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Mutinus borneensis (Family Phallaceae)



The map shows the few records of this species in 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. (NSW, QLD, SA, VIC).


The hollow stem, up to 10 cm long and 3 cm in diameter, is whitish at the base and pinkish towards the apex. The smelly, olive-brown spore mass is carried on a slightly raised, mesh framework at the top of the stem. Like all stinkhorns it starts life in a white, soft-skinned “egg”, the “egg” being ruptured by the expanding, mature stem. In this species the “egg” is about 20 x 15 mm in size.

While the spore-containing slime is coloured, the spores themselves are colourless when viewed under a microscope. Basidiomycete.

Ecology/Way of Life:

The fungus is a saprotroph, found on the ground, amongst forest or garden leaf litter. SC Teng noted it growing “on ground, attached to buried wood”.

Preferred Image

Other Comments:

The type specimen was collected in Borneo. It is also found in New Zealand, China and in some of the areas between Australia and China.

Further Reading:

Cunningham, G.H. (1979). The Gasteromycetes of Australia and New Zealand. (repr.) J. Cramer.

Grgurinovic, C.A. (1997). Larger Fungi of South Australia. Botanic Gardens of Adelaide and State Herbarium.

Teng, S.C. (1996). Fungi of China. Mycotaxon Ltd. New York.


Text and map by Heino Lepp. Image by Bruce Fuhrer.
Image kindly provided by Bruce Fuhrer from his recent book: A Field Guide to Australian Fungi

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Images and Multi-media:  
Attached Image  
image/gif 46377 bytes Mutinus borneensis
Distribution Map  
image/gif 5244 bytes Distribution of Mutinus borneensis

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