Monday, June 20, 2011

Bhutan 5

So, finishing the Bhutan trip we know that the medium high areas around the capital Thimphu will not be "in full fruitbody" till maybe middle of Juli, whereas the lowlands with their stronger monsoon rain is filled with Russulas and Boletes already in middle June. Also, we are as always left with a number of new weird fungi which doesn't fit into our European concepts. Here is a couple:

A Mycena with leopard-speckled pileus:

Another Mycena with pale violet colours and cystidia everywhere:

A species we first treated as a Chrysomphalina till we discovered its weird chilocystidia and amyloid spores:

Our notes says:
    Spores globose to subglobose; spores smooth; spores amyloid; spores length 6,5-8 µm, width 5-6 µm; basidia 4-spored; cheilocystidia rather extreme with a swollen basal part and an extremely outdrawn thin apical part, to 80 µm.

There are many more peculiar specimens in the capsules right now and we just hope eventually to get these out of Bhutan for further study. For now I will just close with a couple of nice pictures from the trip:

The Paro Dzong


And some butterflies

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mexican mystery fungus also Bhutanese?

During our workshop in Thimphu, Bhutan this month we have encountered what would appear to to match Campanophyllum proboscideum, a fungus known from Mexico south to Ecuador (and further down?). It it attached by a peculiar snout-like dorsal extension - hence the epithet. It was found on 4 big logs in a wet montane forest in upper Thimphu Valley (Dodena) and was photographed by Morten Christensen.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Iceland - more than volcanoes

Greetings from Iceland. I was so lucky to get a summerjob in this fascinating country. What do we know about Iceland? A rough cold island in the North Atlantic Ocean characterized by mostly desert-like vegetation and active volcanoes which are sending large ash clouds to Europe knocking out our air traffic? A country way off from the other European countries with sparse population which recently became famous by its economic losses due to the economy crisis? Oh, and there was something with vikings and an old language with strange Þ and ð letters ...

There is active fungal research in Iceland.
Mycologists might know that there was published a comprehensive book on Icelandic fungi by Helgi Hallgrímsson in 2010: Sveppabókin – Íslenskir sveppir og sveppafræði (website in Icelandic, but google translator is not so bad, just enter the address of the website.).

And somehow there must be more than desert-like vegetation and crazy volcanoes - a checklist (Helgi Hallgrímsson & Guðríður Gyða Eyjólfsdóttiris) is available on the internet comprising 1.531 species of "microfungi". Also nice photo galleries can be found on the web: cap fungi and others.
We even have a blog fellow in Iceland:

So this is an interesting country for people interested in fungi. - And I would like to keep you up to date with Icelandic mycology and fungal experiences.
Old fruitbody of cf. Calvatia sp. - Or erupted volcano?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bhutan 3

Very typical for Bhutan many fungi looks almost like in Europe, and then again there is something wrong. Like the "Calocera viscosa" of which we have had both very slender versions and this very openly branched type:

In the microscope it has aseptate spores which are a little to large, so, not C. viscosa sensu stricto (miss good Calocera literature).

By the way the orchids are small but numerous at 3000 m height (click the pictures to enlarge):

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bhutan 2

Now we are a couple of days into our local Bhutanese fungal workshop and there is time for a small blog.

We have a class of six local students which are very interested in fungi (always a pleasure). Here Thomas Læssøe is giving an introduction to collecting with Mikako Sasa watching:

And here is our team discussing fungi in the afternoon in front of the lab:

Here some fungi (nice but not super-exotic): 
A nice Hydropus marginella with dark gill edges:

One of the numerous, unidentified species of Marasmius

A Calocera, maybe C. viscosa:

A small, yellow Mycena:

And  a yellow billed blue magpie watching:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bhutan 1

Arriving at Bhutan Friday to do teaching and field work, we (Thomas Læssøe, Morten Christensen, Mikako Sasa and I) made our first small field trip Saturday to the national park close to the capital Timphu.

This valley has the most impressive forest, a mixture of Quercus species, Tsuga, Abies and other trees.

One of the first fungi we saw was a young specimen of the heterobasidiomycete-polypore Elmerina holophaea.

An other very beautiful fungus in wood was Mycena leaiana with yellow gill edge.

On the leaves there were lots of small discomycetes and also this surprising "Mycena" which turned out to be porois, thus maybe belonging to the genus Poromycena.

The rainy season has just begun and we hope the next weeks will lure more fungi up from the ground!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fungal Identification Chart

The Fungal Identification Chart is an attempt to sort the major form groups in an easy way. If you are teaching beginners about fungal identifications this may be of help - be free to use it. You can download a larger version for A4 printing here.