Monday, 29 October 2018

Flames without fire …

Flame Shield (Pluteus aurantiorugosus)



In Britain P. aurantiorugosus is now an uncommon find and is primarily restricted to southern England and south Wales. It occurs mainly on rotting broadleaf stumps and large logs of buried hardwood timber. The above specimens were recently found and photographed in a hollow cavity within a heavily decayed beech; the cap of the single specimen about the size of a pea. This striking species can appear at any time from early summer right through to the end of autumn providing the weather is mild.

Certainly one to look out for …

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. 254, fig. p. 255.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Strange case of the jumping fungus …

Flea’s Ear (Chlorencoelia versiformis)




Although C. versiformis is regarded as a rare saprotroph fungus with a restricted range on decaying wood of broadleaved species, this is the fourth colony I’ve observed locally in West Sussex during the past year. It is apparently critically endangered in Britain having declined by more than 50% pre and post 1960. I can’t help feeling it may be more common than thought just overlooked in the areas it occurs. The above images, showing various growth stages (top to bottom showing age development), were all taken in West Sussex on 24 October 2018.

References:

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Third time lucky ...

Wrinkled Peach (Rhodotus palmatus)



If there's one species of fungi that says 'take my picture', it surely has to be the Wrinkled Peach Rhodotus palmatus.

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. 236, fig. p.237.
Phillips, R. (2006). Mushrooms. London: Pan Macmillan, p. 268, fig. a.
Sterry, P. and Hughes. B. (2009). Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools. London: HarperCollins, p. 152, fig. p. 153.

http://markcolvin.blogspot.com/2018/09/slugs.html
https://www.first-nature.com/fungi/rhodotus-palmatus.php

Monday, 22 October 2018

Dark holes and rotten logs ...

Bearded Tooth (Hericium erinaceus)


You can't beat a hole in a rotten log ...

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. 470, fig. p. 471.
Kibby, G. (2017). Mushrooms and Toadstools of Great Britain & Europe, Volume 1, pp.44-45.
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. 233.
Sterry, P. and Hughes. B. (2009). Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools. London: HarperCollins, p. 280, fig. p. 281.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Pony poo …

Nail Fungus (Poronia punctata)






This rare ascomycete fungus, found on the dung of ponies and horses, takes its vernacular name from the resemblance of the fruiting bodies to broad-headed nails. P. punctata is now very scarce in Britain and Ireland and confined to sites where ponies feed exclusively on rough pastures and heathland. Herbicides, plant pesticides and synthetic chemicals used in the worming of horses have been blamed for the demise of P. punctata across much of Europe. The spores are ingested by livestock whilst grazing and are passed out with their dung. The spores germinate and form the mycelium of the fungus, eventually producing the visible fruiting bodies after the dung has had time to weather.

This species was included as Endangered on the Red Data List prepared by Bruce Ing (1992); and as Near Threatened on the Red Data List produced by Shelley Evans et al. (2006). P. punctata is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species.

My thanks to good friends Jim and Dawn Langiewicz for their recent help in locating this species and to Nick Aplin, Sussex county recorder for ascomycetes, for the above photomicrographs. These show the ascus apex staining blue in the top picture and a germ slit on the ascospore in the top right in the bottom picture.

References:

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. 372, 407.
Sterry, P. and Hughes. B. (2009). Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools. London: HarperCollins, p. 344, figs. p. 344-345.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Stubble …

Bearded Tooth (Hericium erinaceus)


Not an image we often see but this small group of early stage H. erinaceus emerging from the sawn end of a decaying beech tree recently caught my attention.

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. 470, fig. p. 471.
Kibby, G. (2017). Mushrooms and Toadstools of Great Britain & Europe, Volume 1, pp.44-45.
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. 233.
Sterry, P. and Hughes. B. (2009). Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools. London: HarperCollins, p. 280, fig. p. 281.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Piggyback …

Asterophora lycoperdoides and A. parasitica





Fairly widespread but uncommon throughout Britain and Ireland, because of their diminutive size and behaviour of fruiting within decaying fungi that themselves are unlikely to grab the attention, Asterophora lycoperdoides, the Powdery Piggyback, and A. parasitica, the Silky Piggyback, are easily overlooked. A. lycoperdoides is very similar to A. parasitica, except that the hyphae in the cap surface of A. lycoperdoides develop into a brown powdery mass of chlamydospores (asexual spore-like reproductive structures); an unusual trait for a basidiomycete fungus. In addition, unlike A. parasitica in which the gills are well developed, the gills of A. lycoperdoides are rarely well formed, as shown above, and produce few basidiospores (sexual spores).

Both species can be found on the decaying fruiting bodies of Russula nigricansR. densifoliaR. fellea and R. foetens. There are also reports of them being found on the decaying caps of certain milkcaps (Lactarius species). The above specimens are all pictured growing on decaying Russula nigricans, the Blackening Brittlegill. The bottom image is A. parasitica.

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. 184, figs. p. 185.
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. 69, 381.
Sterry, P. and Hughes. B. (2009). Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools. London: HarperCollins, p. 150, figs. pp. 150-151.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Mycena seynesii…

Mycena seynesii (Quél. 1877)


M. seynesii (seynii) is a rarely recorded, small to medium sized, chestnut-brown to purplish-brown Mycena. It is found either solitary or in small clusters on the cones of Pinus species. The above example, one of several specimens discovered, was recently found and photographed in West Sussex on the decaying cones of Pinus radiata.

References:

Aronsen, A. and Læssøe, T. (2016). The genus Mycena: Fungi of Northern Europe, Vol. 5, pp. 154-155. Danish Mycological Society.
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. 218, fig. p. 219.