Observation 34849: Sarcosoma latahense Paden & Tylutki

When: 2010-03-15

Collection location: Berkeley Hills, Berkeley, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Eric Geller (sagacious)

No specimen available

Found scattered to loosely clustered in oak/bay lowlands. There were no conifers or conifer duff in the immediate area of two observations approx 2km apart. Substrate was thin oak duff and moss over dense, claylike soil. The stubborn nature of the soil twice frustrated attemps to dig up and uncover any trace of an elongated, buried stem, such as some Plectania species possess. I have been unable to discover if this species has an elongated stem and have only recovered a short, quickly tapering, smooth stem.

Observed cups measured from approx 1 to 3cm in diameter, and felt rubbery and tough. The intact specimen above the sectioned halves in the photo is 32mm in diameter. Cup margins are slightly incurved. Some (presumably older) specimens had on previous observations shown to be mostly rubbery throughout, with no ‘jelly.’ Other (presumably younger) specimens showed more of a translucent ‘jelly-like’ material within the sectioned cup base. Upon touch, the ‘jelly’ felt more viscid and rubbery than soft and gelatinous.

Inspection with a hand lens showed relatively short, silver hairs on the exterior of the cup.

Review of several sources and use of the Sarcosomatacea trial field key kindly provided by D. Deshazer still had me at a loss for a confident species ID. Several species in Sarcosoma, Plectania, and Pseudoplectania appear to be possible. Assistance with identification to genus or species is welcomed.

[admin – Sat Aug 14 01:58:29 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Berkeley Hills, Berkeley, Alameda County, CA, US’ to ‘Berkeley Hills, Berkeley, California, USA

Species Lists



Proposed Names

53% (2)
Used references: National Audubon Field Guide to Mushrooms
Trial field key to the species of SARCOSOMATACEAE in the Pacific Northwest
73% (2)
Recognized by sight: Based on the dwindling gel as they age.

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
That was my first thought…
By: Eric Geller (sagacious)
2010-03-16 03:50:24 CDT (-0400)

Very good. I was hopeing someone would recognize the species from a sectioned specimen. S. latahense appeared to be the best match within the black cup fungi, based on size, range, and appearance.

Created: 2010-03-16 01:09:47 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2016-02-13 16:07:29 CST (-0500)
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