Observation 204438: Xylocoremium flabelliforme (Schw.: Fr.) J.D. Rogers
When: 2015-05-15
No herbarium specimen

Notes: Found on a decaying log in bottomland woods. Removed for a better photo, and this one is not too good. Compared with the size of a penny this is unbelievably tiny. This was the biggest of the group. Left the others in hope they will grow. There is a single point of attachment beneath, but could not call this a stalk. Specimen not slimy or jelly-like. Just feels like fairly firm tissue.

Proposed Names

-28% (1)
Recognized by sight
56% (1)
Recognized by sight
61% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: Anamorph name

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus

Comments

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Thank you Roo!
By: weed lady (Sylvia )
2015-05-18 08:03:21 EDT (-0400)

You put all this in terms that I could understand – really! Appreciate your taking the time for this explanation. Now that I have seen all the observations of both names used for this fungus I am amazed how different it looks. Glad I found it and learned just a tiny bit more about fungi. Always amazing to me.

Anamorphs
By: Roo Vandegrift (Werdnus)
2015-05-17 18:40:29 EDT (-0400)

Oh, the anamorph/teleomorph thing: probably the most confusing aspect of fungal naming conventions. Lots of fungi have distinct asexual forms that are very different looking from their sexual forms; for example, you probably know what Penicillium is, but have you ever seen a Talaromyces? You probably have: that’s a genus of ascomycete with a Penicillium anamorph. The problem was, back in the day, if you had an asexual fungus (an anamorph), you couldn’t really know what the sexual structures would be, or if it even HAD a sexual stage. So people started naming both. And then some people started putting together that some fungi had two names, one for the sexual stage (teleomorph) and one for the asexual stage (anamorph). But at that point, there wasn’t really any better way to do it, so the system of two names stuck.

Luckily, now we have DNA. The last gathering of the group that oversees naming conventions decided to do away with the two names: they called it (creatively) “one name, one fungis”. Hurrah! And now, we’re in the middle of changing systems, and there’s old-guard mycologists that are resisting the change, and fights about what the final name will be: for a while, people were using the teleomorph as the “real” name, but the last word from the naming convention people seems to be “priority”, which means whatever the first name applied was. This means that all the Talaromyces will probably because Penicillium, but that a lot of things we call Penicillium now will have to change. It is an exciting time, and a confusing one.

What this all means for your fungus is that Xylocoremium flabelliforme is no longer an accepted name, though it is still used in practice, and probably will be for some time. Also, Xylaria cubensis is no longer right, because Xylocoremium flabelliforme was named first: the “correct” name for this fungus should Xylaria flabelliforme, but as far as I know no one’s published the change yet. The other weird thing about scientific names is that they don’t get “officially” updated until someone publishes it in a refereed journal, even when the changes to the naming conventions are clear.

This has been: a brief history of fungal nomenclature. Thank you, and have a good evening.

THANKS DANNY!!
By: weed lady (Sylvia )
2015-05-17 16:25:23 EDT (-0400)

I cannot believe that this was recognized by you so quickly. Initially I thought “no way” that anyone would know this species. I have now looked at the various observations of Xylocoremium flabelliforme (one in Missouri), and it sure looks like a winner to me. After going to a dictionary I still am not sure what “anamorph” name means. I looked at MycoBank and see the same terminology. Does this go by both names equally?? Thanks again for your sharp eyes and knowledge. I am anxious to see this again this week in my park to see what develops. Somewhat larger I hope.

Created: 2015-05-17 14:09:30 EDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2015-05-17 16:19:10 EDT (-0400)
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