Posts Tagged ‘Mycology’

A new species of fungi for the Thorne Moors list?

December 7, 2017

Wednesday 29 November started out cold (4 degrees C) but sunny and bright.  The afternoon saw a couple of intermittent showers.  But otherwise and dressed like an onion, it was one of those days when it’s great to be outdoors and rummaging about in carr woodland looking for things of natural history interest.

The woodland floor was a quagmire and very wet in places, particularly where deer had passed through and churned up the mud. Not to be deterred, using the faithful thumb stick as a very useful tool to test the ground ahead and pushing aside with ease bramble or other obstructive material, the hunt was on ….

The microclimate in the woodland recently has been conducive to fungal growth and this rather intriguing material was spotted on a fallen willow branch.  Immediately recognisable as a species of ‘oyster’ fungi.  No stem was present and the fungi was growing directly from the timber.  Particularly noticeable was that the fan was possessed of hairy-fibrillose growths in its dark centre.  I nick-named it ‘Punk-oyster’ and took the photographs below to aid identification and reference upon return to my library.

Out came the faithful Phillips (1981), Bon (1987) along with various other tomes but nothing akin to the grey ‘Punk-oyster’ we’d photographed.  Trawling the internet can often produce useful indicators but not in this instance.  Drastic measures were needed now so I posted an appeal for assistance into the ‘twittersphere’ and in no time at all the helpful Lukas Large a Natural Science Curator based in Birmingham came back  with a link to a site which certainly tested my language skills but it was an start to determining the material.  Further exploration of the web established that it had been found in the Sorby NHS area in the Limb Valley in 2010, so whilst not a new VC63 a possible new record for Thorne Moors?

Keen to get confirmation of the tentative identification I emailed the images to Chris Yeates the Mycological and Lichenological Section Recorder of the YNU.  The prompt response confirmed the determination and provided some useful additional background information on the species including the distribution map for Yorkshire.

This was great news and pleasing that the images were deemed of good enough quality to allow determination.  It is not always possible to make identifications from photographs and in the case of fungi, spores are often needed for microscopical examination.  Chris added that Apparently some authorities consider this as a form of R. applicatus; I’m not sure whether the necessary sequencing has been done but macroscopically they seem perfectly distinct.

Chris also remarked that the map below was prompted by this record. Whether this somewhat compact pattern is real or not of course is difficult to say, although this species has few records north of Yorkshire (those do include single records from Orkney and Shetland!). Your record is indeed the first from the Thorne area as far as I am aware.

Resupinatus trichotisFig. Distribution map of R. trichotis in Yorkshire courtesy of C. S. V. Yeates.

So, is this a new record for Thorne Moors?  Let me know if you believe differently.

Reference: Taylor & Hobart (1996) Thorne & Hatfield Moors Papers Volume 6.

 

 

 

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Mark Avery

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