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Observation 11064: Helotiales Nannf.

When: 2008-09-10

Collection location: Forest near Elgin St., Pembroke, Ontario, Canada [Click for map]

Who: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)

No specimen available

These were tiny, maybe 2mm across at the largest. I very nearly overlooked them, and was unable to get a really crisp photo of such small things.

Update, Sept. 15 — got much better photos of these fairy cups.

Update, Oct. 9 — took a photo from a distance, to show how this small chunk of wood with fungi on it will appear from the vantage point of someone walking along a path.

Update, Oct. 23 — took another relatively close-up photo. The fruit-bodies are quite long-lived with this species. They seem to have enlarged some.

You have to be paying attention to spot some of these tiny ascomycetes. In this case, they’re so crowded on that stick that there’s a sizable zone of nearly solid yellow. In many cases, this species produces just a few scattered discs, and then it is extremely difficult to spot.

On the plus side, this particular species of cup produces long-lived fruit-bodies, persisting for at least a full month in some cases. If you visit a patch of woods regularly, your odds of spotting these therefore improves dramatically as you get many chances to spot a given fruiting.

Such is not the case with many of the other small, colorful cup fungi.

Species Lists


Proposed Names

61% (2)
Recognized by sight: Little yellow discs on wood, crowded and numerous
28% (1)
Recognized by sight
72% (3)
Recognized by sight

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


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