Observation 49649: Tomentella Pers. ex Pat.

When: 2010-08-04

Collection location: Hixon Forest, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA [Click for map]

Who: Tom Volk (TomVolk)

Specimen available

So, we found this chanterelle in the woods today. I said to my students, “oh it looks like it has a parasite. I’ll bet that it is a pyrenomycete asco or maybe a mold like Cladosporium.”

However, when we got back to the lab, I scraped a bit of the black, and it came off very easily. hmmm. I mounted it in some 3% KOH and found clamps on the hyphae and spiny spores. Well. I thought, I should have cleaned off the razor blade better. that’s not an ascomycete. So I got a new razor blade and made a second scrape. Again the same thing. It’s a Tomentella! Tomentella is a mycorrhizal fungus in the Thelephoraceae that forms a resupinate (flat) fruiting body. They are very common, but not collected by most people. The black part on the stem of the chanterelle is actually the resupinate fruiting body of a Tomentella! So this picture represents a mycorrhizal fungus climbing up on the fruiting body of another mycorrhizal fungus to get a better perch from which to dispense its spores!

Oh, and to deal with the charismatic megamycota, the chanterelle is probably an undescribed species.

It’s very cool, so I had to share it with y’all.

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:01:09 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Hixon Forest, La Crosse, WI’ to ‘Hixon Forest, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA

Species Lists


closer view
spores and basidia
hyphae with typical thick brown walls and stereotypical clamps

Proposed Names

83% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Based on microscopic features: See the very typical Tomentella spores (brown and ornamented) and typical Tomentella hyphae (brown, thick walled, and with “classic” quintessential clamps.

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2016-07-06 15:59:33 CDT (-0400)
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2010-08-05 08:29:10 CDT (-0400)

grows like this when we see them, like mold – on rotten wood, dung, soil or whatever they come across..

Funny place for a crust…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-08-05 05:10:20 CDT (-0400)

This is usually some crust-like fungus? Where does it usually grow? Although I am not interested in crusts… really, I’m not…

By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2010-08-05 01:58:06 CDT (-0400)

Great documentation. Nice to see clean, clear micrographs.

Created: 2010-08-04 22:24:43 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2010-12-06 12:56:32 CST (-0500)
Viewed: 136 times, last viewed: 2017-06-07 22:50:54 CDT (-0400)
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