Scutellinia scutellata (Linnaeus) Lambotte

Scutellinia scutellata in situ. This species grows on very wet rotting logs.

Scutellinia scutellata in situ. This species grows on very wet rotting logs.

Taxonomic placement: Scutellinia scutellata (Ascomycota, Pezizomycetes, Pesizales, Pyronemataceae) is a saprobic cup fungus that grows on very wet wood that had already been colonized by other decomposers (Kuo & Methven, 2014). It enjoys a widespread distribution throughout North America (Arora; Kuo & Methven, 2014), but has also been reported from South America (Tabon, 1991), Africa (Douanla-Meli & Langer, 2005), Asia (Batra & Batra, 1963; Chen, 1975; Bi et al., 1993), Israel (Nemlich & Avizoharhershenzon, 1976), and New Guinea and the Solomon Islands (Otani, 1971). I found this specimen growing on the underside of a rotting hardwood log in the Baker Woodlot on South campus.

Magnification of the fruiting bodies of S. scutellata.

Magnification of the fruiting bodies of S. scutellata.

Global distribution of Scutellinia scutellata from eol.org. http://eol.org/pages/133525/maps.

Global distribution of Scutellinia scutellata from eol.org. http://eol.org/pages/133525/maps.

Carl Linnaeus fist described S. scutellata  as Peziza scutellata in his Species Plantarum (1753). Nearly a century later, Lambotte (1887) moved the species into the genus Scutellinia. Yao & Spooner examined this genus in 1996 and synonymized S. scutellata with Peziza crinita because the later species had been described after Linnaeus’ initial publication. Other junior synonyms are Helvella ciliata, Elvela ciliata, Peziza ciliata, P. aurantiaca, Humaria scutellata, Lachnea scutellata, Humariella scutellata, Patella scutellata, and Ciliaria scutellata (Mycobank).

Magnification of S. scutellata showing the black hairs growing from the cells at the edge of the shallow cups. This distinctive character is diagnistic for this species.

Magnification of S. scutellata showing the black hairs growing from the cells at the edge of the shallow cups. This distinctive character is diagnistic for this species.

Fruiting body: S. scutellata usually appears in grows on suitable substrate. Young fruiting bodies begin as small spheres that open into small (0.2 – 1.5 cm) shallow cups (Arora, 1976). Despite their small size, they are easy to recognize because of their bright red color and distinct black hairs that conspicuously line the rim of each cup. The hymenium is located on the bright inner surface of the cups, which grow sessile on the substrate. The outside of the cups is light brown (Kuo & Methven, 2014).

Microscopic features: The spores are ellipsoid, approximately 20 µm x 12 µm. They have a

smooth surface when immature, but gain a warty texture when fully mature. Sterile, septate paraphyses with swollen tips often grow between the asci on the hymenium (Kuo & Methven, 2014).

Illustrations of s. scutellata from Sower, 1797.

Illustrations of s. scutellata from Sower, 1797.

Ecology and relevance to society: This species is important to humans because it is part of the decomposition cycle in forest ecosystems globally.

 

Sources:

Arora, D. 1976. Mushrooms Demystified: a comprehensive guide to the fleshy fungi. Ten Speed Press: Berkeley, CA.

Batra LR; Batra SWT (1963). “Indian Discomycetes”. University of Kanses Scientific Bulletin. 44 (1/14): 109–256.

Bi Z; Zheng G; Li T (1993). The Macrofungus Flora of China’s Guangdong Province. Chinese University Press. pp. 41–42. ISBN 978-962-201-556-2.

Chen Z-C (1975). Notes on new Formosan forest fungi part 2. Some lignicolous fungi. Taiwania. 20(2): 201–212.

Douanla-Meli C; Langer E (2005). “Notes on Discomycetes (Helotiales, Pezizales): New species and new records from Cameroon”. Mycotaxon. 92: 223–37.

Kuo, M., and A.S. Methven. 2014. Mushrooms of the Midwest. University of Illinois Press: Urbana, Chicago, Springfield.

Lambotte, J.B.E. 1887. Memoires societe royale des sciences de Liege.

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Laurentis Salvius: Sweden.

Nardi, G.R., J.B. Bee, C.M. Miller, and H. Raja. 2013. Bacterial Symbionts that inhabit apothecia of the cup fungus Scutellinia scutellata. Nova Hedwigia. 97(1-2):1-18.

Nemlich H; Avizoharhershenzon Z (1976). “Pezizales of Israel .4. Humariaceae (B)”. Israel Journal of Botany. 25 (1–2): 41–52.

Otani Y (1971). “Mycological reports from New Guinea and the Solomon Islands part 3. Enumeration of the Sarcoscyphaceae and Scutellinia humariaceae“. Bulletin of the National Science Museum (Tokyo). 14 (3): 401–422.

Scutellinia scutellata. Mycobank.org. Accessed November 18, 2016.

Sowerby, J. 1797. Colored Figures of English Fungi. 1:1-120.

EOL: Scutellinia scutellata Common eyelash. http://www.eol.org/pages/133525/maps. Accessed November 18, 2016.

Tobon LE (1991). “Ascomycetes of Colombia Discomycetes of the department of Antioquia”. Caldasia. 16 (78): 327–336.

Yao YJ, Spooner BM (1996). “Notes on British species of Scutellinia“. Mycological Research 100 (7): 859–65.

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