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Fungimap 8 Conference

16-21 April 2015 in Bateman's Bay, 
New South Wales

 

Visit http://fungimap.org.au 
to put your name down so you will be contacted when registration opens in early 2015.

 

Unfortunately the Perth Urban Bushland Fungi Project has come to the position where there are no funds to operate it over the 2012 fungi season.

This means there will be no fungi events for the general public this winter. 

 

PUBF website now linked with Atlas of Living Australia at http://www.ala.org.au/  Now including some images from the Perth fungi book.

 
Reports about fungi of Kings Park and Bold Park are now posted on the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority website at: www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/kings-park/biodiversity/fungi  http://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/bold-park/biodiversity/fungi
 
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Various fungi profiles:

Shotgun Fungus

Shotgun Fungus – Pilobolus sp.

Pilobolus Bougher 1.jpg

Pilobolus produces large numbers of ephemeral, tiny structures about 1 to 3 mm tall. They are semi-translucent and often adorned with condensation droplets. Pilobolus is one of the more conspicuous and fascinating fungi that can occur successively over time on dung. It usually appears on relatively recently deposited dung and can be prolific on kangaroo dung. Production is affected by the daily rhythm of daylight and darkness, and may peak in the morning several hours after sunrise.

The name pilobolus or 'hat thrower', in Latin, refers to its dramatic method of spore dispersal enabling it to propel its spores far away from the dung on which they are produced. Spores are produced inside a single black package Pilobolus Bougher 2.jpg(sporangium) seated on top of a stalked structure (sporangiophore). The sporangiophores are phototropic and bend towards light. Turgor (water) pressure in a swollen vesicle just below the sporangium causes the vesicle to explode and shoot the spore package high into the air reportedly landing up to 2.5 metres away. Animals inadvertently may then eat discharged spores adhering to grass and other plants, and in doing so further disperse the fungus. The spores pass unharmed through the digestive tract and may then germinate in newly deposited dung potentially far away from the original dung.

Photo and text by Neale L. Bougher

 

 

 

 

Candle Snuff

Candle Snuff Fungus - Xylaria hypoxylon - ( L.) Grev.

Tough and wiry club-shaped or multi-branched fruit bodies of this fungus emerge from their firm attachment to rotting wood or woody debris in the leaf litter. The fruit bodies are often contorted or flattened, and vary in size up to about 7 cm tall. Xylaria hypoxylon B183_2.jpg

The Candle Snuff Fungus is aptly named for the copious white powder that coats the fruit bodies. The powdery mass is comprised of asexual spores (conidia). Sexual spores (ascospores) are also produced on the same fruit bodies. These spores contrast with the asexual spores as they are black and are produced inside tiny flasks embedded just under the surface of the fruit bodies. The black mouths of the flasks can be seen under a magnifying lens.

The Candle Snuff Fungus is a decomposer of wood and is known throughout many parts of Australia and the world. Because of their tough wiry nature, fruit bodies can sometimes be seen at all times of the year.

Photo and text by Neale L. Bougher

 

Pinwheel Agaricus

Pinwheel Agaricus - Agaricus rotalis - K.R. Peterson, Desjardin & Hemmes 

The Pinwheel Agaricus is a very distinctive mushroom fungus characterised by black marshmallow-shaped buttons, and a radial black and white radial pattern on the mature caps. This fungus can produce large crops consisting of many fruit bodies with caps up to 70 mm wide.

The fungus was discovered for the first time and documented in 2000 as a new species to Science from the Hawaiian Islands . There it occurs in woodchips and also in litter under sheoaks (Casuarina equisetifolia). Until last year Agaricus rotalis had been unknown outside the tropical Hawaiian Islands . Then the species was reported from Estonia in cool-temperate northern Europe .

Agaricus rotalis BOUGHER.jpgAlso during 2005, the second year of the Perth Urban Bushland Fungi Project, the Pinwheel Agaricus was identified for the first time in Australia . It was recognised in widely varied habitats and locations within the greater Perth region, including the Swan Coastal Plain and Darling Scarp. Examples of its habitat in Perth include: among uncut grass, leaf litter, and/or woodchips under eucalypts, in humid shade houses, and in leaf litter under exotic trees.

  

It is not known whether the Pinwheel Agaricus is edible or poisonous.

Photo and text by Neale L. Bougher

Scotsman's Beard

Scotsman's Beard - Calocera guepinioides - Berkeley

The fruit bodies of Calocera guepinioides are comprised of tiny orange or yellow fingers that cluster together in colonies. From some distance away the colonies can resemble the ginger stubble of a Scotsman's Beard. The colloquial name for this fungus was openly proposed for the first time only very recently (in 2004), and has been endorsed by participants of the Perth Urban Bushland Project.

Scotsman's Beard occurs on rotting wood and is often seen in bushlands of the Perth region on logs of Banksia or Eucalyptus particularly during June and July. The individual fingers are mostly up to about 5mm tall and vary in shape. They can be cylindrical, tapering, or flattened and broadened at their apex. The fingers are smooth and have a firm but gelatinous consistency.

calocera2.jpgCalocera guepinioides was first discovered from the Swan River Colony, named from there, and published by the Reverend M.J. Berkeley in an 1845 edition of the London Journal of Botany. Scotsman's Beard is now known to occur throughout many parts of Australia and New Zealand.  

Photo and text by Neale L. Bougher

 

 

 

 

Red Woodchip

Red Woodchips Fungus - Leratiomyces ceres - (Cooke & Massee) Spooner & Bridge

Formerly known as - Stropharia aurantiaca

stropharia_aurantiaca_lge.jpg

The Red Woodchips Fungus is a strikingly attractive fungus. It is easily recognised by its bright orange-red caps up to 70 mm wide with white flecks at and overhanging the margin, white stem with orange-red colours in the lower half, and dark purplish-black mature gills. The spore print is also dark purplish-black. White threads can often be seen below the base of the stem binding woody debris together.

The intense red colour of the caps of Leratiomyces ceres does not fade with age unlike many other brightly coloured fungi. This fungus reportedly, is not edible.

The Red Woodchips Fungus occurs in large troops in woodchip beds in parks and gardens throughout the Perth Region. It also occurs throughout Australia and is thought to have been introduced from Australia to many other parts of the world. The colour of this fungus is variable and often it can be more orange-coloured than red. As well as woodchips it is said to occur on a variety of substrates such as sawdust and lawns, but so far all confirmed records of it in WA are from woodchips.

Many fungi occur in woodchips in the Perth Region and it's possible that some of them, including Leratiomyces ceres , may be spreading. The spread of such fungi into bushland areas may be aided by the widespread and increasing use of woodchips in these areas.

Photo and text by Neale L. Bougher  

Golden Wood F

Golden Wood Fungus - Gymnopilus allantopus - (Berk.) Pegler

gymnop2.jpgThis Golden Wood Fungus is extremely common in the Perth region, most often seen on fallen Banksia logs and branches. It is a decomposer fungus occurring on a wide range of rotting logs, stumps and woody debris.

The Golden Wood Fungus produces fruit bodies over most of the main local fungus season – May to July, and also produces masses of fan-like white thread in the wood that can be seen any time of the year. The best way to see the fans is to lift off a strip of bark to reveal the underlying threads amid the soft white-rotted wood.

The fungus is easily identified in the field by its bright gills that develop rusty spots when old, white flap on the margin of young caps, and white fan-like mycelium. It has a bright ochre brown spore print. Most often the fruit bodies have a straight stem but if the specimens emerge from the side of a log the stem curves upwards (as shown in the photo).  

gymnop_mycellium.jpgThe Golden Wood Fungus occurs throughout southern Australia. Previously in Western Australia Gymnopilus allantopus incorrectly was referred to as the northern hemisphere species Gymnopilus penetrans. It was also recently given the provisional name G. austrosapineus to distinguish small specimens from large ones sent in the 19th century from Australia to M. J. Berkeley in England. He named the large specimens as allantopus in 1845 and referred to it as the very noble species. Recent studies have revealed that Berkeley was sent only the largest specimens and he had wrongly assumed all specimens would be large-sized. Hence the name G. austrosapineus was determined to be superfluous because G. allantopus produces both small and large specimens.

  

The Golden Wood Fungus is rather bitter to taste, and it has not been confirmed as to whether or not it is edible.

Photo and text by Neale L. Bougher

Ghost Fungus

 

Ghost Fungus - Omphalotus nidiformis - (Berk.) O.K. Mill

  

Omphalotus_nidiformis.jpgThe first known record of the Ghost Fungus in Western Australia was made by James Drummond who observed it on a Banksia stump in Perth. It occurs as overlapping clusters of fan or shell shaped fruiting bodies on living trees or rotting stumps or a wide range of plants such as banksias, eucalypts, peppermints, wattles and pines. It can be cream or dark grey and may develop brown and reddish streaks and blotches. If you place a Ghost Fungus on a piece of paper overnight (with the gills facing downwards) you will find it has produced a white deposit of spores.

Luminescence

The wonderful name - Ghost Fungus - aptly describes its most distinctive characteristic of glowing in the dark. Some specimens are supposedly even bright enough to enable the reading of newsprint.

 ghost_fungus1.jpg

Unfortunately, this fungus tastes good and is often confused with edible species such as the Oyster mushroom, Pleurotis species, but will, if eaten, cause vomiting. Although not good for human health, the Ghost Fungus is very important to bushland health. This fungus recycles back into the soil, precious nutrients from the wood it rots, which in turn is used by plants and other creatures.

 

 

Photo and text by Neale L. Bougher

Last Updated ( Monday, 12 May 2008 )