Key to 31 Bird's Nest Fungi in North America
|1.||Fungus shaped like a ball or a glob without a distinct "lid"; breaking up irregularly at maturity to expose a pile of "eggs."|
|1.||Fungus shaped roughly like a cup or goblet that is covered with a "lid" when young (though the lid often disappears quickly); "eggs" held in a nest-like receptacle at maturity.|
|2.||Nest fairly dark in color (dark buff to some shade of brown); nest wall granular to fuzzy; spinose hyphae present in nest wall (illustration).|
|2.||Nest pale (whitish to pale yellowish); nest wall smooth, without spinose hyphae.|
|3.||Eggs brown (grayish brown to reddish brown), shiny, shape ranging from platelet-like to lozenge-like or lens-like, not becoming wrinkled when dried for the herbarium; peridiole walls composed of fused, inseparable hyphae.|
|3.||Eggs reddish brown, dull, lens-shaped, becoming wrinkled when dried; peridiole walls composed of separable hyphae.|
|4.||Eggs reticulate; distributed from the Gulf Coast southward.|
|5.||Eggs chestnut brown; recorded from British Columbia.|
|5.||Eggs dark blood red to blackish; recorded from the east coast of the United States.|
|6.||Outer surface and inner surface of nest fairly smooth to the unaided eye (ignore the surface of the "lid," when present, and the upper edge of the nest, which may or may not be hairy).|
|6.||Outer surface and/or inner surface of nest shaggy, hairy, grooved, or velvety.|
|7.||Eggs attached to the nest with tiny cords.|
|7.||Eggs not attached with cords.|
|8.||Nest yellowish to yellowish brown, typically wider than 3 mm across; widely distributed.|
|8.||Nest whitish to buff, typically smaller than 3 mm across; northern in distribution.|
|9.||Eggs mahogany brown; nest up to 6 mm high.|
|9.||Eggs gray or light brown; nest up to 15 mm high.|
|10.||Inside surface of nest vertically lined or grooved.|
|10.||Inside surface of nest not lined or grooved|
|11.||Found in temperate North America (from the Gulf Coast northward).|
|11.||Found in tropical and subtropical North America (from the Gulf Coast southward).|
|12.||Nest with a deep brown ring around its rim; recorded from Alberta.|
|12.||Not completely as above.|
|13.||Nest typically 5-6 mm wide; montane and boreal in distribution.|
|14.||Nest typically 3 mm wide or smaller; eggs black; recorded from Puerto Rico.|
|14.||Not completely as above.|
|15.||Nest pale gray or buff; "lid" bright white with brownish tufts of hairs; recorded from Mexico.|
|15.||Not completely as above.|
|16.||Nest dark brown, tall and slender (to 15 mm high, 5-6 mm across); eggs large (3 mm thick); recorded from Costa Rica and Jamaica.|
|16.||Not completely as above.|
|17.||Eggs sheathed; all spore dimensions about 20 µm or smaller.|
|17.||Eggs not sheathed; spores 30-42 x 20-28 µm.|
|18.||Eggs elliptical to round; spores variously sized.|
|19.||Spores 20 x 12 µm.|
|19.||Spores 6-9 x 4-7 µm.|
|20.||Outside surface of nest velvety or finely hairy, but not conspicuously shaggy, hairy, or scaly.|
|20.||Outside surface of nest conspicuously shaggy, hairy, or scaly.|
|21.||Eggs typically larger than 2 mm across.|
|21.||Eggs typically 2 mm across or smaller.|
|22.||Nest to 18 mm high and 15 mm wide.|
|23.||At least one sporal dimension regularly longer than 10 µm.|
|23.||All sporal dimensions shorter than 10 µm.|
|24.||Spores 12-22 x 10-12 µm; inner surface of nest silvery; tropical or subtropical in distribution.|
|24.||Spores 12-14 x 8-9 µm; inner surface of nest dark; recorded from the West Coast of the United States and from Chile.|
|25.||Spores 7-9 µm; inner surface of nest white; tropical in distribution.|
|25.||Spores 5-6 x 4 µm; inner surface of nest brownish; tropical or subtropical in distribution.|
|26.||Eggs shiny and black, not sheathed; growing on dung or manured soil.|
|26.||Eggs not shiny and black, sheathed; not growing on dung.|
|27.||Nest golden brown darkening to blackish, 5-15 mm high; spores up to 40 µm long; widely distributed.|
|27.||Nest pale, less than 5 mm high; spores 8 x 16 µm; recorded from Mexico.|
|28.||At least one sporal dimension regularly longer than 18 µm.|
|28.||All sporal dimensions shorter than 18 µm.|
|29.||Nest dark buff; spores 16-22 x 12-14 µm.|
|29.||Nest dark purple brown to black; spores 17-24 x 10-14 µm.|
|30.||Spores 5-9 x 5-7 µm.|
|30.||Spores longer and/or wider than above.|
|31.||Nest pale buff, with a very narrow base; spores 7-15 x 4-9 µm.|
|31.||Nest pale fawn to rusty, without a conspicuously narrowed base; spores 10 x 16 µm.|
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Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2014, February). The bird's nest fungi. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/birdsnests.html