|Major Groups > Stinkhorns > Colus pusillus|
by Michael Kuo
Is this thing cool, or what? Don't bet the house on my identification, however; the photos were sent to me from Australia in e-mails, and I have made my best guess, using sources more than 40 years old, without actually examining the mushrooms. Have you collected Colus specimens recently? I would love to study well-documented, preserved collections, in order to make this page more scientific. If you're interested in helping, please send me an email at .
Within the stinkorns, the fused arms that form a stem-like structure, before separating into a cage-like structure, define the genus Colus. However, species within the genus "are not clear cut," according to stinkhorn expert D. M. Dring (1980). Colus hirudinosus is quite similar to Oceania's Colus pusillus, but is African and European in distribution. Additionally, the meshes at the top of the former's cage structure become abruptly small and compact.
Clathrus pusillus is a synonym.
Note: The description below is based on the photos sent to me, and on the sources cited below. I have not studied any collections of Colus pusillus.
Ecology: Saprobic; growing alone or gregariously; in woods or in cultivated areas; year-round in tropical and subtropical areas; possibly limited to Oceania.
Fruiting Body: Initially a whitish "egg" up to 2 cm across, attached to white cords; rupturing, with the stinkhorn emerging as a cage-like structure, 5–8 cm high, composed of about 10 corrugated, scarlet arms that are roughly triangular in cross-section and that sometimes fuse into a stem-like and slightly paler base composed of vertical columns; the inner surfaces of the cage covered with foul-smelling, olive brown slime; the egg tissue creating a whitish volva.
REFERENCES: (Berkeley, 1845) Reichert, 1940. (Saccardo, 1888; Lloyd, 1907; Cunningham, 1931; Cunningham, 1944; Dring, 1964; Dring, 1980; Bougher, 2009.)
This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2022, February). Colus pusillus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/colus_pusillus.html