Thursday, May 28, 2015

Three Recent Fungi

Clavaria miniata
(Flame Fungus)
Widespread and common in soil substrate. Often associated with tree fern habitat in eucalypt forest.

(Click on images for a larger view)
Eye Catching in the leaf litter.
Sometimes in clusters, mostly single.

Boletellus obscurecoccineus
(Rhubarb Bolete)
Baw Baw National Park, Mt Erica.
Widespread but not too common.
Substrate of wood, living trees or in soil near trees or wood.

A striking fungus.
Scaly stem is diagnostic.

Geoglossum sp
(Earth Tongue Fungus)
Baw Baw National Park, Mt Erica.
Soil substrate usually associated with moss beds.
A late autumn species probably much under-recorded.

Can you see them?
There, next to that stick!
Any wonder they are under-recorded - thanks Eileen for showing us, I'd never have found them.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Jindivick & Narkoojee Sculpture Show - 2015

Today, Mrs Gouldiae and I made the most of a beautiful sunny day and wound our way up the hill to Jindivick, to wonder at the skill and imagination of some of the local sculptors. Being a little preoccupied with fungi of late I have being paying little heed to any avifaunal activity. Perhaps I can make some small amends with some images of these beautifully plumaged if inanimate examples… 

(Click on images for a larger view)

Naturally I was drawn to the birds but there were plenty of other subjects to catch the eye and to cause us to wonder at the talent, vision and resourcefulness of these clever people…

There were sixty or more pieces to view and I have posted a few more in my Google Drive on-line gallery, (Gouldiae’sGalleries folder 6/5).

(Today, 24th May, was the last day at Jindivick. The show now travels to the Narkoojee Winery at Glengarry to reopen on 30th May.)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Fungi and Insect Connection

Without fungi, our forests, woodlands and grasslands would not exist. Fungi are decomposers and as they decompose the organic waste they release vital elements such as nitrogen and phosphorous to the ecosystem for plants to use. All plants require large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous to build their cells and to facilitate photosynthesis.

Another role of fungi is to act as host for particular insects. The fungi-insect symbiosis is not fully understood but many insects seem to rely on fungi for their survival.

At the Uralla Nature Reserve recently, I came across this big old bolete, Sutorius australiensis probably. The fertile surface under the cap is made up of pores rather than gills.

A little further down the hill I found the same mushroom in an advanced state of decay. The cap was scarred with several holes where something had crawled in, (or out).

I broke off a piece and discovered the presence of numerable larvae of some unknown insect. (Any entomologists out there might be able to enlighten me on what species they are.) 

 Another reason to admire the humble mushroom.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Fascination of Fungi

Probably 250,000 Australian species. One mycologist has identified 850 species in a one hectare plot of Tasmanian forest.

Mushrooms/toadstools, puffballs, brackets, cups, corals, jellies, moulds, etc.

Many forest, woodland and grassland ecosystems would not survive without the presence of fungi.

Beautiful, bizzare, mysterious, revolting, etc.

Enduring and ephemeral.

Here are two or three common ones I’ve found recently in the Crossover Regional Park at Rokeby.

Dunno. A tiny little black, hairy species growing on a log?
No common name. Cortinarius archeri. Common and widespread in eucalypt forest.
Cortinarius archeri. The viscid purple cap will change colour and become dry and satiny.
Scotsman's Beard. Calocera guepiniodes. A small finger-like jelly that prefers to grow on decaying softwood.
Green Stain Fungus or Green Elfin-cup. Chlorociboria aeruginascens. This fungus stains the substrate a green colour.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Fungi at Mt Worth State Park

What do you remember about Beatrix Potter? She didn’t just write stories with characters like Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-duck apparently. Seemingly she was a noted mycologist and a botanist and entomologist as well by all accounts. She collected samples, drew them – beautifully and accurately – collected fungi spores and grew them, even presented a paper to the Linnaean Society. (Note to self – I wonder is there a fungi named in her honour?).

Recently at Mt Worth State Park, I ticked several fungi that I found interesting, one I think being the species which was the subject of Beatrix Potter’s scientific paper.

(Identifications are not guaranteed and correspondence in regard to this is invited)

Enoki Mushroom #1. I think this is Flammulina velutipes. A worldwide species.
The subject of Beatrix Potter’s scientific paper.

Enoki Mushroom #2. Cultivated widely but wild and cultivated varieties can look very different.

Laquered Bracket I think. Ganoderma resinaceam. A polypore.

Large unknown Bracket #1. Very difficult to get near due to undergrowth.

Large Unknown Bracket #2. Had to be nearly 1metre wide.

Oyster Mushroom #1. Pleurotis sp. Decurrent gills.

Oyster Mushroom #2. Fan/shell-shaped, depressed caps. Fallen hardwood log.