nidula niveotomentosa

Class: Gasteromycetes
Order: Nidulariales
Family: Nidulariaceae

Beautiful things in small packages

Just a few days after the reappearance of leocarpus fragilis in January 2004, Glacier mentioned he'd seen what he thought was another slime mold. Investigation revealed that it was a variety of jelly fungus. The real find, though, was just a foot and a half away: a sizeable cluster of the cup fungus nidula niveotomentosa, colloquially known as bird's nest fungus. His partner Paul was intrigued by them, and took the photographs on this page.

Here's a happy little family of four mature specimens, with a fifth maturing on the right.

[mature cups full of water and peridioles]

The fruiting bodies develop with a covering, which cracks open to reveal the spore cases (peridioles) within. This photo shows several developmental stages: new, with cover intact (center); open; and old & empty (bottom). Note the light-colored spots on the wood; they will develop into more fruiting bodies.

[fruiting bodies in all stages of development]

The peridioles are splashed out of the cup by water. Each peridiole trails a sticky cord, which helps it adhere to where it lands. In this detail, note the gelatinous substance in the middle left.

[peridiole trailing sticky cord]

That image is a detail of this, which is too good not to share.

[peridioles spilling over lip of cup]


Last updated 2 July 2004
All contents ©2004 Mark L. Irons except photos ©2004 Paul Barden.