Birdernaturalist: Mushrooming in Brazil

I’ve simply returned residence from an 18-day non-public tour with a single consumer to Brazil, from southern Amazonia to the northern Pantanal, crossing the nice watershed divide between the central Atlantic (Amazon River) and southern Atlantic (Paraná River). My tour participant, Susanne Sourell, is definitely a really superior newbie fungus knowledgeable, and we’ve been on a number of excursions collectively. She is aware of far more about discovering and figuring out fungi than I do, so I whereas I used to be typically in a position to assist discover them and co-marvel of their superb magnificence and variety, I identified birds, crops, and every kind of different issues – which was loads. Possibly I’ll publish extra blogs on these later, however for now I simply wished to share just a few of the photographs of the unbelievable mushrooms we discovered.

Most individuals consider the form of those beautiful Inexperienced-spored Parasols, Chlorophyllum molybdites, once they hear the phrase mushroom.

This delicate, little Leucocoprinus sp. is clearly formed like a typical mushroom, however you need to get in your arms and knees to see them.

Some develop in very enticing preparations, like this Marasmiellus volvatus.

However a mushroom is any type of exterior fruiting physique from a fungal organism. As you take a look at these photographs, remember the fact that the primary, useful a part of the organism generally known as a fungus is in any other case largely hidden from our view because it grows, feeds, and interacts with its setting (together with with different organisms). The mushroom itself is barely a really small – and often very short-term – a part of the organism, which will be large and dwell for a few years. And with the unbelievable range of fungi, you possibly can think about there have to be an equal range in fruiting physique sorts. Typically you simply must look very carefully, resembling at this Favolaschia species, just some millimeters throughout. The undersides remind me of the areas in a waffle.

Look much more carefully at tiny issues rising on the thinnest twigs and useless leaf petioles, and also you uncover issues that hardly appear like mushrooms. This may be within the genus Trichoderma.

There have been some weird issues which can be considerably acquainted to me, resembling this Tremella sp.

Or this Xylaria globosa.

Associated to stinkhorns, this odd mushroom may be within the genus Laternea, probably additionally Clathrus.

Most individuals wouldn’t take a look at these tiny bird-nest like buildings and consider mushrooms, however that’s what this Cyathus sp. is.  A associated species grows in my Eugene yard.

We noticed numerous typical trying wood-ears, however this was the primary time I’ve seen Auricularia nigricans, distinctive with its fuzzy dorsal facet.

This fascinating mushroom is Myrmecopterula moniliformis, positioned in a brand new genus described solely final 12 months, and is related to leafcutter ants. It might be a parasite on the species of fungi that the ants domesticate, or it would simply be the decomposer of previous ant fungus farms after the colony has died, however it’s not likely identified.

There have been some so weird, like these two, I do not know what they’re – nothing related will be discovered within the Subject Museum discipline information pdfs I’ve.

There are some really lovely mushrooms, like virtually something within the genus Marasmius and their shut relations, which grow to be a largely early-season group that’s the first to begin decaying the leaf litter that has collected over the dry season.

One in every of my favorites is Marasmius amazonicus, a spectacular and gigantic member of the genus, and never an ample one; this was the one one we noticed.

Let’s not overlook the entomopathogenic mushrooms that increasingly more persons are listening to about. There are nonetheless many undescribed species within the Neotropics, so it’s often not doable to say what species you have got with confidence. This primary might be within the genus Nigelia, having killed a beautiful scarab.

That is an Ophiocordyceps sp., its host an ant.

Not likely mushrooms, however showing in related environmental circumstances with a sporophytic reproductive part are the slime molds. These are literally extra carefully associated to single celled organisms like amoebas (and fungi are extra carefully associated to animals). Up shut they’re fairly lovely.

Ceratiomyxa morchella

Arcyria cinerea

Tubifera microsperma

On the finish of our tour, regardless that solely barely deeper into the wet season, we lastly began seeing some mushrooms that one encounters extra continuously later within the season. This thrilling discover was the one Hygrocybe we noticed.

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