Observation 45695: Marasmius crinis-equi group

Substrate: wood, leaf litter, duff, debris
Smell: nondescript
Spore Color: white

This Marasmius sp. consists of an entangled network of primary stems from which individual fruit bodies are produced on their own shorter, secondary stems. Similar Marasmius spp. have been reported from/photographed in Ecuador and elsewhere on the continent, though I know of no distinct species which meets this description. This specimen was from a (presumably dead) tree just beside the trail, not tethered to the ground.

Local lore states that birds are known to use this fungus as nest building material.

Collected for Milton Narváez and BioMindo in Bosque Experimental Nambillo.

Dried specimen obtainable with permission from la Universidad Central del Ecuador Fungorium.

Species Lists


The species complex is said to feed on the fortuitous falling of leaf litter from high up in the canopy. Once caught in the network of stem-like strands, new hyphal growth emerges which begins the decomposition process.
A closer view shows the many penetration sites of the mushroom’s “aerial rhizomorphs.”
All throughout the aerial rhizomorphic network are individual fruiting bodies.
All throughout the aerial rhizomorphic network are individual fruiting bodies.
~3mm diameter. The clear, resinous projections on the stem were thought to be a layer of especially large caulocystidia. Unfortunately, no microscopy could be performed to confirm this.

Proposed Names

29% (1)
Recognized by sight
Used references: Mycokey Ecuador [link not currently working]
Paul Gamboa of la Universidad Central del Ecuador
29% (1)
Used references: Cairney, J.W.G. “Rhizomorph structure and development of Marasmius crinisequi.” Mycological Research 95.12 (1991): 1429-1432.
58% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: see Aerially Rhizomorphic Marasmiaceae species list

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2010-06-15 11:13:17 PDT (-0700)

Marasmius crinis-equi is described as having “aerial rhizomorphs” and occupying rainforest habitats. Bears macroscopic resemblance. Microscopy will accompany any further collections.

Marasmius androsaceus
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2010-06-15 10:18:01 PDT (-0700)

M. androsaceus is described as having abundant rhizomorphs of a quality very similar to that of the stipe interspersed between fruiting bodies. It was Dr. Desjardin’s opinion that this occasionally-encountered South American species is of a similar taxon, perhaps one of a group. The full history of these Andean/Amazonian/Micronesian “androsaceacious” Marasmii is something Dr. Desjardin would be much better equipped to discuss than myself, though perhaps others here have some insights of their own.

Created: 2010-05-20 00:04:48 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2015-03-19 13:43:11 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 398 times, last viewed: 2018-12-02 02:40:37 PST (-0800)
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