This species is widespread in eastern mainland Australia, on the coastal side of the Great Dividing Range, from Victoria to Queensland. It is common in Tasmania and in the south-west of western Australia. You will often see this species in moist forests, but it extends to dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands. 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, WA, Lord Howe Island).
The cap and gills are a bright to dull orange-red or brownish red, with the cap often a little paler than the gills. The cap (usually more or less semicircular) can be anywhere from only a few millimetres to 3 centimetres in diameter. The gills are fairly widely spaced. The stem, when present, is very short and well off to one side of the cap. The caps typically appear in large numbers. When placed in a weak potassium hydroxide solution, the caps will exude a dark, olive-green dye.
Spore print: white. Basidiomycete.
Ecology/Way of Life:
This fungus is a saprotroph, found on dead twigs and bark.
The type collection was made in Tasmania. The species was also reported from New Zealand in 1994. The paper by Segedin reports that in one New Zealand collection, the gills from many caps had been eaten away by larvae of a fly belonging to the Cecidomyidae. The larval frass was composed entirely of gill tissue. Moreover, the larvae turned an unnatural greenish blue in potassium hydroxide.
Bougher, N & Syme, K. (1998). Fungi of Southern Australia, University of Western Australia Press.
Grey, P. & Grey, E. (2005). Fungi Down Under. Fungimap, Melbourne.
Pegler, DN & Young, TWK. (1989). The genus Anthracophyllum (Tricholomataceae, tribe Collybieae). Mycological Research 93: pp352 – 362
Segedin, BP. (1994). Studies in the Agaricales of New Zealand: new records and new species of the genera Cheimonophyllum, Mniopetalum, and Anthracophyllum (Tricholomataceae, Collybieae). New Zealand Journal of Botany, 32: pp61 – 72
Wood, A. (1983). Notes on Australian Fungi Sydowia 36: pp326 – 330
Text and map by Heino Lepp.
Image kindly provided by Bruce Fuhrer from his recent book: A Field Guide to Australian Fungi
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