Journal archives for April 2015

April 11, 2015

Notes on miscellaneous fungal groups

Occasionally I collect together my notes on various groups and post them on the Fungal Network of New Zealand (FUNNZ) website 'MycoBlog'. These might be useful for identification.

Grey gelatinous blobs on wood

But see also records for Exidia nucleata, Tremella, Pseudostypella, Eichleriella, Helicobasidium, Leucogloeae compressa and Atractiellales.

White/cream pleurotus-like or Clitocybe-like mushrooms on wood

Clitocybe albida is now in the new genus Rhizocybe. The Neoclitocybe in the notes is really an unamed Ossicaulis sp which I thought might be Pleurcollybia cremea until I examined the type. P. cremea seems quite rare in comparison.

Small white crepidotus-like fungi on wood

One of these I since named Clitopilus kamaka.

Small brownish crepidotus-like fungi on wood, i.e. Resupinatus

Bondarzewia - a big yellow basal rot fungus of trees

Sometimes mistaken for Laetiporus sulphureus. The two NZ species are being published - when the paper gets through the review process. The species on angiosperms is B. kirkii, and thespeces with gymnosperms B. propria.

Rhizopogon - truffles in pine plantations

Small brown mushrooms on wood that smell of garlic when crushed - Micromphale/Gymnopus

Powdery mildews in New Zealand

Mycena in NZ

Russula in New Zealand

Laccaria in New Zealand

Posted on April 11, 2015 02:48 AM by cooperj cooperj | 0 comments | Leave a comment


Paxillus is an ectomycorrhizal genus with introduced trees. Paxillus involutus was recently shown to be a species complex.

So far in NZ we have confirmed P. cuprinus and P. ammoniavirescens, P. involutus and it is likely that we have P. obscurosporus (it is common in Australia). These are all commonly associated with introduced street/park trees. The real Paxillus involutus is not said to be associated with trees in urban environments in its home range, but we do have confirmed records. In general, in New Zealand P. cuprinus appears to be associated with birch, alder and lime whereas P. ammoniavirescens favours oaks, poplars and conifers, and P. involutus has been recorded with birch. Unfortunately, P. obscurosporus is not so specific. P. ammoniavirescens is easily distinguished by the green reaction of the cap to ammonia. There are subtle differences in the morphology of the spores.

Paxillus cuprinus

Paxillus ammoniavirescens

Posted on April 11, 2015 06:44 AM by cooperj cooperj | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Lichenomphalia and look-alikes

Excluding Hygrocybe!

Lichenomphalia is a genus of lichenised mushrooms. All the historical names used for the NZ species are incorrect and we have a number of undescribed ones. Here's a preliminary key reflecting my understanding of the genus in NZ together with other inamyloid-spored omphalinoid fungi which could be mistaken for Lichenomphalia.


Associated with mosses or on soil and not associated with algal cells at base of stipe. Hyphae clamped.



Always associated with green algal cells at base of stem. Hyphae unclamped.



Cap, gills and stem tan coloured, alpine

Omphalina colensoi


Fruitbody with yellow or cream colours, not alpine, gills white, often in lawns



Fruitbody bright yellow cap/stem (if orange then consider Camaraophyllus delicatus, or Atheniella or Mycena acicula)

Rickenella fibula sensu lato


Fruitbody darker colours, stem apex often violaceous

Rickenella swartzii


Associated alga of obvious flattened squamules. Frb white, flat topped, with lilac tinges at the base. Open areas

Lichenomphalia 'Cobb valley'


Associated alga smaller granules or an algal mat. Frb brown, cream, orange, yellow, pink



Frb with tan colours, cap convex, undulating, stem scurfy, especially towards base.

Lichenomphalia 'Otira Gorge'  


Frb with other colours, or cap flat or depressed, and stem not scurfy



Frb cream to pink or yellow, in sphagnum bog, spore Q > 2

Lichenomphalia  'Lewis Pass'


Frb yellow to orange, spore Q < 2



Frb bright lemon yellow, alga granular, spore Q 1.7-1.9

Lichenomphalia alpina sensu NZ


Frb orange-yellow, alga a mat, spore Q < 1.7

Lichenomphalia chromacea.




Omphalina rivulicola aff. (=O. colensoi)

Possibly Omphalina pyxidata sensu NZ is a synonym and is a misapplication of the northern hemisphere O. pyxidata.

NZ material has a sequence match to O. antarctica. The species has been moved into .Arrhenia and has a drawing of the holotype looking somewhat different to this and the Genbank sequence a likely misidentification.

Omphalina wellingtonensis is described from New Zealand but is not a typical Omphalina in the modern sense. It looks superficially like Marasmius croceus/elegans but is more closely related to Mycena acicula (which is currently not correctly placed in Mycena)


Rickenella fibula

Rickenella swartzii

Lichenomphalia subgenus lichenomphalia

Lichenomphalia 'Cobb valley'

Lichenomphalia subgenus protolichenomphalia

Lichenomphalia 'Otira Gorge'

This is  Lichenomphalia velutina sensu NZ, a misapplication. Some specimens of L. umbellifera ss NZ are also referable to this species. It is related to L. velutina/grisella of the northern hemisphere.

Lichenomphalia  'Lewis Pass'

Lichenomphalia alpina ss NZ

Lichenomphalia chromacea

Cantharellula alpina Stevenson is a synonym. Horak (1971) A Contribution towards the Revision of the Agaricales (Fungi) from New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany, v9, pp403-462 considered this to be a Hygrophoropsis but re-examination of the type indicates it is a good species of Lichenomphalia.

L. umbellifera sensu NZ is a misapplication of this species or L. sp. 'Otira'.

Posted on April 11, 2015 07:05 AM by cooperj cooperj | 0 comments | Leave a comment


Key features for separating NZ species of Austropaxillus...

A. nothofagi
context yellowish-white, unchanging. Taste bitter. Hyphae clamped. spores over 11um

A. squarrosus
context yellowish to yellowish white, turning red. Taste bitter. Hyphae unclamped. spores under 10um

A. macnabii
context white, unchanging. Taste bitter. Hyphae unclamped. spores under 10um

Posted on April 11, 2015 07:46 AM by cooperj cooperj | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 12, 2015


Historically known in NZ as Phaeogyroporus portentosus. The genus Pheogyroporus is now generally considered to be a synonym of Phlebopus. Watling & Gregory considered Phlebopus marginatus and Phlebopus (Phaeogyroporus) portentosus to be synonyms, in which case the correct name would be the oldest available legitimate name, which is P. portentosus . P. portentosus was described from Sri Lanka and P. marginatus from Western Australia. It is clear from available sequences there are multiple species involved, although the sequences may not cover all taxa in each area. The New Zealand species is different to the Asian species and therefore is probably not P. portentosus. EU718109 (REH8883) is from Australia (NSW - and may represent P. marginatus. The Australian species is not the same as P. portentosus from Asia or the New Zealand species. Africa also has a different species. New Zealand material is most closely related to the Australian P. marginatus but there is sufficient difference in Australia/New Zealand sequences to consider them different species (92% similarity), and the NZ taxon needs a new name and currently has the tag name Phlebopus sp. 'Wellington'. The morphology needs checking to see if there are any detectable and stable differences, and if the Australian & Asian sequences really do represent P. marginatus and the Sri Lankan P. portentosus. The species is not ectomycorrhizal and is probably associated with insect nests.

See record ...

Posted on April 12, 2015 09:34 AM by cooperj cooperj | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 13, 2015

Bird's Nest Fungi

Distinguishing characters for the genera are ...

Crucibulum: receptacle cylindrical, with cap when you, eggs dull white, with short cord attached to eggs. Cyathus: receptacle cone shaped, with cap when young, eggs dark brown/black, with long cord attached to eggs. Nidula: cylindrical or cone shaped, with cap, eggs in gelatinous matrix, no cord attached to eggs. Nidularia: receptacle round shaped, no cap, eggs light brown in gelatinous matrix, no cord attached to eggs.

Examples of the New Zealand species:

Some with incorrect identified I think.

Crucibulum simile,

Cyathus striatus

Cyathus olla

Cyathus stercoreus - a blackish species on dung. Not yet recorded on NW.

Cyathus novae-zeelandiae is similar to C. striatus. The reported differences are that C. nz is supposed to be ridged to only about halfway down the cup and in C. striatus the ridges go all the way. In C. nz the spores are reported to be 7-12um wide and in C. nz only 5-6um wide. The outer surface of C. nz black. Unfortunatley these differences are not clear-cut. Cyathus colensoi and C. hookeri are probably just different stages of development of C. olla. C. hookeri was originally described from India. Sequenced collections labelled C. colensoi from India and C. hookeri from China have been shown to be the same as  C. olla from Canada, China and USA (in my opinion). (Zhao et al, Mycologia, v99, pp385-395, 2007).

Nidula candida Note the outer surface of cup is white and not tan. Receptacle usually 4-6mm high.

Nidula niveotomentosa  Note the outer surface of cup is tan and not white. Receptacle usually 10-15mm high. NZ collections are not the real N. niveotomentosa and will eventually be named N. lannosa.

Nidularia deformis

Update: 4th Jan 2023. This entry is now out of date. Current sequence data suggests all  NZ records of 'C. laeve', whether from natural or indigenous habitats, are the same species and it is not the northern C. laeve. The correct name for the NZ species is C. simile, and it is an indigenous species. Cythus olla, Cyathus stercoreus and Nidularia deformis are all confirmed by sequence and all are probable introductions. Above I suggested C. nz and C. striatus were synonyms, and that was subsequently supported in this paper: Molecular systematics and taxonomic overview of the bird's nest fungi (Nidulariaceae) - ScienceDirect. However, recent sequencing of another collection labelled C. nz indicates it is not the same as C. striatus. The data suggest PDD 76442 (cited in the paper as as C. nz) was incorecctly identified and is really C. striatus. So, the current data indicate we do have the indigenous Cyathus novae-zeelandiae as well as the introduced Cyathus striatus and I was incorrect about the synonymy. C. nz does seem to have a black outer covering and different sized spores, but more sequenced-based sampling is neeed to clarify the morphological boundaries because intermediates seem to exist. The degree of striation/ridges inside the cup does not seem to be relevent. Our version of Nidula niveotomentosa is also incorrectly named and not the same as the original species from the USA. It needs a new name. A recombination of  the NZ name Crucibulum vulgare var. lanosum  would be appropriate (as Nidula lanosum). NZ material of  Nidula candida remains to be sequenced and I suspect some confusion needs unravelling with the use this name in NZ. So, from a phylogenetic perspective, NZ Bird's Nest Fungi remain a work in progress.

Posted on April 13, 2015 12:52 AM by cooperj cooperj | 3 comments | Leave a comment

Xerocomus chrysenteron - cisalpinus

In 1968 Ross McNabb published a revision of our boletes in the New Zealand Journal of Botany, volume 6, pp137-176. In that revision he noted for the first time the occurrence of Xerocomus chrysenteron, the red-cracked bolete, as an ectomycorrhizal associate of a number of introduced broad-leaf trees. In the years since a number of similar looking fungi have also been reported such as Xerocomus pruinatus, X. badius and X. porosporus and I thought I had collected a number of them. Relatively recently in Europe molecular work has clarified species concepts in the group. As part of recent work towards a new revision of our boletes many of my collections in this group were sequenced. Very surprisingly nearly all the collections of different 'species' sequenced so far correspond to just a single recently described (recognised) species, X. cisalpinus. This was described from Italy and subsequently found in other European countries. The variability we have for this species seems to exceed that reported in its home territory and may explain some of the reports of other species in NZ (it certainly misled me). These could still turn out to be different species with very similar 'barcode' sequences, but what is certain is that they are not the same as the European X. chrysenteron , X. pruinatus, X. porosporus or X. badius and the appropriate name is X. cisalpinus.

It is quite hard to distinguish our variable X. cisalpinus from related species but the consistent character is the faint striations on the spores. It can only be seen using an oil immersion objective at 1000x, and even then when the spore is oriented at just the right angle (or using Differential Interference Optics).But if a lot of spores are viewed the striations are usually quite apparent. Sequencing has confirmed we do also have some other related species, specifically X. ripariellus and X. bubalinus. If the spores are truncated (only observable on mature spores) then X. porosporus is a possibility but there are no confirmed records so far.

The Large Subunit tree with all these species is attached to ...

Variability in X. cisalpinus

JAC9271 with Tilia -

JAC12731 with Tilia -

JAC9272 with Betula -

JAC10447 with Fagus -

JAC12880 with Quercus -

JAC9074 with Cedrus -

JAC9484 with cedrus -

JAC9075 with Cedrus -

The striation in the spores can be seen in the image associated with ...

Posted on April 13, 2015 04:37 AM by cooperj cooperj | 1 comment | Leave a comment