Observation 31461: Xylariaceae Tul. & C. Tul.
When: 2010-01-04
No herbarium specimen

Notes: Not sure what this is – any suggestions? It’s about 4cm high (1.5 inches), and it’s growing on dead wood in a sub-tropical rainforest. The white is spores.

[admin – Sat Aug 14 01:58:32 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Big Scrub loop, Nightcap NP, NSW’ to ‘Big Scrub loop, Nightcap National Park, New South Wales, Australia’


Here are two more images that are possibly the same species. They were found at the same time in the same area.
Here are two more images that are possibly the same species. They were found at the same time in the same area.
One last one to show what the other (presumed) species looks like.

Proposed Names

7% (3)
Recognized by sight
23% (3)
Recognized by sight
27% (1)
Recognized by sight
12% (3)
Recognized by sight

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2010-01-06 12:56:11 PST (-0800)

I think your guess is as good as mine. It looks weird and very unusual in the third picture with development of a conidial stage on one of the two branches and the other still too immature, but I don’t have any better ideas here.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2010-01-06 11:08:27 PST (-0800)

But Irene, what about the brown mushroom that the white one is fused to in the 3rd photo?? I doubt that two fruiting bodies arising from the same cluster would mature at such different rates, and look so vastly different in shape as well…

Regarding the 3rd photo- if the white fruiting body had been parastitized at a very young stage of development, I can imagine how it would become so deformed as it grew, looking nothing like the uninfected fruiting body next to it.
It doesn’t really explain why the border of infection would be so abrupt, but perhaps the parasite is working its way to the next one..

Also, if you look at the 2nd photo, you can see that it is all white, but is not flattened and irregular and crusty like the other white ones… I propose that it has retained a shape like the host due to a later stage infection that took hold after the fruiting body was mostly formed. Thus, the parasite would not have influenced the shape of the fruiting body as much. It just looks like a less advanced stage of parasitism on an already mature fruiting body.

Well that is the only explanation I came up with to describe what could be going on. Calling this one species just doesn’t do it for me; it leaves too many curiosities unaddressed.

White layer
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2010-01-06 04:49:35 PST (-0800)

usually consists of conidia, produced by the Xylaria species itself.
Cracked surface is typical for Xylaria longipes, so this could be it.

Please clarify
By: Steve Axford (steveaxford)
2010-01-06 03:15:12 PST (-0800)

So what is eating what? Is the top one eating the bottom, or visa versa?

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2010-01-05 21:42:31 PST (-0800)

I’ve convinced myself that this is probably something in the Xylariaceae Family (a group of carbonaceous fungi), and it appears that it (the host) is being consumed by a Hypomyces, perhaps H. triseptatus..

Thanks CC
By: Steve Axford (steveaxford)
2010-01-05 13:21:18 PST (-0800)

I’ll have to study them a bit more as they are very common around here. They also seem to last a long time. There is one fallen tree (quite a large tree) that is covered with one or more species. They are quite rare in more temperate climates, but not here, so I should be able to trace their life cycle. If there is some parasitism, it should happen again.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2010-01-05 11:49:24 PST (-0800)

Well the beige one looks kind of like a Podostroma, but the white thing…

I did find reference to one Hypomyces that is known to parasitize other pyrenomycetes, however only the abstract and first page are freely available, and it does not specify the host. I can not find any photos or other information. H. triseptatus is known only from Africa, Asia, and Australia…

By: Steve Axford (steveaxford)
2010-01-05 00:26:07 PST (-0800)

Weird isn’t it? I thought it had to be two species, but I’m really not sure. In general those two fungi were growing separately, but this one was different.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2010-01-04 23:31:37 PST (-0800)

What is going on in that last photo!?!

Now I am more confused than when I started…

I was thinking of suggesting a Hypomyces, but I don’t know of any species that attack other pyrenomycetes, and the flattened shape and ridged tips is unlike the potential host.

In reply to your last comment Steve, had it not been for the last image posted, I would say that the white is probably conidia.. But now I am not so sure.

By: Steve Axford (steveaxford)
2010-01-04 22:50:48 PST (-0800)

But if it were Xylaria hypoxylon it could be all white with the white poweder being asexual spores.

Probably not Xylaria
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2010-01-04 19:50:08 PST (-0800)

which would have black spores.
sorry, I have no other ideas…

Created: 2010-01-04 13:32:13 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2010-08-13 18:58:32 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 183 times, last viewed: 2016-10-23 21:12:13 PDT (-0700)
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