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Pachyella punctispora

[ Ascomycetes > Pezizales > Pezizaceae > Pachyella . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Recorded from Michigan, New York, and Illinois (and now Kentucky, if I have identified it correctly), this rubbery brown cup fungus requires microscopic analysis to separate from the more commonly collected Pachyella clypeata. While Pachyella clypeata has smooth spores, the spores of Pachyella punctispora, as its Latin name suggests, are stippled with warts. The warts, however, are not large (separating Pachyella punctispora from Pachyella adnata, which has warts measuring over 1 µ).

Description:

Ecology: Saprobic; growing alone or in small groups on rotting wood (primarily the wood of hardwoods) that is usually water-soaked; spring, summer, and fall; distribution uncertain (recorded from Illinois, Michigan, and New York by the author of the species; my collection was made in eastern Kentucky).

Fruiting Body: To 3 cm across; cushion-shaped when young, soon becoming saucer-shaped or shaped like a flattened cup; broadly attached to the wood so that only the edges can be lifted away from the substrate; upper surface sticky when fresh, medium to dark brown, often with hints of purple, smooth or wrinkled, fading with age; without a stem; flesh somewhat rubbery or gelatinous when fresh.

Microscopic Features: Asci with bluish tips in Melzer's reagent; 400-450 x 19-25 µ. Spores 21-25 x 12-15 µ; with one or two oil droplets; stippled with tiny warts (unmeasurable with light microscopy); in my collection the warts visible with a 2% KOH mount as well as with tap water and with Melzer's Reagent. Excipular surface with a few thread-like elements that do not create a palisade.

REFERENCES: Pfister, 1973. (Pfister, 1973.) Herb. Kuo 10150401.

Note: In my collection, the majority of spores were stippled--but about a fourth of the spores I examined were smooth (like the spores of Pachyella clypeata) in tap water, 2% KOH, and Melzer's mounts. Several explanations are possible. Perhaps the most likely is that my collection or my "laboratory" (read: kitchen counter, razor blades used again and again, etc.) is contaminated--though I found both stippled and smooth spores within asci, as well. However, since spore ornamentation was also viewed as definitive in Gyromitra in the seventies (when Pachyella punctispora was authored) and was later found to be both variable and possibly dependent on maturity, it may be worth raising the tiniest of red flags regarding this character.


 

Pachyella punctispora

Pachyella punctispora

Pachyella punctispora



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Cite this page as:

Kuo, M. (2006, April). Pachyella punctispora. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/pachyella_punctispora.html.