Friday, January 04, 2008

More fun with fungi

Fungi are one of the more frustrating things to try to identify. I thought bugs were bad, but at least BugGuide is pretty dang inclusive. No such comprehensive reference exists for mushrooms, so far as I know.

You'd think this sweet little cup-type would be easy to identify. I was thinking, well it looks like a bird's nest fungus, only without the "eggs". But I can't seem to find any reference to anything like that, not to one that isn't "densely hairy" anyway. Maybe its hairs are all repressed, what with the drought...?

Sometimes it helps to just google what something looks like. (The top search term that finds this blog has been "yellow fuzzy caterpillar" for over 2 years now.)

But trying to find "yellow sandwich fungus" didn't do me much good.

I do believe it's the same fungus as this one, which he calls Stacka hydnum (which you'd think would be the scientific name, but isn't). But other pictures of Climacodon septentrionalis (the real scientific name) look completely different to me.

Then there's this black stuff.

If you look at this site, you'd be pretty convinced that it's Diatrype stigma, common tarcrust.

But if you went by this image, or this one, you might not.

And is this even the same black stuff? It seemed thin and crusty, whereas the others were thicker and sort of... puffed.

I do think, after looking at several images for common tarcrust, that it's what I've been seeing when it seems like there are several old burned branches in an area with no other signs of fire.


Gin said...

If the mushrooms in the first picture are dry and hard, they're likely Wolfina aurantiopsis. For #2 and #3 check Phellinus gilvus (Polyporus filvus) or mustard-yellow polypores. Part of the difficulty identifying mushrooms is that the same mushroom can look so different at different stages - in shape, in color and in texture. I'll agree. It's danged hard.

mon@rch said...

Not a big mushroom guy but love the yellow one! Never seen anything like the black stuff! Great shots for sure and thanks for sharing with us!

Rurality said...

Thanks Gin! Yeah I went back again, and after the freeze they look different. They need to hurry up with that portable DNA analyzer. :)

Tom, I never noticed most mushrooms/fungi until I really started *looking* for them! They are fascinating, but difficult to ID.

Shady Gardener said...

Rurality, I use this site to get help in identifying fungi. If you post photos, people will find them and comment (you'll get an e-mail). You can also peruse through a billion photos, as well.

Your yellow ones look like a "Chicken of the Woods." I really don't know for sure, but you might try that for a start.

mrs chippy said...

if really stumped, could try sending pic, info to Dr. Steve Newell, retired mycologist with UGA Marine Institute-Sapelo Island. he's generous with his time and knowledge and loves a good mystery.

Rurality said...

Thanks SG, I will check that out. I forgot to mention the size of these (my bad), but the yellow ones are too small to be Chicken of the Woods, I believe.

Thanks Mrs Chippy, I will keep that address for later! Right now I'm such a novice that I feel like I'd be pestering any expert I asked. :)

lisa said...

I really enjoy fungus too, but the ID can be a drag! Here's a link, and also this one, and another, and another, and finally this one. Now, if that won't make it easier AND harder to ID things, I don't know what will! :)

Rurality said...

Lisa, you aren't kidding! Thanks for the links, I will make a note of them.