Friday, March 18, 2011

Fanciful Fungi #6: Tidbinbilla Giants!

The idea of spending my long-weekend Monday out at Tidbinbilla was very very exciting! For a fungi nerd. I found so many different species of fungi last year, that I couldn't wait to see what was out there this year.

For the three French exchange students that came out for me, the best time was had hunting for koalas (we saw one); watching for birds (yellow tailed black cockatoos and emus were the best); snooping for platypus (none to be found); and waiting patiently for brush-tailed rock-wallabies (we were very lucky to see one!). But for me, the highlight was finding three new fungi that I have not seen before!

This first gorgeous Basidiomycota was found in a tree trunk, with a large toadstool at the front and a tiny one at the back! The large one was about 10cm in diameter and the same in height, and was a beautiful burnt-orange-brown colour with gorgeous yellow-orange gills, and somewhat warty. It is most likely a Gymnopilus junonius, which can be a weak parasite on living hardwood trees, like this burnt eucalypt. 

This lone orange-yellow giant (the size of a dinner plate) was unfortunately in a very bad way; subject to many a meal by many an animal. Being old and well eaten, I think it may be a bit difficult to identify, but I will give it a go. Another gilled basidiomycota, and judging by the eaten cap it was still fairly convex. It could be related to the Gymnopilus or Cortinarius.

**EDIT** After some more research, I believe I was misguided by the gills! I think if you look from the base, it is probably the pore fungi Phlebopus marginatus, which is known to grow up to 1m in diameter! And are also known for fast decay rates...

My last find for the day (three is still better than none), was right near the delectable-giant! It had a red-brown stalk with a white puffball-pore fungi looking top, about 3cm wide. Again it was quite old, going from white to brown, and somewhat shrunken, it is a bit hard to tell! It could even be a gilled fungi!

I love fungi season! :D

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