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Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:18 pm
Yesterday I found this tiny discomycete under a piece of bark growing on a living tree. The largest fruit body (shown in the picture) is only 0.5mm along the long axis. I haven't done any microscopy yet in case it's not fully mature and I ought to let it mature first. I considered Snowy Disco however the younger fruiting bodies aren't yellowish-tinged as I usually see and the large one has a smooth margin. It'd probably be hard to tell from this photo, but does anyone have any ideas?
Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:53 am
impossible to say anything from foto, even if it would be a high resolution macro-foto.
It might be a Lachnum or Dasyscyphella, it might be a Cyathicula, a Calycina - it mght as well be a cyphelloid basidiomycete like Cellypha or Cyphella or whatever.
To me it seems perfect mature and probably already tending to be overmature, so you should do microscoping soon in my opinion.
With these fungi it is always welcome and important to have some data on the ecology. Like you did, and "under bark of living tree" certainly rules out a lot of genera and species. If you could provide together with microscopical details also the host - and even if its decidous or coniferous tree - could be a hint more towards a determination.
Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:29 pm
Thanks for your response! The tree is an Alder, perhaps that could narrow it down. As for the microscopy, here's a very poor photo of the spores (I think I need to get my 'scope fixed and it's a school night so I couldn't get the proper camera out to measure them). Maybe the shape at least could help. No worries if you can't get anything from it, I wouldn't blame you at all!
Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:57 am
if those are the spores belonging to the fungus, and not conidia, it seems likely that it is a Lachnum species.
IF it is a Lachnum, then we would need for determination:
- size of the spores
- oil content of the spores
- croziers at the ascus base yes/no
- paraphyses (and hairs) without content or with refractive guttules
- paraphyses width
- paraphyses standing out over the hymenium by how many µm (0µm, 5--15 µm, 15-30 µm ...)
- hair length of the marginal hairs and of the hairs on the flanks
- number of septae of the hairs
- hairs apically cylindrical or enlarged/club-shaped
so, if we have these characters, we can quite certainly tell which species we have here
The more characters we don't know, the less sure a determination will be or we will end up with a number of possible species.
Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:39 pm
Thanks Andreas - I think I might leave this at genus level for now - I'll keep your response in mind however for when I'm identifying Lachnums in the future, when I'm somewhat adept. I'll keep the specimen though.