Dacrymyces stillatus Nees - Common Jellyspot

Phylum: Basidiomycota - Class: Dacrymycetes - Order: Dacrymycetales - Family: Dacrymycetaceae

Dacrymyces stillatus - Common Jellyspot

Gregarious or in large merging groups on dead broadleaf or conifer wood, including fence posts and rails, decking and garden furniture as well as fallen trunks and branches, this common fungus displays a preference for timber that is already fairly well rotted.

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.

Distribution

Common and widespread in Britain and Ireland, Dacrymyces stillatus occurs also throughout mainland Europe and many other parts of the world including North America.

Taxonomic history

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.

Etymology

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 on to the substrate.

Identification guide

Close-up of Dacrymyces stillatitius - Common Jellyspot

Fruitbody

Dull orange-yellow when moist and fresh, becoming more brown and translucent with age; cushion-shaped blobs, slightly flattened; 1 to 8mm across and up to 4mm tall.

 

Spores

Elongated ellipsoidal to sausage-shaped, smooth, 14-17 x 5-6 μm; 3-septate (with three cross-walls) at maturity; amyloid.

Spore mass

White.

Odour/taste

Not distinctive.

Habitat & Ecological role

On rotting trunks and stumps of dead broadleaf trees and conifers.

Season

Fruiting in wet weather through most of the year in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

Dacrymyces chrysospermus, another orange jelly-like species, has a rudimentary cup-on-a-stem fruitbody rather than a cushion-like form.

Tremella mesenterica produces fruitbodies of similar colour but they are larger and generally convoluted and lobed.

Reference Sources

Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O'Reilly 2016.

Dictionary of the Fungi; Paul M. Kirk, Paul F. Cannon, David W. Minter and J. A. Stalpers; CABI, 2008

Taxonomic history and synonym information on these pages is drawn from many sources but in particular from the British Mycological Society's GB Checklist of Fungi and (for basidiomycetes) on Kew's Checklist of the British & Irish Basidiomycota.

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