What You Should Know
Cheilymenia granulate (syn. Coprobia granulata) is a species of apothecial fungus belonging to the family Pyronemataceae.
This is a very widespread and common European species appearing throughout the year (most commonly in summer and autumn) as tiny orange-red discs up to 2 mm in diameter, thickly clustered on dung, usually from cows.
Cheilymenia granulata Mushroom Identification
Flat or shallowly concave discs, 1 to 2mm across and 0.5 to 1.5mm tall; orange; sessile; usually in groups and sometimes in huge swarms on cow-pats. The fertile (upper) surface is bright orange, smooth in the center but granular near the rim.
150-220 x 10-15µm, with eight spores per ascus.
Ellipsoidal, 16-19 x 10-12.5µm.
Habitat & Ecological Role
Saprobic, on all kinds of herbivore dung, but especially cow-pats.
Several other ascomycetous disc fungi also colonize animal dung. Few can be identified from macroscopic features alone, and so microscopic examination of asci, spores, and other cell structures is usually necessary.
Cheilymenia granulata Taxonomy and Etymology
Originally described as Peziza granulata by Jean Baptiste Francois (Pierre) Bulliard in 1790, this species was transferred top the genus Cheilymenia in 1990 by the Czech mycologist Jiří Moravec (born 1943).
Synonyms of Cheilymenia granulata include Peziza granulata Bull., Ascobolus granulatus (Bull.) Fuckel, Ascophanus granulatus (Bull.) Speg., and Coprobia granulata (Bull.) Boud.
The specific epithet granulata means covered in granules.
The key to identifying to species level the various species of Cheilymenia and Scutellinia is by microscopic examination of asci, spores and any hairs or 'lashes' that cover the infertile surface.
Photo 1 - Author: Alan Rockefeller (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International)
Photo 2 - Author: Alan Rockefeller (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International)