Observation 167918: Phallaceae Corda

Maybe type of Truffle. This specimen was found on top of an area where the surface area had been disturbed during foraging,(I would presume). Bisected the specimen for further examination. I omitted to mention that this find only had an earthy aroma when cut. Hope to do micrographs near future.

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Proposed Names

29% (1)
Recognized by sight
3% (2)
Recognized by sight: Looks like Hysterangium or similar. Really doesn’t look like anything I’ve been exposed to. In Hysterangium the gleba is loculate, rubbery and tacky. In this obs. the tacky-ness has been sequestrated as part of the peridium, the gleba is loculate and separate. There may be a vestigial stipe or columella, located at the top of the second photo: the white columnar object. There appears to be basal rhizomorph present to the left of the first photo.
-9% (3)
Recognized by sight
61% (2)
Recognized by sight
43% (3)
Recognized by sight
61% (2)
Used references: On-line sources for Ileodictyon cibarium and I. gracile. Both are found in Australia. The outlines of the “cage” can be seen through the peridium in the first photo.

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Publication on Protubera canescens and Ileodictyon
By: Tom May (funkeytom)
2014-06-25 21:51:19 CDT (-0400)

I’ve uploaded a publication from the Victorian Naturalist about Protubera canescens probably being the unexpanded stage of an Ileodictyon. This has some cross sections of the developing egg, where you can see the detail of the minute arms of the cage in the initial stage.

Ileodictyon seems
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-06-23 11:30:42 CDT (-0400)

possible if not likely. I wonder about I. gracile vs. I. cibarium. But Ileodictyon seems likely, Tom. (Thanks for suggesting this fungus which I was completely ignorant of.) What I viewed as a stipe might well be a portion of the cage. As the fungus is unexpanded, I don’t know that species can be made or suggested. The difference seems to be whether the expanded cage is “smooth” or “wrinkled”.


The micrographs were taken from a section of the inner dark central area of the specimen. (Oil immersion + Melzers was applied.) The lower magnification seems to show better results for me. The highest magnification (100 x) oil immersion does not appear to be sharp. I have not succeeded in getting these images sharp every time for some reason. Hope these will help in some direction of identification. Some spores were floating freely originally and when observed appeared to be in a Banana shape and dark. Another slide I looked at seemed to be showing different shaped spores and was confusing and not loaded.

possible Ileodictyon egg
By: Tom May (funkeytom)
2014-06-21 05:49:38 CDT (-0400)

This is a long shot, but I wonder if it is an unexpanded cage fungus (Ileodictyon), as suggested by Daniel. The egg of cage fungus has very similar colour interior when young. You can see on your photo a wrinkling of the exterior that could correspond to the developing arms of the cage. One thing to look for is impression of developing arms on the interior of the outer membrane. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ileodictyon_cibarium for cross section of Ileodictyon cibarium and http://australianfungi.blogspot.com.au/... for great sequence of shots of development.


The Planted Pines are Hoop Pines. Here is a link but not sure if you will be able to open it. http://macleayvalleycoast.com.au/...
You may have to enter the address in your browser.

Just looked at the second photo again, Ian.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-06-21 02:17:30 CDT (-0400)

There gleba is loculate, meaning it has small chambers. There ais also a labyrinthine-like structure inside the gleba. Finally, there is a central opening or chamber, rather elongated, near the center of the gleba. (Try enlarging your second photo to “huge” or “full”).

I know there is a family called Labyrinthomyces, but don’t know much about it. I’ll try to find out more.

Not what I thought, Ian.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-06-21 02:09:49 CDT (-0400)

I suspected Phallogaster saccatus. This obs. is not that species.

It is not a species of Hysterangium, either. At least, not as I understand them. It is similar to Hysterangium, but has features not seen among Hysterangiums I have collected or read about.

Your obs. appears to be enclosed in a loosely fitted ova or egg, inside white something is growing. I suspect you will fing mature spores in the gleba, as the gleba usually doesn’t change color unless it is mature.

In Hysterangium, the gleba is enclosed in a sort of fatty-acid suspension. In your obs. the fatty acids (or something very similar to it) is reseverd to the inside of the sack. It is separate from the gleba, or spore-producing area.

I’m totally flummoxed now.

Let’s see if there is another way in to find this fascinating fungi. Do you know what species of Pinus is nearby? This fungus may well be species specific (found only) with that particular species of pine. It might even have been introduced into Australia via imported plant material. So, if we can identify the species of Pine, then it might be possible to determine the fungus.

A micrograph
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-06-21 00:54:50 CDT (-0400)

of spores would at least indicate what family we should be looking at. So yes, Ian, it would.

In any case, this is a collection which needs to be saved for future reference.


Thanks for the update. The Pines are Huge and at least over 100ft high. They were planted in a large circular area surrounding the now Picnic area, by the loggers after the logging camp was vacated. Will a micrograph reveal anything do you think?.

Some bird species in Oregon
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-06-20 18:52:11 CDT (-0400)

are known mycophagists. Not sure about Australia. I think many of the rarer marsupials in your area are mycophgists.

I’d guess Pine was the associate mycorrhizal host. The animal or bird which dug this up may have moved it some distance. But if the pines were 50 feet away and were 20 feet tall, this could have been fruiting under your feet where found. In Oregon there was an Oregon White truffle found 150 feet from the nearest Douglas-fir in a recently plowed field. The host tree there was 200 feet tall, though: well within the root zone of that tree.

This has the appearance of a Phallogaster, Ian. Might look like a stinkhorn or something similar. Could be a Australian stinkhorn egg, instead of a truffle. Many stinkhorns start forming as eggs, then erupt, breaking out of the egg and pushing through the soil to find air, where they attract flies and insects for spore dispersal. The “slime” could be a sack of viscid fluid to trap spoes in, and make them stick to a possible dispersal vector.

There’s so much about Australia I don’t know about.

Find description

The “fungi?” was in an area that I’d guess forest birds had been raking for food finds. It was alone in the environment and without any close trees or timber including roots etc. The area is close to a forestry planted area that verges onto a cleared picnic area. From the condition the find was in with dirt on all surfaces I was inclined to think it had been under the topsoil. The local soil consisted of mainly decaying leaves and forest debris. The closest trees would be Pines about 50feet from the find site. I always check this area as it is a common search area for disturbances by wildlife. When cut there was No distinct aroma. (earthy smell would be my best statement.) The closest Eucalyptus trees were Flooded Gums and further away than the Pines. There is a separation small garden strip on the top side of the find with a number of plants (Planted by Forestry employees), and most likely not all natives to the area.

Need to know possible mycorrhizal hosts, Ian.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-06-20 11:47:06 CDT (-0400)

What tree types was this found with? Eucalyts?

Was it found sort of on its side, with the length of the fungus above it? Looks like there may have been a basal attachment as well. Find more!

Created: 2014-06-20 06:23:39 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2014-06-23 17:06:17 CDT (-0400)
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