Trichia brunnea J.J. Cox

Cox 1981: Mycologia 73: 741
Type loc.: USA, California, Modoc County, Canby.
Mycobank #111979

Sporocarps gregarious in groups of up to ca. 50 frbs., close but not distorted from mutual pressure; most sporocarps ± obovoid, but shape varying from almost globose (rare) to short cylindric, ca. 0.5 mm in diam. and ca. 0.8-1.5 mm high incl. stalk; stipitate, rarely 2-3 sporocarps on common stalk; dull greyish brown (more saturated than 5F5-6), most sporocarps with a slight silvery shimmer in basal part.

Thin, fragile, occasionally flaking off in small patches, generally disintegrating irregularly, in basal part often leaving an ill defined calyculus, pale greysh yellow in TL

Short, up to ca. 2/5 of total height; slightly longitudinally wrinkled; dark dull brownish in TL, dull greyish orange in RL, translucent, filled with hemispherical cysts up to ca. 20 µm Ø, smaller towards apex

Sparse to profuse, of 2-4 µm broad elaters, rather long and with few free ends which are rounded or short (up to ca 10 µm) and irregularly tapered; occasionally branched; with 3-4 spiral bands, mostly regular but occasionally almost lacking; pale greyish yellow in TL.

± globose to slightly angular, dull greyish brown in RL, pale greyish yellow in TL; almost smooth or with few, irregularly distributed small warts, occasionally in groups; remarkably thick-walled, up to ca. 3/4 µm, 8 - 9.28 - 10.5 µm Ø (n = 25).

Found on dung of cow (Cox (1981) and this report), horse (Eliasson & Keller (1999)), reindeer (Moravec (1968) as Hemitrichia stipata var. fusca) and unspecified hebivore (Novozhilov et al. (2006)).

The species is apparently very rare, although this may be due to the special habitat, dung of large herbivores, a subtrate rarely searched specifically for myxomycetes.

Previosly it seems to be known from only five localities worldwide: USA, California (Cox (1981) - type locality), Norway (Moravec (1968) - type locality of Hemitrichia stipata var. fusca), Montenegro (Eliasson & Keller (1999)) Russia, Lower Volga Basin (Novozhilov et al. (2006)) and Austria (Nannenga-Bremekamp - specimens online)

To this list should now be added Denmark.

Trichia brunnea is considered a true coprophilous species by Eliasson & Keller (1999), meanimg that the spores must pass the digestive tract of some herbivore in order to germinate. The thick-walled spores is seen as an adaption to this ecology.

The description is based on one Danish collection: JM2001-001b, Denmark, Jyll., Mols Bjerge, 14-9-2011, leg. Christian Lange. Cultured on dung of cow. Private herbarium of jens Mårbjerg.


Abbreviations: TL : transmitted light; RL : reflected light; Ø : diameter; TBU : Danish Botanical Topographical District.

Colour-codes refer to: Kornerup, A. & J. H. Wanscher 1974: Farver i farver. 5th reprint. Politikens Forlag, Copenhagen.

When not otherwise indicated spore measurements are given as: min-mean-max or (extreme-)min-mean-max(-extreme). Spore measurements are exclusive of ornamentation.

Line drawings are free hand sketches.

Distribution maps: Maps of Danish distributions are based on material seen by the author. World distributions are based on reports extracted from literature.

Trichia brunnea:
Trichia brunnea - Sporocarps
Sporocarps (JM2001-001b)
Trichia brunnea - Spores
Spores (JM2001-001b)
Trichia brunnea - Elaters
Elaters (JM2001-001b)
Trichia brunnea - Detail of stalk
Detail of stalk (JM2001-001b)