Observation 20610: Cordyceps Fr.

This bright yellow Club fungi stood about 8mm. It was growing in the sandy loam base in shade.
………….. have loaded a slightly enlarged image. Thanks all for the comments.

Species Lists


Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
The outline in what was left of the mass after tapping it and endeavouring to identify the parasite.
Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
White sack that the main roote seemed to terminate at.
Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Main mass after removing the surrounding wet sandy loam in an attempt to locate the host.

Proposed Names

29% (1)
Recognized by sight
75% (3)
Recognized by sight: certainly the fruit body is a dead ringer for a cordyceps. rhizomorphs could be headed down to an already digested truffle. insectoid bits could just be “red herrings” (to mix my morpho metaphors). And Podostroma, a yellow flask fungus, should have a wood host. You’ve convinced me!

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Comment Animal\fungi

Noah, I thought the sac looked like a sack that spiders here leave. There are a lot of spider holes in the areas I visit . These spiders are called Black wishbone spider (Dekana diversicolor) They have a nest that can be up to a foot down in the soil, and usually with two tunnels. (Hence the name wishbone spider.)
They seem to be a night spider as I have only seen them at the entrance of their tunnel. The fact that they have an underground nest may be what I saw at the end of the root.(egg sack) This is only an assumption on my part, but someone studying arachnids might know.

all right, you’ve convinced me.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-04-30 09:06:20 PDT (-0700)
It’s a Cordyceps
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2009-04-30 08:40:33 PDT (-0700)

with rhizos like this.

Ian, in your opinion is the whitish mass at the base fungal or animal?

as Gerhard was saying some cordyceps grow on hypogeus fungi which Australia has lots of…

Why not Cordyceps?
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2009-04-30 08:13:51 PDT (-0700)

Cordyceps is not only fruiting on insects but also on Elaphomyces and it could be some Elaphomyces in the ground, some real big one indeed but it could be … Ian writes about a black stain in a sack so that sounds good – it could be the rest of the spore mass …

excellant detective work Ian!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-04-30 08:09:46 PDT (-0700)

But I don’t think that your curious fungus is a cordyceps…the insect-eating cordyceps normally fruit directly from the body or pupae of an insect host; your fungus clearly shows mycelia heading off underground. there may have been insect coccoons or even insect parts in that soil/sand, but that’s prob. true for lots of random samples. back to the Podostroma drawing board, or something of that ilk…definitely some kind of flask fungus…

On closer inspection of the intact mass before you cleared the debris….was that an insect pupae right at the base of your first circled photo, and was that largest fruit body directly attached to it??? now that does look like a possible insect host…did you bring it back alive?(the fungus, not the poor insect). dry it if you can…

Revisit site.

4 days after the original find, I returned to the site & removed the fungi from its habitat. The fungi had deteriorated somewhat, but was still identifiable with the original images. I dug down to about 12 inches into the sandy loam and removed a ball shaped mass that was about the size of a ping pong ball. The sandy soil surrounding the mass was very damp. In the mass was a tirade of fine hair roots. I believe that not all of these belonged to the fungi. When I had separated the loose loam from the root system I found that from the largest of the fruiting bodies there was a root (Main root and thicker that the hair roots) that was about 4.5cm in length. At the end of this it disappeared into the hair root mass. At the most extreme edge of the mass, I found what I think was a sack white in colour, and did not have any obvious host that I could see with the naked eye. (42469)
I did have a loop with me and there seemed to be a black stain or shadow in the sack. The sack was only mm’s in size.The other fruiting bodies also seemed to be intertwined and leading to the centre of the mass. I have marked the main root (42470)to show its direction. Strangely there was another root from the main or biggest fruiting body that was not growing in the direction of the mass. There was some of it broken away when I dislodged the loose sand. It has been difficult to show what I found as I unravelled the mass I could see what was there, but the images do leave some speculation unless you know what to look for. As the fungi fruiting body was nearing its above ground life, maybe the host had been consumed. Hope this is not a bit of an anti-climax, but it is the best I can provide that I have recorded. GPS S 31.38.612 E 152.50.179

we can wait Ian, but our breath is bated!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-04-29 07:40:29 PDT (-0700)
It is also good
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2009-04-29 04:56:04 PDT (-0700)

to put some live material into the box too, e.g. leaves or moss to keep the fungal specimens alive and moist…

Little dig

Just arrived home after 18 hours. Found the site and will load tonight if I can stay awake.

storage of sprcimens.

Thaks Jason. I will try the idea.KK

My two cents…
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2009-04-28 15:30:31 PDT (-0700)

I have recently had some success preserving specimens, even on multi-day backpacing trips, by wrapping the fruiting body first in tissue paper (e.g. napkin, kleenex, toilet paper), then placing it in a hard-sided container. I could just stuff this in the top of my backpack and dry them out a day or two later (depends on how hot it is, of course). Plastic by itself was ineffective for me, as well. But wrapped inside thin tissue paper they would stay cool and moist, and I could crowd quite a handful together in the hard-sided plastic container.

good man! for a non-mushroomer…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-04-28 15:02:44 PDT (-0700)

you are certainly good natured about jumping through all of our taxonomic hoops!
Be sure to dig deep and carefully for that potential host…altho who knows what this will turn out to be in the end!

Now if I was a betting woman, we could make all of this speculative ID get a little more interesting…;)

By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2009-04-28 14:58:31 PDT (-0700)

I don’t think it is but it reminds me of Neolecta irregularis.


Debbie, I look like being able to get back to Katang this Wednesday. So, the dig will begin. At least I will be able to present a better description than the original file. kk

I wish!!

I wish I had dug it up, but didnt do it did I!! I really hope to get back to the site this week if possible. Update later, hopefully. There must be a way to do a spore count at home? Most of the time where I am it is not reasonably possible. Someone did suggest an alterative, maybe Rod, but I cant find the reference. I have tried plastic containers with separate sections,but this proved hopeless.

Debbie is right
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2009-04-26 07:47:30 PDT (-0700)

I would prefer Podostroma if coming to names but cannot rule out Cordyceps without further information on substrate

I can see perithecia (pimple-like pits) in your enlarged photo…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-04-26 07:43:55 PDT (-0700)

could be a Cordyceps or Podostroma of some kind. next time, dig it all the way up! if cordyceps, there could be an insect host under the ground, for an even more spectacular photo, not that you need a lot of help on that…;)

Created: 2009-04-26 06:07:05 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2009-04-26 06:07:05 PDT (-0700)
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