Fungi Key – Bird’s Nest Fungi


These are two trial keys for Queensland’s Bird’s Nest fungi.
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Key to Genera and some Species of Bird’s Nest Fungi in Qld
1. Fruit body minute, gregarious, splitting in to a star shape to expose one large dark brown peridiole embedded in orange mucilage. (Cannon Ball fungus) Sphaerobolus stellatus
1.* Fruit bodies gregarious or not, with more than one peridiole 2
2. Peridioles attached to cup by funiculi (a cord of hyphae) 3
2.* Peridioles not attached to cup by funiculi (embedded in gelatinous matrix) 4
3. Peridioles white, interior of cup smooth, yellow to ochre epiphragm Crucibulum
3.* Peridioles other colours (silver, greyish-brown or black), white or pale epiphragm Cyathus
4. Peridium subglobose, without typical epiphragm 5
4.* Peridium cup shaped (4-6 x 4-5mm), with an epiphragm,(grey exterior & smooth white interior), peridioles small (0.5-1mm), reddish-brown to black Nidula emodensis
5. Fruit body to 10mm, cream to cinnamon-buff, splits irregularly, peridioles chestnut brown (1-1.5mm) Nidularia deformis
5.* Fruit body tiny (to 2mm), thin transparent pale sheath, peridioles 0.5mm, yellowish-brown, with strongly reticulate surface Mycocalia reticulata


Key to Species of Crucibulum and Cyathus in Qld

Crucibulum and Cyathus typically have a fruit body 6 – 10 mm wide and high and several peridioles contained in each cup, each attached to the cup by a funicular cord.

1. Peridioles white, cup interior smooth and tawny yellow Crucibulum laeve
1.* Peridioles other colours 2
2. Peridioles silvery, large up to 3.5mm, cup interior smooth, mouth flaring and margin often wavy, exterior finely textured Cyathus olla
2.* Peridioles other colours 3
3. Peridioles grey to greyish-brown, cup interior vertically lined or grooved, cup exterior shaggy-hairy Cyathus striatus
3.* Peridioles black 4
4. Exterior rusty-brown with conical tufts of hair Cyathus gracilis
4.* Exterior other surface texture 5
5. Exterior brown untidy shaggy hairy, with smooth cup interior Cyathus stercoreus
5.* Exterior matted hairy 6
6. Peridioles large, up to 3mm long, cup interior dull black, striate in upper half, fruit body funnel shape (12-14mm high), with short stipe Cyathus novae-zelandiae
6.* Peridioles 2mm long, cup interior smooth, fruit body bell-shaped, small (6-7mm high) Cyathus colensoi