Observation 121836: Lasiobelonium corticale (Pers.) Nannf.

Original Herbarium Label: Lasiobelonium corticale (Pers.) Raitv.
Growing in cracks of bark of living Acer macrophyllum tree
Collected by Ryan Batten & Oluna Ceska
Asci 91-120 × 10 µm, with J+ pores; spores 16-21 × 4 µm with one septum
Herbarium Specimen: UBC F25732

Species Lists


Apologies for posting this drawing so late! It took us almost four years.

Proposed Names

34% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
Based on microscopic features
-14% (2)
Based on microscopic features

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Create the list of useless comments!
By: Oluna & Adolf Ceska (aceska@telus.net)
2013-02-10 23:09:54 CET (+0100)

Create the list of useless comments, if you don’t want to refrain from posting comments unrelated to the particular observations! I have been suggesting to the MO gurus to create extra “annotation” comments that would have the format of herbarium annotation notes: new name, author of the “annotation”, date, and (if possible) the reason for the change. (For real annotations one has to have a real specimen in the hand, but those MO “annotations” would be the closest label one can get to in the virtual world.) Such notes would have some sense only for those observations that have supporting herbarium specimens and I would like to see something like “Mushroom Observer Professional” that would not allow observations without supporting herbarium specimens, not speaking about observations without any images. Adolf

I wish it were, AOC
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2013-02-10 21:46:35 CET (+0100)

but there is no other venue on the site for general conversation. That’s what spurred the creation of the Noteworthy Comment Threads species list, of which this observation is a recent inductee. There have been valuable conversations going on within one observation or another since the beginning of the site with no real way to browse for or return to them without prior knowledge of their existence. I’ve been clamoring for a forum for some time now, but it’s easier said than done, and easier still when the person(s) wanting a feature don’t have to actually put in any of the work to code it into being.

If it’s any consolation to your observation being hijacked, I think the discussion here adds value, whether or not its immediately relevant to the specimen in question.

L. lonicerae
By: h.baral
2013-02-10 21:10:25 CET (+0100)

Sorry for not speaking about Lasiobelonium. For the clarification of this collection we need to know the range of spore size (I overlooked your values until presently, sorry. I recommend to give a range also for the width). Also important are the ascus croziers, and the iodine reaction of the asci (in Lugol with at least 0.5% iodine, not Melzer, not pretreated with KOH). Typical for L. lonicerae is blue reaction that changes to red at higher concentration, the presence of croziers, and a spore size of 11-16 × 2.7-3.5 µm. Shape and surface (smooth or warted?) of paraphyses is another feature to look at.

You did not perform a drawing for this? I agree that the spore size is beyond that I have seen in L. lonicerae.

This is not a good place for general discussion
By: Oluna & Adolf Ceska (aceska@telus.net)
2013-02-10 19:36:07 CET (+0100)

Would it be possible to shift this discussion somewhere else? Most of this discussed here has nothing to do with Lasiobelonium corticale. AC

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2013-02-08 09:54:48 CET (+0100)

Thank you for the very informative post. I hope we have the good fortune of having you comb through some of our many, many unidentified discomycetes on the site. They are in desperate need of attention. I will certainly take your insights into account when conducting my own asco microscopy in the future.

Vital taxonomy
By: h.baral
2013-02-08 09:29:59 CET (+0100)

Good morning everybody

I looked yesterday with interest to the large amount of ascomycetes on this website. But I first overlooked the discussion about VT.

It is very normal, that the findings of VT, already made by Boudier over a hundred of years ago, receive little acceptance by some of us. Especially those who learned all their lives to make research on herbarium specimens will not change their mind. I know very well about this, it is my daily experience in the Ascofrance forum. Have a look there and you will recognize the details.

If you have severe doubts, please look at my homepage (presently there is almost only the start page showing some strong effects of VT). Depending on the browser, the page is not correctly shown (I know it works with firefox and chrome).


I will be happy to answer any further question, also I can send you materials by email.

About those fungi growing on exposed, periodically dry substrates, these are my favourites, because you can take them home when dry and rewetten them after 1-2 weeks, while they are still fully alive. But you may not be sure about this because even fresh fungi can be dead to their most parts, although they look quite good from outside. So you must learn to distinguish between living and dead cells. There exist a lot of species in semihumid to semiarid or even arid regions which survive even one or several years!

As an example, the Hymenoscyphus spores shown on my homepage contain regular oil drops when alive but when dead they show a large confluent guttule which has no taxonomic value at all. Likewise, the Orbilia spores on the upper right contain when alive a conspicuous “spore body” of high significance, but this is totally lost in the dead state.

On the left note the enormous shrinkage of asci when killed. Most reports on ascus size do not say in which state they were taken. And so on….


By: Oluna & Adolf Ceska (aceska@telus.net)
2013-02-08 09:09:03 CET (+0100)

All my mounts are first in water and all my measurements are done in water as well. Only then I use either Melzer or aniline blue. This is exactly how I was trained to do it at the Charles University (Prague), but we did not call it “vital”. OC

Vital taxonomy
By: Nicolas VAN VOOREN (NicoV)
2013-02-08 08:23:42 CET (+0100)

There is a confusion. Talking about vital taxonomy concerns the “way” of studying living material (fresh specimens). Although the external conditions influence the development of fungi, they are adapted to their environment. For example, Lasiobelonium species, growing on bark, are generally visible only when the air is wet, by a dried weather apotechia are closed. But, in these two cases, the fungus is alive. Take also example with lichens.
So the most important think to do to study these fungi is to observe them in a water mount (if possible distilled water). It’s neutral so it doesn’t alter organs and cells, and you can observe distinctly guttules, vacuoles, pigments, crystals, etc. The measurements have also to be made in water.
Then, after that, you can use reagents to highlight some features such as amyloid reaction of ascus top (with Lugol reagent, IKI, which is “better” than Melzer), cotton blue to observe spores ornamentation of Pezizales species, etc.
I encourage everybody to read and read again Baral’s paper. This is a bible for vital taxonomists!

Vital taxonomy vs. fresh specimens
By: Oluna & Adolf Ceska (aceska@telus.net)
2013-02-07 10:54:30 CET (+0100)

I am doing my microscopy from the FRESH material, but I don’t know how many times it had dried out and had been revived before I collected it. This particular fungus grows in the vertical bark crevices of living maples and is exposed to the elements of weather. I have no idea about how many times it got soaked in rain and dried on the sun before I collected it. “Vital taxonomy” is great in theory, but difficult to apply. How do YOU do it?
Spores and asci on the photos are after applying the Melzer reagent and yes, they are dead like a door knob. OC

Vital taxonomy
By: Nicolas VAN VOOREN (NicoV)
2013-02-07 10:18:28 CET (+0100)

Vital taxonomy has been exposed by Baral in Mycotaxon #44 (1992). The concept is that many cytologic characters are drastically altered during a drying process, so the best way to determine fungi, in particular with ascomycetes, is to study then in living state. After my own experience, it is almost impossible to determine correctly species of Helotiales if you do not study fresh specimens. For example, the genera Mollisia and Pyrenopeziza are easily separated by checking the content of the paraphyses. In Mollisia species, the paraphyses show a large refractive vacuole. This not the case for Pyrenopeziza species. But if you try to observe this character on dead material or on rehydrated specimens, it is very hard to observe such a character because in most cases the paraphyses are collapsed or the vacuole disappeared.
So, in my opinion, “vital taxonomy” is probably the only way to study correctly discomycetes.

Hans-Otto Baral
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2013-02-07 09:08:42 CET (+0100)

I knew I’d heard that name somewhere before. Mr. “VITAL TAXONOMY.” I can think of at least one major mycologist who considers the possibility of such dramatic differences between microcharacters in living vs. dead tissue a dubious one, but the images and general concept have interested me for some time.

NicoV, do you know anything more about this?

Not possible for L. corticale
By: Nicolas VAN VOOREN (NicoV)
2013-02-07 08:42:15 CET (+0100)

Spores size of lonicerae given in Nordic Macromycetes is under reality. It can reach 16-17 µm in length when mature (probably more on overmature spores) and the presence of a septum is a good character for diagnostic. L. corticale has bigger spores which are aseptate.
The species described in Fungi of Switzerland, vol. 1, under the name Dasyscyphus corticalis has been revised by Hans-Otto Baral (the world specialist of Helotiales) and appears to be L. lonicerae.

Sizes of spores and asci fit to Lasiobelonium corticale
By: Oluna & Adolf Ceska (aceska@telus.net)
2013-02-07 08:20:10 CET (+0100)

Spores of our specimen are 16-21 × 4 µm and they would fit Lasiobelonium corticale better than L. lonicerae (cf. Nordic Macromycetes: Vol. 1. Ascomycetes, p. 203). According to Nordic Macromycetes: Vol. 1. Ascomycetes, p. 204, L.lonicerae has smaller spores (8.5-10.5 × 2-3 µm).
Our asci are 91-120 × 10 µm and the Nordic Macromycetes gives 83-102 × 7.5-9 µm for L corticale, and 50-60 × 5-6.5 for L.lonicerae.
Description and drawing in Fungi of Switzerlannd, Vol.1 p. 188 (sub Dasyscyphus corticalis) also fit our collection well.

Not L. corticale
By: Nicolas VAN VOOREN (NicoV)
2013-02-07 07:23:57 CET (+0100)

Lasiobelonium corticale has great spores (reaching 25-28 µm in length), without septum. Your micropictures show clearly spores with one septum. The scale is not provided, but the shape is different than L. corticale. If you can give the spore size it will confirm my determination.
The spores that you show are dead and the guttules are altered comparing their living state.
L. lonicerae is quite common on Acer.

Created: 2013-01-01 05:00:20 CET (+0100)
Last modified: 2016-12-09 09:14:22 CET (+0100)
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