Dacrymyces stillatus: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Dacrymyces stillatus Mushroom
Dacrymyces stillatus is a small, yellowish-orange, gelatinous blob. It grows from conifer wood and the wood of hardwoods, on decorticated, bark-less sticks, or "erumpent" through still-attached bark. The fruitbodies can appear at any time of the year during periods of wet weather; this is also a characteristic of many other members of the order Dacrymycetales.
Other names: Common Jellyspot.
Dacrymyces stillatus Identification
Fruit body 1-3.5 mm broad, sometimes appearing larger when fused with adjacent sporocarps; cushion-shaped, slightly flattened, the surface knobby, but not truly lobed; context gelatinous; color variable: dull orange when fresh, in age somewhat translucent, pale dull-brown, grey-brown, olive-brown, retaining only a slight orange hue; fresh material drying rusty-brown, forming an inconspicuous crust on the substrate, capable of reviving with moisture; odor and taste mild.
Basidia, tuning fork-shaped. Basidiospores according to G. W. Martin, 14-16 x 4.5-6 µm, sausage-shaped, 3-septate at maturity, orange in mass. Asexual spores (arthrospores) 11-16 x 3-3.5 microns, usually with a single cross wall, often in chains.
Gregarious or in large groups on conifer wood, fruiting whenever moisture is available.
Spores 12–15 x 6–8 µm; allantoid or elongated-ellipsoid; thick-walled; apiculate; smooth; hyaline in KOH, with many oil droplets; tardily becoming septate with 1–3 thick septa; developing knoblike projections with germination. Probasidia 45 x 4–5 µm; subclavate to clavate; developing 2 short, stubby apical protrusions that eventually extend to become sterigmata on mature basidia. Basidia Y-shaped; to 60 x 5 µm, with sterigmata 12–20 µm long. Contextual hyphae 1.5–3 µm wide; smooth or a little roughened; hyaline in KOH; clamp connections not found. Arthrospores often present, disarticulating from chained structures; 3–5 x 2–3.5 µm; subglobose to broadly ellipsoid; smooth; thick-walled; hyaline in KOH.
Dacrymyces stillatus Look-Alikes
Another orange jelly-like species has a rudimentary cup-on-a-stem fruitbody rather than a cushion-like form.
Produces fruitbodies of similar color but they are larger and generally convoluted and lobed.
Often forms more of a stem-like base, never develops arthrospores, and features spores with thin (rather than thick) septa—and Dacrymyces minor, with smaller fruiting bodies measuring 1–3 mm across at maturity.
Looks similar on casual inspection, but under scrutiny is revealed as not only a little larger, but also broadly ob-conic, with a flattened top and sloping sides that are finely hairy.
Dacrymyces stillatus Taxonomy & Etymology
In 1816 German mycologist Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck (1776 -1858) described Common Jellyspot fungus and gave it the binomial scientific name Dacrymyces stillatus, which remains its generally-accepted name.
Synonyms of Dacrymyces stillatus include Dacrymyces deliquescens, Dacrymyces lacrymalis, Tremella lacrymalis, Tremella abietina Pers., Calloria stillata (Nees) Fr., and Dacrymyces abietinus (Pers.) J. Schröt.
Dacrymyces stillatus is the type species of the genus Dacrymyces.
Set up by Nees in 1816, the genus Dacrymyces is named from Dacry- meaning a tear (as in weeping) and -myces meaning fungus, while the specific epithet stillatus means poured or dripped. Hence Dacrymyces stillatus means teardrop-like fungi that look as though they have dripped onto the substrate.
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