When: 2010-02-06

Collection location: Tara Ridge, Booyong, New South Wales, Australia [Click for map]

Who: Steve Axford (steveaxford)

No specimen available

This is a relatively common luminous mycena, but it is very bright.

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:06:41 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Tara Ridge, Booyong, NSW’ to ‘Tara Ridge, Booyong, New South Wales, Australia’

Species Lists


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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


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By: Robert Sasata (Sasata)
2010-02-07 23:02:19 CST (-0500)

Thanks for the link… I cannot find the Shepherd & Totterdell 1988 paper that is referred to. I’m assuming this name has not been validly published? Will email the Springbrook Research Centre to get more info.

would a mushroom by any other name glow as bright?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-02-07 22:40:55 CST (-0500)

nice link! well Steve, you’ve convinced me.

Mycena chlorophanos is the commonly used name for a well known species in Australia, not just by your say so, but through a fairly extensive google search.
There are differences between the Northern Asian sp. M. chlorophos (which some would like to make it) and this Australian specimen.

I prefer to defer to the knowledgeable local in these local matters.

Until I can be convinced otherwise, I vote for chlorophonos.

To Debbie
By: Steve Axford (steveaxford)
2010-02-07 22:12:45 CST (-0500)

These are similar. The old mushrooms don’t glow as much as those at their peak and the young ones don’t glow so much either. At their best, these look green when in deep shadow even in daylight. They are the brightest mushrooms I have seen, which is why they photograph so well with a digital camera. I have been told that when grown from spore, that only some turn out as luminous. That is very odd. ref http://www.springbrook.info/research/Mycena_chlorophanos.htm

By: Steve Axford (steveaxford)
2010-02-07 22:01:21 CST (-0500)

Shepherd & Totterdell 1988. Mycena chlorophanus is the name usually applied to Australian luminous Mycena, but it is still debated, and there are at least 4 other species of luminous mycena in Australia. The species is similar to Mycena chlorophos, which is a northern hemisphere species, but there are some notable differences. These include the shape and stipe length, which is generally much shorter. I am sending some specimens to a Mycologist for a definite id.

M. chlorophos
By: Robert Sasata (Sasata)
2010-02-07 21:15:00 CST (-0500)

Looks like Mycena chlorophos (Berk. & M. A. Curtis) Sacc. (synonymous with Mycena cyanophos (Berk. & M. A. Curtis) Sacc.) is the correct spelling, according to Desjardin et al., (2008), “Fungi bioluminescence revisited”, Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, 7:170-182. This excellent review article has a listing of all 64 known bioluminescent fungi, including the 8 new (2007) Brazilian luminescent Mycenas.

amazing photos.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-02-07 21:14:00 CST (-0500)

in California our bioluminescent Omphalotus olivascens glows most brightly in prime material at the peak of spore production…older, waterlogged and younger material doesn’t.

perhaps it attracts insect spore vectors?

By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2010-02-07 20:41:15 CST (-0500)

I haven’t been able to find an author of M. chlorophanos. A Google search found Mycena chlorophos as a synonym which is in Index Fungorum. Anyone know what the deal is with these names?

30 sec
By: Steve Axford (steveaxford)
2010-02-07 20:23:56 CST (-0500)

30 sec , f11, ISO400. I was surprised at how bright it was.

By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2010-02-07 02:41:20 CST (-0500)

How long of an exposure was used?

Not age
By: Steve Axford (steveaxford)
2010-02-07 01:33:00 CST (-0500)

Not age. It’s just that some are luminous and some aren’t.

By: Michael W (Michael Wallace)
2010-02-06 13:52:24 CST (-0500)

I’m interested in searching for bioluminescent Mycena species here in New Zealand this season, it’s interesting that some specimens glow and others don’t, could it have something to do with the age of the specimens?
It’s also known that some collections of Roridomyces roridus are bioluminescent while some are not, I hope someone can answer this question.

Why is it luminous
By: Steve Axford (steveaxford)
2010-02-06 02:45:26 CST (-0500)

Some of these mycena are luminous and some are not. Why would this be so???