When: 2017-03-03

Collection location: West St. Louis Co., Missouri, USA [Click for map]

Who: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)

No specimen available

Don’t think I’ve ever seen this one before. Coral colored resupinate, poroid fungus on small decayed branch blown down during a thunderstorm in residential area.
Dry to the touch.


Copyright © 2017 Judi Thomas
Copyright © 2017 Judi Thomas
Copyright © 2017 Judi Thomas
Copyright © 2017 Judi Thomas
KOH reaction on pores.

Proposed Names

-22% (3)
Recognized by sight: Could be eroded
31% (3)
Recognized by sight
-22% (3)
Recognized by sight: If it was up high on a tree, it might be a slime mold
47% (2)
Recognized by sight
54% (3)
Recognized by sight

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Thank you again, Martin, for all the work
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2018-02-28 19:50:40 CET (+0100)

you did on this specimen (your observation #272341). With your microscopy and the reddish-purple KOH reaction I got on the pore surface, I now feel confident this is C purpurea.

Martin, I’m so glad you posted
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-03-19 01:08:34 CET (+0100)

all those photos and comments. Thank you so much. What wonderful images. I could see the translucent pore walls you spoke about; and the photos were so good I almost felt like I was looking through the microscope with you. Super job! Hope you can find some spores to look at. What fun!

Additional comments and photos at
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2017-03-18 20:45:38 CET (+0100)
Martin, you are right about the flexability; that’s my only
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-03-17 17:08:17 CET (+0100)

frustration … at times when I’d prefer a different depth of field for a particular shot. But for convenience, you can’t beat a pocket-sized camera, especially with all the other gear I take with me on forays. Nice shot of the Hemitrichia.

I used the same thing for a long time. I thought it was just as good
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2017-03-16 21:01:29 CET (+0100)

as using the big lenses. But I changed. Now I like the flexibility the big lens gives me, but it is certainly not as easy to carry around. I shot this with a camera similar to the one you use.


Martin, glad it arrived safely. Love your
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-03-16 16:14:09 CET (+0100)

pore descriptions. This is a very intriguing little crust. Such an interesting, irregular pores surface: some pores round (especially along the perimeter) and small (2/mm.); some twice as big (1/mm); most irregularly shaped and some elongated — and overall all so tiny that it really needs to be appreciated under a scope. I’m so happy you are willing to undertake this challenge.

Re: your lens question, I’m almost embarrassed to tell you experts (with your scopes and focus stackers) that my camera is just a little Canon pocket camera. For tiny things like this one I use the macro feature, but that has its limitations. For all the details on each image you can click on “Show EXIF Header” to see all the camera settings, lens info., 35 mm. equivalents, etc. — much of which is way above my head:)

Can’t wait to see what you discover. Thanks again for taking a look, Martin!

By the way, what lens was used in this photography? Nice close ups
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2017-03-16 14:45:33 CET (+0100)
Got it! Specimen and paper all arrived in fine shape.
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2017-03-16 14:40:18 CET (+0100)

I spent last night working with my stereo scope and will try focus stacking of some of the photos tonight. The paper you sent is especially good, although I did find a few terms which will require looking up. I can tell you that some of the pores look very conventional just as they do in your excellent photographs. Some dried with molasses-like encrustations on their surface, and some dried to a crispy translucent honeycomb! Surprised to see that! I plan to take a small piece and set it face down on a damp paper towel under a glass for a couple of days and see if it comes alive. This specimen is truly sub-millimeter in dimensions; an interesting challenge.

Martin, specimen is in the mail.
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-03-13 21:12:01 CET (+0100)

ETA is Wednesday or Thursday depending on the snow storm up your way. Hope you all don’t get buried. It’s all good moisture for this year’s mushrooms any way:)

By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-03-08 18:37:43 CET (+0100)

KOH flashed red then turned purple within 2 minutes. Will add photo right after this comment.

I agree, Debbie, O & A’s observation is excellent. It “takes a village” to get an identification on these crusts … or, I should say, it takes the wonderful community of MO users, who are always so willing to help:). Thank you for the KOH info.

And thanks again, Danny, for the name suggestion.

A big thank you to all who offered opinions, ideas, and help. Great job, everyone!

the Ceskas have a beautiful photo of Ceriporia purpurea
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-03-08 17:47:18 CET (+0100)

that looks an awful lot like what you have here, Judy. Nonetheless, in the case of crusts, best to get that micro confirmation.

Also, if you still have this fresh, and you have some KOH lying around, here’s what Mike Beug had to say about the chemical rxn.:

purple-violet reaction when KOH is dropped on the pores of Ceriporia purpurea

You are getting closer to an ID, Judi!

P.S. Also caused a white rot of the branch,
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-03-08 16:16:24 CET (+0100)

which was noted in the referenced paper.

Thank you, Danny for suggesting Ceriporia purpurea.
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-03-08 16:12:35 CET (+0100)

That looks very promising to me from several viewpoints: has been found in Missouri (according to www.discoverlife), grows on Oak (which were nearby), looks macroscopically like the MO observations #’s 137896 and 135111 and many online resources.

Some helpful references: http://www.researchgate.net/... (full-text PDF of this scientific paper which includes info on microscopy can be downloaded); http://www.aranzadi.eus/micologia/c ; http://www.kijkhiereens.nl/paarsewasporia.html

If Martin is still interested in doing microscopy on this specimen, he may be able to confirm the ID.

fair enough
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-03-08 01:13:24 CET (+0100)

yes, if it got wet, do dry before shipping. no point in sending mold to Martin!

Debbie, the piece of branch I found measures
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-03-07 21:14:25 CET (+0100)

2 cm. in diameter and is only 20 cm. long. It is well decayed: only small pieces of (also) decayed bark remain and it is so light weight that I have to think it is prime for a secondary decomposer, if this isn’t one already. The only thing I know for sure is that it is deciduous wood … lots of oak, some maple and some Sweet Gum in the area, but it was blown into a pile of other storm debris by 50 MPH winds so there is no way to tell for sure which tree it came from.

When I found it, it was dry as I mentioned in my notes. I felt it would be too brittle to remove intact from the substrate. After being outside on my deck in another thunderstorm last night the whole ensemble — fungus and branch — feel damp now, of course.

Martin has generously offered to scope it, so I’ll send it off to him as soon as it dries out. Do you think I should put it in my dehydrator or just get some sun to it and let it dry naturally? I’ve never dried a crust polypore before. Thanks for your help.

do you know the wood?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-03-07 20:12:01 CET (+0100)

was the fb soft or hard?

I think we’ll need micro to go any deeper on this ID.

Or as Danny quoted on another crust obsie much like this one:

“All resupinate polypores, with some striking exceptions (very irregular pore surface and exceptional colours), must be microscoped to get a reliable identification.”

Which reddish, widely spaced, irregular pored Poria sp. are you suggesting here, Danny? Yeah, sensu lato, in the broad sense. Is this really the best descriptor for what we actually have here, a completely unknown but distinctive crust sp.?

At least we KNOW it’s fungal. Or DO we??!

Debbie, that sounds like an incredible
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-03-07 19:58:15 CET (+0100)

experience. I’ve had no such opportunity to explain my fascination with crusts, but I agree with you that they are cool … enigmatic and COOL!

Wonderful, Martin! I’d be delighted to send
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-03-07 19:29:27 CET (+0100)

the specimen to you. It was on my deck overnight and the branch soaked up a bit of last night’s rain, so let me dry it out before putting it in the mail. You can email me your address if you like.

When I first examined it, it reminded me of Phlebia, but I ruled that out (maybe mistakenly) because it is so tiny and was dry to the touch … not gelatinous at all. As I mentioned in the notes, this piece of branch was apparently blown out of a tree during a recent thunderstorm and I found it on the ground among other storm debris. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing in which direction it was growing.

I’m thrilled that you are willing to look at this. Thanks so much for your help.

Judi – Do you think this fb was down facing when it formed?
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2017-03-07 18:53:22 CET (+0100)

I am guessing no because of the overall shape of the fb on the wood. But those pores! (if that is what they are). They look more like bubbles to me, which does not rule out the possibility of pores, just saying, pore size is often used as an identifying feature of polypores. Most polypores I know like to keep their pores pretty much all the same size…, If you are willing to part with it, I would love to try to scope it. I’m far from an expert, but I am a heck of a lot better than I used to be…, You’ve got spores there for sure.

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-03-07 18:27:06 CET (+0100)

so, one thing that I learned from Tom Bruns, who is also a big crust fan, is that if your crust doesn’t produce spores, just toss it out. No way to ID it. Now this is of course discounting DNA as a simple ID tool, but since when has anything, including DNA, been simple?

It sure costs somebody time and money to run DNA. And then you need a library of perfectly IDed samples already up on Genbank to compare with.

If you haven’t ever scoped these tho, you are in for a treat! The Nakasome/Bruns Crust Workshop at the NAMA foray in Scott’s Valley, CA, back in 2010, made a crust fan outta me! It helped that we were using those nice UCB scopes, and that we had a full compliment of chemicals and we had a lab full of all of the relevant literature and we had several hours in which to work and had one of the premier crust mycologists teaching the workshop.

But still. It all boiled down to crusts are cool as hell!

Whenever I find an unusual crust …
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-03-07 18:14:54 CET (+0100)

I’m almost certain it will be relegated to the pile of “Unknowns.” However, I can’t resist the feeling that they deserve to be recognized. Maybe someone in the next generation of mycologists will take up their cause. In the meantime, you and I (and very few others) can just continue to enjoy their unique “cool-ness.”

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-03-07 17:22:25 CET (+0100)

micro is essential to crust ID, as is having all the right literature. AS IF!

Still, fun to find these oddballs, and their microscopy is even better!

So many cool crusts; so hard to ID!
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2017-03-07 17:05:44 CET (+0100)
cool crust.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-03-07 04:16:54 CET (+0100)