Observation 21337: Diderma Pers.,

At first glance I thought this were eggs of an insect. But under closer examination it appeared to be a fungus. Is this really a fungus? One of Sebacina perhaps?

Lat.: 46.33209 Long.: 13.47686
Code: Bot_343/2009-8308

Habitat: Alpine upland, partly steep grassland partly Pinus mugo stands, east oriented slope, fully exposed to sun and precipitations, just one or two meters off still snow covered terrain, precipitations ~3.000 mm/year, average temperature 2-4 deg C, elevation 1.530 m (5.000 feet), alpine phytogeographical region.

Substratum: Dead rotten grasses and twigs laying on ground where the snow melted just a few days back.

Place: East of Mt. Babanjski Skedenj, 1.963 m (6.317 feet), Mt. Kanin mountain group, Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia EC

Outer white shell of ‘balls’ breaks off easily. Beneath it is another irregular white-black check-board like ‘crust’,. Underneath it there is a sometimes dense, sometimes loose net of shiny black fibers (hyphae ?) mainly radially oriented. In the middle there is a black mass with apparently some hollow spaces. Specimens brought home produced abundant ‘black smoke’ when moved after two days of drying. Probably spores? It is interesting that the place where I photographed the stuff had still to be covered by rapidly melting snow just a few days before I took the pictures.

Nikon D70 / Nikorr Micro 105mm/f2.8

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:03:17 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Mt. Kanin mountain group, Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia EC’ to ‘Mount Kanin mountain group, Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia’

Species Lists



Proposed Names

28% (1)
Recognized by sight
56% (1)
Recognized by sight
90% (2)
Recognized by sight: seems to be either Diderma niveum or Diderma alpinum but there are much more of them on the snowbanks in spring … microscopical investigation needed to be sure of identity

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: amadej trnkoczy (amadej)
2009-05-30 02:37:27 AEST (+1000)

Thanks to all for bringing some light to my ignorance. I added a scale to three pictures.

Diderma sp.
By: Clive Shirley (myxo)
2009-05-28 05:34:15 AEST (+1000)

Good photos and description, I too keyed these out to the same species as Gerhard has. Interesting seeing a snow bank species as living in a warm county snow is not something I see very often.

With double walls
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-05-28 02:49:22 AEST (+1000)

A couple of possibilities: Diderma globosum (var. europaeum) if there’s no columella (a firm ball inside the fruitbody). With a pale brown columella, it could be Diderma testaceum. These species are very difficult to tell apart, even with a microscope.

Created: 2009-05-27 23:51:58 AEST (+1000)
Last modified: 2014-07-15 01:17:14 AEST (+1000)
Viewed: 201 times, last viewed: 2018-07-20 05:11:43 AEST (+1000)
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