Observation 44915: Polyporus leptocephalus (Jacq.) Fr.

This reasonably small fungi does not appear in my records or references. I cant even find a fungi that has the cap shape. I have also as a matter of interest included a cropped image of the small (jelly-like) fungi shown on the log under the main fungi base. The polypore fungi was about 15mm in height.


Copyright © 2010 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Copyright © 2010 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Copyright © 2010 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Copyright © 2010 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Copyright © 2010 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia

Proposed Names

29% (1)
Recognized by sight
65% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: better known as Polyporus varius, a tiny variety like this has been called nummularius. They are usually black at the base of the stem, so I leave this as a “Could be”, in case it’s something different after all..

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Added Comment

I think I have an identification for the Icicle type fungi in Image 2.
The name I have is : Mucronella pendula


Thanks for the great comments. (some excellent reading)
For the layperson like myself any process that keeps it simple (if possible) is my relief. (I am not sure about overseas tree identification, but here you can have two very similar trees growing together in harmony and be totally different species.) I have over the years tried to learn as much about our trees (natives) but like Fungi, it does get confusing when you get down to the nitty gritty. Hope you have enjoyed my last postings. I do try to present an image that although lacking in technical detail is presented as I see it. Some say “nice pictures” but I am still learning. That’s life.

By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2010-05-02 14:07:01 PDT (-0700)

“Key to Pacific Northwest polypores:

This specimen was more like in the Pacific Southeast, methinks. :)

[serious mode on]

On the topic of keys, this suggests that what we really need are keys that have more than one path lead to the same eventual result. They’d branch off observable field characters, and a possibility would only get eliminated if say two or even three of those were wrong. Eventually the path would end at a species, or maybe a genus or a list of species for which there might be a second key, this time involving micro characters. People might stop there and call it a day or be more intrepid, get out the scope, and dig deeper for a more precise ID.

More links
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2010-05-02 10:47:41 PDT (-0700)

Field key to polypores:

Key to Stemmed, Pale-Fleshed Polypores:

Key to Pacific Northwest polypores:

Also worth reading:

There are no useful keys that cover every polypore in the world, but you can use them to get familiar with the most common genera and some of the better known species. The PNW key has the advantage of showing examples with pictures. Learning polypores by looking at pictures from many different sources is not bad, probably the best way to do it if you don’t have a teacher with you in the field.

The trouble with keys that try to use simple characters, is that it’s too easy to take the wrong direction in them. You will surely do that somewhere in the keys most of the time..
A species that is supposed to have a stem, doesn’t always have it.
The first year’s specimen of a perennial species will look like it’s annual, and an annual species can sometimes have several pore layers upon each other. Colours of caps and pore layers vary a lot between young and old specimen, etc, etc..

More accurate keys use a lot of micro characters from the start (examples are mono-, di- or trimitic hyphal structure, clamps or no clamps, different kinds of cystidia and setae). Such keys are made for experts – those who won’t use them anyway :-) With some training and being familiar with polypores, they already know what genera to choose from, and they only need to check a few distinguishing characters.

What you can do in the field (except taking photos of both caps and pore layers, of course), is to measure the pores carefully (number of pores per mm or cm), to find out the texture (woody or tough), any particular taste or smell, and try to see if it’s causing white or brown rot (is at least possible in dead wood). Spore colour is essential, and it’s usually important to know what kind of tree it grows on too.


Thank you so much for the detail info. I will spend time and go through all. As you noted Australian Fungi (apart from the M.O. postings seems to be a bit of a lost cause.) Noah Siegel is co-authoring a book on Australian Fungi at the moment. I am not sure how detailed it will be or what species it will cover. It has got to improve the situation that exists at the moment. I have most Australian publications, but again, as you stated “Poplypores” get a big miss.
Cant thank you enough for the links. I had forgotten about (Calphotos )
I do look at Cornell sometimes. Usually Google and that can be confusing, especially again as you know with the naming. I am always so pleased to get a name to a specimen. It is as important to me as finding one. I still dont have the equipment to check the spores, but I am working on it. What I find frustrating is apart from looking at photos (sometimes very poorly presented), I have great difficulty in doing any searches. Is there a site that has shape and/or other identifying characteristics that I can enter to get me started? (eg Physical characteristics) Chow, kk

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2010-05-01 05:46:18 PDT (-0700)

You could always try http://www.mycobank.org/mycotaxo.aspx
Many polypores are described there, the most comprehensive catalogue online actually (look at both Polyporus varius and f. nummularius).

Of course there’s no use trying to search for Polyporus only in this kind of checklist – it results in over 3000 polypores, all different genera. That’s the general trouble with the genus Polyporus..

A fine site with photos of polypores from all over the world:
(There you’ll find the small varius-form named Polyporus elegans)

Btw, sometimes they aren’t using the same names in IndexFungorum and MycoBank. To get things straight, I think this is a reliable source (but includes only species known from the British islands):

For comparing pictures of this particular species, MO is as good as any:
http://mushroomobserver.org/name/show_name/583 :-)

You’ll also find this cap shape in CalPhotos:
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/ (search for Polyporus varius)

…and the little “jelly” is a myxomycete, Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa.


Do you have a reference book name or site for these, Have nothing in my references. Chow. kk
ps what do you make of the other (very tiny) fungi included. (2nd image cropped )

Created: 2010-05-01 03:36:53 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2010-05-02 14:47:34 PDT (-0700)
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