Monday, October 04, 2010

Jelly Fungi of Berrien County, Michigan: A Preliminary List

Credit: This photo of a jelly fungus by Walter Siegmund is used here courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
Jelly fungi are a diverse group named more for their similar external morphologies (specifically, a gelatinous appearance) than for their close relationship. Although many species of jelly fungi are relatively common, they can be difficult to locate because of the ephemeral nature of their fruiting bodies. Jelly fungi are typically grouped together in field guides for ease of identification by observers in the field. Additional information about jelly fungi can be found here, and images of some representative species can be viewed here.

Because the distribution and relative abundance of fungi has been poorly documented in the literature, the following list was derived by scanning five field guides at my disposal (Barron 1999, Bessette and Sundberg 1987, Lincoff 1987, McKnight and McKnight 1987, and Miller and Miller 2006) and making educated guesses as to which species were likely to occur in Berrien County based on range and habitat descriptions. The 20 species listed below represent 16 genera, 7 families, 4 orders, and 2 subclasses. Given the current state of knowledge of local fungal diversity, I should again emphasize that this is a list of what is possible rather than a list of what has been confirmed in Berrien County and vicinity, and that I have erred on the side of being inclusive rather than exclusive in the case of questionable species.

There are no officially recognized common names for North American fungi. In many cases, however, North American species of Holarctic distribution have been assigned an "official" English name by the British Mycological Society (see Recommended English Names for Fungi in the UK); these names are capitalized and appear immediately following the scientific name. Where available, other common name(s) shown in curly brackets in lower case are those that appear in one or more of the referenced field guides.

Authors of field guides treating each species are shown in straight brackets.

The few species that are Edible indicated as such.


Family Marasmiaceae:
  • Physalacria inflata {bladder fungus} [Barron]

    Family Auriculariaceae:
  • Auricularia auricula, Jelly Ear {brown ear fungus, ear fungus, tree ear, tree-ear} [Barron, Bessette, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller] - Edible


    Family Dacrymycetaceae:
  • Calocera cornea, Small Stagshorn [Barron, Miller]
  • Calocera viscosa, Yellow Stagshorn {coral jelly fungus, yellow staghorn fungus, yellow tuning fork} [Barron, Lincoff, McKnight]
  • Dacrymyces palmatus {orange jelly} [Barron, Bessette, Lincoff, Miller]
  • Dacryopinax spathularia {fan-shaped jelly fungus} [Barron]
  • Guepiniopsis (=Heterotextus) alpine [Barron]


    Family Exidiaceae:
  • Ductifera pululahuana [Bessette]
  • Exidia glandulosa, Witch's Butter {black jelly roll, black witch’s butter, warty jelly fungus} [Barron, Bessette, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller]
  • Gloeotromera (=Exidia) alba {white jelly fungus} [Barron]
  • Guepinia (=Phlogiotis) helvelloides, Salmon Salad {apricot jelly, apricot jelly fungus} [Barron, Bessette, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller] - Edible
  • Pseudohydnum gelatinosum, Jelly Tooth {jelly tooth, toothed jelly fungus} [Barron, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller]

    Family Syzygosporaceae:
  • Syzygospora mycetophila [parasitic jelly} [Barron]

    Family Tremellaceae:
  • Sebacina (=Tremella) concrescens [Barron]
  • Tremella foliacea, Leafy Brain {leaf jelly, leaf jelly fungus, jelly leaf} [Barron, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller}
  • Tremella messenterica, Yellow Brain {witch’s butter} [Barron, Lincoff, McKnight, Miller]
  • Tremella reticulata (=reticularia) {white coral jelly, white coral jelly fungus} [Barron, McKnight, Miller]
  • Tremellodendron pallidum {false coral fungus, jellied false corral} [Barron, Lincoff, Miller]
  • Tremellodendron schweinitzii {false coral} [McKnight]

    Family Tremellodendropsidaceae:
  • Tremellodentropsis semivestita (=semivestitum) [Barron]
  • Sources:

    Barron, George. 1999. Mushrooms of northeast North America: Midwest to New England. Lone Pine Publishing, Auburn, Washington. 336 pp.

    Bessette, Alan, and Walter J. Sunderg. 1987. Mushrooms: a quick reference guide to mushrooms of North America. McMillan Publishing Company, New York, New York. 173 pp.

    Lincoff, Gary H. 1987. The Audubon Society field guide to North American mushrooms. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York. 926 pp.

    McKnight, Kent H., and Vera B. McKnight. 1987. A field guide to mushrooms of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 429 pp.

    Miller, Orson K., and Hope H. Miller. 2006. North American mushrooms: a field guide to edible and inedible fungi. Falcon Guides, Guilford, Connecticut. 583 pp.

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