Fungus near Gembrook

15 July 2012

Started the day looking for fungus at Kurth Kiln, north of Gembrook. My primary purpose was to see if the Mucronella pendula were still out (and a few were). This is a distinctive-looking fungus, typically 20–30mm long and hanging from the underside of rotting logs. Although I have found two colonies around the place I have yet to see a glorious mass (like you see in the reference books or from other people online). When I first took their photos today I had it on the wrong settings so took some more shots on my return along the track.

Near the end of the track (or at least as far as I was going) I saw these small, white fungi scattered up the trunk of a Rough Tree-fern Cyathea australis. These protruded about 20–30mm but I only saw them on the one fern. I have been unable to identify this species of fungus; the closest I go is Mitrula sp because they often have a similar structure and at least one species is knkown to grow of fern trunks (although that one from Bruce Fuhrer's book is orange-colored).

In one area there were numerous Cordyceps robertsii, including the one pictured that also contained C. cranstounii (the white mass), which they are known to commonly do. Initially these were hard to spot, emerging from similarly brown soil and dead leaves. Cordyceps are specialized fungus parasitising insects, in this case the larva of a moth. In this area was also a patch of Geoglossum sp, I think an interesting-looking fungus; most of the ones I saw today were around 50mm high.

Beside the track was also a single Macrotyphula juncea. These slender fungus grow directly out from leaves, which may not be clear in the photo. Here was also a few colonies of Thaxterogaster sp. When I looked at my first one I thought someone carelessly disposed of some chewing-gum but on closer inspection I realized it was a type of underground fungus that fruit near the surface.

After that I moved into Bunyip State Park and my batteries didn't last too much longer. I was still able to photograph this small, black fungus growing on the side of a tree and on a stick at the base was this colony of Xylaria like fungus.