Bluish discomycete

Please try to include photos to show all parts of the fungus, eg top, stem, and gills.
Note any smells, and associated trees or plants (eg oak, birch). A spore print can be very useful.
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jimmymac2
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Bluish discomycete

Post by jimmymac2 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:30 pm

Hello

Today at Devils Dyke on the South Downs I came across this dark bluish disco underneath a log in Ash woodland (so the log presumably belongs to Ash). It is 1mm in diameter. I've attached photos of the whole fruitbodies along with my best efforts at microscopy. The asci are approximately 5um in width and the spores are asymmetrical (elliptical) 8.5um in length and 1.5um in width.

Any help would be much appreciated! Sorry if the microscope photos aren't that clear.

James
Attachments
blue disco asci dd nommnts.jpg
blue disco asci mmnts.jpg
blue disco dd 2.jpg
blue disco dd sp mmnts.jpg
blue disco dd.jpg
Always keep your eyes open... :shock:

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Chris Yeates
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Re: Bluish discomycete

Post by Chris Yeates » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:22 pm

Hi James
on wood this is probably a Mollisia. Not an easy area - in the past this would probably have been called Mollisia cinerea by most people (a bit of a dumping ground, in the same way that old "Scutellinia scutellata" will have covered several species).

If you haven't already download this: http://www.mollisia.de/start.html click on the British flag first. Then read the introductory notes carefully. A lot of the key characters are those listed by Andreas in response to your white discomycete post. The amount of oily droplets in the spores is important. The first thing to check, however, is that the paraphyses contain oily refractive bodies - that separates Mollisia from Pyrenopeziza (which lacks these). Also having KOH is important; some species give a colour reaction - like this:http://www.ascofrance.com/search_recolte/3202 (though your fungus is definitely not M. rosae). That reaction is due to the reaction of those paraphyses contents with the chemical; it can be quite quick, so is best seen (if it happens) by feeding a little KOH at the edge of a water mount and then watching down the 'scope until it reaches the specimen.

Hope that helps a bit.
Chris
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

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jimmymac2
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Re: Bluish discomycete

Post by jimmymac2 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:24 am

Hi Chris

Thanks for the link to that key - really helpful! I ran it through the key using the following characters I was able to see on my specimen:
  • Oil 3
  • KOH+ yellow (not overly strong)
  • Aseptate spores
  • Spores smaller than 13-18(20) x 3.5-4.2 µm
These led me to Mollisia fusca, which also seems to fit in terms of general appearance.

James
Always keep your eyes open... :shock:

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Chris Yeates
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Re: Bluish discomycete

Post by Chris Yeates » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:51 am

Good work James
let's hope the man himself (Andreas) will make a comment. The key thing is that the whole exercise has given you a lot of experience/learnt skills - ultimately it's the only way one starts to get to grips with a group.

PS - a good set of images of Mollisia fusca here - from a very experienced Spanish mycologist:http://www.ascofrance.com/search_recolte/4450
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

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