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Hypomyces cervinigenus

by Michael Kuo, 25 September 2023

This parasitic Hypomyces appears to choose only species of Helvella as its victims, coating them with a whitish mold that slowly turns pink. Thus, by current definitions, Hypomyces cervinigenus is easily identified on the basis of its presence on Helvella . . . but things may well change once in-depth, DNA-based study of "Hypomyces cervinigenus" occurs. Already, Nguyen and collaborators (2013) found a separate phylogenetic species on western North America's Helvella dryophila—and Nguyen's research was focused on the helvellas, not the parasites.


Ecology: Parasitic on various species of Helvella; summer and fall, or over winter in warm climates; originally described from Washington; widely distributed in North America; occasionally reported from Europe (perhaps inaccurately). The illustrated and described collections are from California and Illinois.

Fruiting Body: A powdery, mold-like covering that is at first whitish and then becomes pinkish to pink, and eventually pale brownish.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on surface negative.

Microscopic Features: Aleuriospores 10–15 µm including ornamentation; globose; echinate with spines 1–1.5 µm long; hyaline to dull golden in KOH. Subicular hyphae 2–5 µm wide, septate, smooth, hyaline in KOH.

REFERENCES: C. T. Rogerson & H. R. Simms, 1971. (Rogerson & Simms, 1971; Rogerson & Samuels, 1985; Schalkwijk-Barendsen, 1991; Põldmaa et al., 1999; Nguyen et al., 2013; Desjardin, Wood & Stevens, 2015.) Herb. Kuo 06010407, 06171006, 01131107, 06091303.

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Hypomyces cervinigenus
On Helvella vespertina

Hypomyces cervinigenus
On Helvella cupuliformis

Hypomyces cervinigenus
On Helvella acetabulum

Hypomyces cervinigenus
On Helvella macropus

Hypomyces cervinigenus

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Kuo, M. (2023, September). Hypomyces cervinigenus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: