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Archive for September, 2011

This is one of the caps that developes a mutually beneficial mycorrhizal link to a tree, in this case a birch. The caps showed up a bright orange in the mossy bank, the younger cap being a bit redder. The older cap had a light edge. Both had reddish, barrel shaped stems and produced white milk that became slowly pale yellow.

Link to species notes.

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2011.

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This looks like Coprinellus micaceus, which is a common species on wood. The differences are small. Macroscopically, the stem base has a ridge round it and white hyphal fuzz below. Microscopically the spores are oval, not angular, and the pleurocystidia are large and regular (just seen with a hand lens) where C. micaceus has less regular pleurocystidia (large cells on the gill surface). I am indebted to Derek Schafer for identifiying it in Abney.

Link to species notes

Link to photos of Fungi and Slime molds 2011.

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Antrodia albida.

I just wanted to share with you a couple of photos of this magnificent growth, and it is still spreading.

Link to species notes.

Link to photos of Fungi adn Slime molds 2011.

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A long name for a small cap. It was growing in grass. It was in dry conditions so looked almost white when young, becoming more chestnut tinted in the center when it was older. This is a microscopic identification. In the field the only thing I can think of is that it is of a size and shape and the drying and rehydrating process happens through radial fibers, giving it a streaky appearence.

Link to species notes.

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2011.

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Last year I came across a cap that I didn’t recognise. The gills, though underdeveloped, were thick and fleshy and undersized, just wrinkles along the surface of the cap. The cap was badly eaten and no microscopic details were visible. It looked like a chanterelle, very thick stem and branching folds for gills. The colour was rusty and tending to be lilac. I put it down to an unlikely Amathyst Chanterelle and waited to be shot down. Since no one got back to me it stood like that, until now.

This year, a few feet from last year’s cap, another weird growth appeared. This one my more grounded friend Keir suggested was Rhodocybe gemina. In part it had the same weird wrinkled folds for gills, the same forking from last year, but in part the gills looked a lot more normal. I finally found a small section of gill that had the correct cystidia for Rhodocybe gemina. I managed to get a light coloured spore print the first night, but couldn’t isolate any spores from the cap, mainly because it was badly infested with a microfungus. I think I have got the microfungus down to a Verticillium species, which is as near as anyone gets to an identificatioin with out growing it on in culture. I have now put it on the site as this and await someone who knows better to tell me otherwise.

The effect the microfungus has had on the gills is dramatic…

The usually radial gills are growing as if to create a new set of gills from a series of different points on the cap. There are also sections where the gills grow across the radial line and areas where nets form, linking in all kinds of odd ways. Spots of light, white-ish dusty growth are the microfungus developing. This is the spore producing structure, but it is not over most of the odd growth. A couple of days later it was. The damage must be done by the Verticillium before it starts to produce the spores. The above photos was on Tuesday, by Friday it looked like this….

This was a section of the most normal looking gills. They were thin and a lot broader then the wrinkles, appropriate for the species.

Under the microscope the growth looks like…

The growth along the side of the gills amounted to a miniature forest……

These are younger growths of the microfungus. The spores at this stage are produced in bundles at the tops of the pointed structures, later they are produced singly.

There could be a distortion in the formation of the cap from the Verticillium. An unaffected R. gemina cap has a different appearence. The stem is bloated and the cap section, even for a young cap, seems too small. The smell is wrong for R. gemina, the usual sweet musty smell replaced by an acetone smell.

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Link to Rhodocybe gemina notes.

Link to Verticillium species notes.

Link to Photos of Fungis and Slime molds 2011.

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