A Cup Fungi --- Maybe Pezizaceae .. Maybe Tarzette

Posted by Elmer 12/14/12 ---- Scroll Down to See the Discussion

This shows the spore size
The marks on the ruler are in millimeters

This shows the side of the cup

This shows the diameter of the spores
Note: marks on rules are in mm

This shows the disk shape of the spores

This shows the thickness of the spores in mm

This is a spore at 100x magnification

This is a spore that has been crushed

Elmer: This is a question about a delightful little cup Fungi that I found.
As shown by the pictures referenced below,
the spores in this specimen are disk shaped
with a diameter of about 1.75 millimeters and a thickness of 0.5 millimeters. (note millimeters not microns)
My specimen has eight spores in the cup
Arora says Pezizaceae have eight spores. Arora does not give a spore size.
Michael Kuo says spores of Pezizaaceae are 13-20 by 8-10 microns. (note microns not millimeters)
My question, are the little round things in the cup the spores?
Luurt: Not quite. Peridioles.
If you look closely, they almost appear to be little mushrooms in gross morphology.,
but if you dissect one, you'll see a different structure.
The only pictures that I have in the collection at the moment are of Cyathus striatus,
but it shows the interior structure fairly well.

Elmer: Thanks, Now that I know that what I am looking at are peridioles,
it is easy to find information. For example,
"Rain drops falling at approximately six meters per second strike the cup
and eject the peridioles to a distance of three to four feet."

These are truly amazing little fungi.
I look forward to learning more about them. I have tried to slice a peridiole and look at it under a microscope,
but as of yet I have not been very successful in seeing anything.

Do you think that I can get the spores by placing a few peridioles on a slide
and just waiting until they burst releasing the spores?
Thanks again

Judy: I usually smash or cut then squeeze the peridiols on a separate slide,
then prepare a slide with water of a faint touch of congo red stain,
then scoop a bit of the stuff I’ve squeezed out onto the slide I’ll use for viewing,
then put on the coverslip,
tap out any air bubbles, then look at it.

Judy: have you checked the toughness of the “cup”? Members of the Pezizacea are fragile,
not tough and hard.
Also, do you find asco spores that large?
You are right to question as Kuo is right.
I’ll give you a hint – “those little round things” are spore bearing cases,
and these cups and cases will give you a hint as to the type of fungus it is.
They are pretty neat, usually grow in troops and clusters on wood, and fun to study.
You will enjoy finding out what it is and there are lots of them this time of year,
because they depend on rain to spread their spores. Have fun!

PS There is also a great
little book in the library that describes many of them and
has great pictures and drawings you can check out.

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge that image