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Hyphodontia australis (Family Corticiaceae)

Distribution:

This fungus is widespread in a variety of habitats of eastern Australia. The distribution shown on the map is based on herbarium records and reliable sightings. It is likely that this species has a wider distribution than that shown on the map. However there has been little work on the distribution of Australian fungi and there are surprisingly few herbarium specimens of even the common species. (ACT, NSW, QLD, TAS, VIC).

Features:

This species forms flat fruiting bodies, firmly attached to the wood, in shades of orange-brown, from light to reasonably dark' even chestnut. Small, young fruiting bodies can be uncracked but generally the cracks will have appeared by the time the fruiting body is more than a few square centimetres in area. Pimples are abundant and usually present in quite young specimens which don't yet show much cracking. It can grow in large sheets, even up to several square metres in area.

If you put a drop of potassium hydroxide on the surface you will get a colour change to something between violet and dull crimson, after which a drop of acid will bring back the original colour.

Spore print: white. Basidiomycete.

Ecology/Way of Life:

A saprotroph, found on the underside of fallen, dead wood of many plant species, but also sometimes on live trunks of rough-barked trees.

Other Comments:

The type specimen was collected in Tasmania. It is also found in New Zealand and Tierra del Fuego.

Further Reading:

Cleland, J.B. (1976). Toadstools and mushrooms and other larger fungi of South Australia. Parts I and II, 1934 – 1935. (repr.) South Australian Government Printer.

Greslebin, A.G., Rachenberg, M. & Bianchinotti, M.V. (2000). Hyphodontia australis (Corticiaceae, Basidiomycota). Mycotaxon 74: pp37 – 43.

Acknowledgments:

Text, image and map by Heino Lepp.

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