Biologists have described three new fungi species in the genus Gymnopus from New Zealand.
The newly discovered species, named Gymnopus imbricatus, G. ceraceicola and G. hakaroa, belong to the Omphalotaceae family, the most famous representative of which, the Shiitake mushroom, is the favorite of many.
They can be recognized by strong, unpleasant odor when crushed. The smell produced by these species is most commonly described as rotting cabbage or garlic.
The species grow in colonies of just a few up to an impressive display of hundreds of fruitbodies on dead tree trunks or on the lower trunk parts of still living trees.
Another characteristic is the presence of a waxy layer from which the fruitbodies emerge, which is usually colored in green due to the algae commonly living in the substance.
The description of G. imbricatus, G. ceraceicola and G. hakaroa is published in the open-access journal Mycokeys.
“This paper is a small contribution to filling the gap in the knowledge of New Zealand and Southern hemisphere species and their origins – there is still a long way to go,” said lead author Dr Jerry Cooper from the Landcare Research, Lincoln, New Zealand.
Bibliographic information: Cooper JA, Leonard PL (2013) Three new species of foetid Gymnopus in New Zealand. MycoKeys 7: 31-44, doi: 10.3897/mycokeys.7.4710