known hosts were angiosperms. Recently M. roridum was isolated from Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaoulis ) in Oregon, the first time it has been found growing in a gymnosperm. Because of its ability to produce metabolites that impede growth of other fungi, it is possible that M. roridum may have a role in combating Cronartium ribicola, the cause of white pine blister rust, one of the most damaging plant pathogens introduced by people into North America. For more information click on the accompanying photograph of hyphae produced by M. roridum in culture. [file size: 508 kb]
Featured Fungus Number 43
A new lichen species from the Bering Sea region
Lecidea ramulosa is an unusual, minutely fruticose species in this normally crustose genus. Note the black apothecium, the terete white branching thallus, and a possible dark parasitic fungus. This lichen, along with many other lichenized fungi, contributes to high biodiversity in Noatak National Preserve, Alaska. This lichen was featured in a recent study focused on macrolichen diversity that also included numerous reports of microlichens. A total of 364 taxa were reported. The 88 0.38-ha plots included in the study averaged 26 species of macrolichens, while the best estimate of the true average was 42 species per plot. The raw estimate of gamma diversity (park-wide macrolichen species richness) was 209 species, with jackknife estimates adjusting this to 255 or 290 species, depending on the estimator. Overall beta diversity was rather high at 7.1, reflecting the considerable variation in lichen communities among topographic positions, rock chemistry, substrate pH, climate, and vegetation. To learn more about the diversity of lichens in Noatak Preserve, along with comparisons to Bering Land Bridge Preserve, click on the accompanying illustration [file size: 408 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 44
A strange, saprobic fungus from the tropics
Poroleprieuria rogersii is an unusual tropical pyrenomycete found growing on dead wood. It produces small vertical, cylindrical, carbonaceous stromata with perithecia embedded in the apices. Perithecia contain cylindrical asci with brown, one-celled, inaequilateral ascospores that are expelled through ostioles at the stromatal tips. Superficially the fungus resembles species of Leprieuria, but it differs from that genus in forming ascospores with germ pores instead of germ slits. For this reason the fungus was placed in the new genus Poroleprieuria, as Poroleprieuria rogersii. The species was named in honor of Professor Jack D. Rogers of Washington State University, who has devoted his career to the study of xylariaceous fungi. The fungus is known only from the State of Puebla in south-central Mexico. For more information about Mexican Ascomycetes, click on the accompanying photograph that shows two distinctive stromata (approximately 7 mm high) characteristic of P. rogersii. [file size: 274 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 45
A rare fungus of neotropical cloud forests and wet lowland forests
I thought little Martians had landed when Sharon Matola brought in the Xylaria griseo-olivacea J.D. Rogers & Rossman pictured here. We were collecting fungi in a cloud forest on the highest peak in Belize in Central America known as Doyle's Delight. The peak's name refers to Arthur Connan Doyle's book about a lost world on an isolated tepui in Venezuela that was subsequently featured in the movie ‘Up'. The cloud forest we explored in Belize was of special interest to us as it and neighboring peaks have remained above sea level since the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, and may thus harbor relic species. A number of species found at Doyle's Delight were known previously only from Amazonia, including X. griseo-olivacea . This unusual, species of Xylaria with green globose-stipitate stromata is known from only a few collections in Venezuela and Ecuador. It was originally described by Rogers et al. in a paper on the fungi of Cerro de Neblina – a cloud-covered tepui in Venezuela, but the type collection was actually made at a lowland Amazonian airport near the base camp for their expedition. While X. griseo-olivaceae did not turn out to be a cloud forest endemic at potential risk of extinction for cloud base lifting associated with regional and global climate change, it and X. platypoda (another rare Amazonian species with a disjunct distribution) served as the impetus to answer this question. Several other species of Xylaria were found to be restricted to cloud forests and high elevations in the Neotropics. [Contributed by D. Jean Lodge.] For more information about montane and cloud forest specialists among Neotropical Xylaria, click on the accompanying photograph of X. griseo-olivacea. [file size: 225 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 46
A common root-rotting fungus attacking conifers in North America
Armillaria solidipes, pictured at left, is a common mushroom fungus that causes a root-rot disease across the northern United States and throughout Canada's conifer forests. The species has been known as A. ostoyae since 1970 but recent studies demonstrated that C.H Peck named this species A. solidipes in 1900, seventy years before the name A. ostoyae was coined. Thus, A. solidipes is the name that is proper for this species. Such name changes, even for common and economically important fungi, are made frequently because we are in the early stages of understanding the biology and classification of fungi. The considerations leading to the use of Peck's name for this species can be found in the article by Burdsall and Volk, which can be accessed by clicking on the photo at the left. [file size: 467 kb]
Featured Fungus Number 47
A recently described new species from southern Arizona
The genus Dendrothele includes several dozen species of Basidiomycetes that produce reduced fruiting bodies (known as basidiomes) on substrates such as tree bark. Macroscopically, a Dendrothele basidiome could be mistaken for a splash of dried paint, but microscopically the basidiomes reveal themselves to be composed of complex tangles of specialized hyphae and basidia. Analyses of DNA sequences indicate that the genus is polyphyletic, suggesting that strong selection pressures have favored the simplification of basidium-producing structures in a variety of lineages. The species Dendrothele gilbertsonii was based on specimens collected from Quercus arizonica at a single location in southern Arizona. One can only speculate about the geographical distribution of this species—is it truly restricted to one site or would additional collecting determine it to have a wider distribution? Providing a clear description of the species gives mycologists information they need to address this and other mysterious aspects of the biology of this fungus. Click on the accompanying photograph of a basidiome of this species (scale bar = 3 mm) to see the article by Nakasone on this and other species of Dendrothele. [file size: 1673 kb]
Featured Fungus Number 48
A soil-dwelling fungus recently found for the first time in North America
It is a truism in mycology that the known geographical ranges of fungi tend to mirror the distributions of scientists who know how to find them. The fungus Leightoniomyces phillipsii has been known for some time to occur in the British Isles and the Azores. Recently it was found near the town of Tenmile, Oregon, its first known occurrence in North America. The tiny fruiting bodies, called synnemata, could be seen only with a hand lens; perhaps their small size contributed to the fungus being overlooked by other workers. Although the Oregon fungus was found growing on soil, previous reports suggested that L. phillipsii can be lichenicolous (growing on lichens), and a report from 1875 indicated that it is muscicolous (growing on mosses). Now that it has been documented and described in North America, research is possible on other aspects of its biology, such as how it interacts with other organisms in the soil. For information on this newly recognized member of North America's mycota, click on the accompanying photograph of synnemata of L. phillipsii to read the article by McCune and Stone. [file size: 1325 kb]
Featured Fungus Number 49
A possible biological control agent of Centaurea stoebe
The classification of rust fungi occurring on species of Centaurea is made difficult by the taxonomic confusion surrounding these plant hosts. Centaurea is one of the most complex genera of Asteraceae, including (according to estimates) 400-700 species. Despite these problems, scientists recently identified the rust fungus Puccinia jaceae on Centaurea stoebe in northern Idaho. The authors of the study report that C. stoebe is such a serious invader in western North America that twelve insect species have been introduced deliberately to attempt to control it. If managed effectively, it is possible that P. jaceae might also contribute to the biological control of C. stoebe, just as Puccinia chondrillina has been used to control Chondrilla juncea (rush skeleton weed) in Australia. For more information about this interesting fungus, click on the accompanying photo of a teliospore of P. jaceae (scale bar = 15 µm) for the article by Newcombe et al. [file size 2424 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 50
A widespread fungus fruiting on wood of Quercus spp.
Recently documented in Panama for the first time, this fungus has been previously reported from the United States and Mexico. It seems to be associated with wood of Quercus spp. Many species of the Xylariaceae are amongst the most photogenic of fungi. This one, with perithecia clustered in pulvinate stromata, bears a superficial resemblance to some corals and bryzoans! Other newly reported species resemble miniature clubs or rusty nails. For more information about this interesting fungus and its relatives, click on the accompanying photo for the article by Carmona et al. [file size 781 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 51
An Arctic-Alpine Basidiolichen
Known from Arctic and alpine habitats, this lichenized agaric associates with green algae observed as small green balls at the base of the fruiting body. Originally placed in the genus Omphalina because of its macroscopic morphology, it was transferred to Lichenomphalia along with related lichenized species. DNA sequence data suggest the species is close to the redefined genus Arrhenia (also common in Arctic-Alpine habitats). Both genera now are included in the family Hygrophoraceae, along with the tropical cyanobasidiolichens. Their evolutionary radiation appears to be relatively recent. Click on the photo to view the article by Ohenoya & Ohenoya [file size 2831 kb] which lists another species of Lichenomphalia observed in the Canadian Arctic in wet boggy hummocks. Artic and alpine fungi are the topic of a special issue just published in North American Fungi. Photo by P. A. Moreau.
Featured Fungus Number 52
A new poriod basidiomycete from Central America
This striking little fungus, the type of the new genus Aurantiopileus, grows on decorticated hardwood in a tropical cloud forest in Belize. Transferred to the new genus are two species formerly in Gloeoporus, so this little orange charmer will not be all by itself. To read more about the characters separating Aurantiopileus from similar genera, and for an appreciation of unique aspects of its remote habitat (Doyle's Delight, the highest peak in the Maya Mountains), click on the photograph for the article by Ginns et al. [file size 1016 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 53
Amanita groenlandica forme alpina
A newly recognized Rocky Mountain mushroom
Amanita groenlandica is a circumpolar, Arctic mushroom. This new form, A. groenlandica f.alpina, fruits abundantly above tree line in the Beartooth and Hell-roaring Plateaus of the Northern Rocky Mountains. Amanita groenlandica f.alpina is taller, with a less viscid pileus, a lighter colored universal veil, and a more pronounced aroma than the Greenland Arctic form. The colors on the pileus also differ subtly from those of its Arctic relative. To find out more about this fungus (and for a view the spectacular Beartooth Plateau), click on the photograph from the article by Cripps and Horak [file size 1897 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 54
Pluteus chrysophlebius var. chrysophlebius
A mushroom of varied colors and a checkered nomenclatural career
This specimen, which grew on decaying hardwood, is one of several vouchers and illustrations in a long nomenclatural and taxonomic odyssey. The mushroom has been studied by several famed mycologists, including Berkeley, Murrill, Pegler, Ravenel, Saccardo, Singer and others! For a history of this photogenic little mushroom, and a full description (including the lectotype), click on the accompanying photo from the article by Minnis and Sundberg [file size 6014 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 55
A newly recorded Alaskan lichen
Bactrospora cascadensis is an attractive lichen with black ascocarps and an orange thallus. Most members of the genus occur in temperate or tropical regions, but this species, previously known in the Cascade Range of Washington State, is now recorded from Alaska. To learn more about its ecology, its photobiont, and its classification, click on the picture for the article by McCune and Ponzetti [file size: 2386 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 56
A newly discovered Basidiomycete from Central America
A maze worthy of Daedalus! The hymenium of this new species from Central America seems as labyrinthine as that in which lurked the minotaur. And it turns violet! It is one of the species that “comprise the core of the genus Daedalea s.s.” To find out why, and to read more about Daedalea neotropica, click on the photo from Lindner et al [file size 2131 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 57
An alpine puffball
Lycoperdon cretaceaum is a warty and attractive (is this something only a mycologist would say?) alpine puffball. The species was placed in Lycoperdon by Berkeley, and is now back there again after spending time assigned to Calvatia! To learn why, and to read more about this fungus and other photogenic alpine puffballs, click on the photograph and read the article by Taiga Kasuya on Lycoperdales on the Beartooth Plateau [file size: 4972 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 58
A possible threat to an endangered butterfly
Pyrenopeziza plantaginis is a small discomycete, first reported from North America growing on the leaves of narrow-leafed plantain, Plantago lanceolata, a common weedy plant. Unfortunately, the location of this first report is a remnant prairie harboring the endangered butterfly "Taylor's checkerspot" which utilizes the plantain as a larval host. Incidental reports indicate damage to the plantain can be extensive. To find out more about this fungus, its host, and Taylor's checkerspot, click on the photo (a section of an apothecium showing asci and ascospores) from Stone et al. [file size: 2740 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 59
A common lichen with striking characters
Widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, H. pulverata is of interest for unique soredial development and its characteristic trailing habit. To learn more about H. pulverata and to inspect haunting images of its boreal habitat, click on the image from Nelson et al. [file size: 1880 kb].
Featured Fungus Number 60
A new resident of British Columbia
Depending on the person or the circumstances, blackberry bushes are either despised as thorny weeds or beloved for their juicy berries. This rust, apparently still expanding its range, is capable of inflicting severe damage on blackberry. To read more, and to see additional photomicrographs plus photographs of symptoms and damage, click on the image of teliospores from Callan et al. [file size 323 kb].