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Ghost Fungus

Omphalotus nidiformis


Omphalotus nidiformis, commonly known as "ghost fungus", is a gilled basidiomycete mushroom most notable for its bioluminescent properties, meaning... it glows in the dark! It's an Australian native species, and is also poisonous. Colour can vary between specimens from white to yellow, brown, and even purple. The other potential ID for this spotting is Pleurotus ostreatus, aka "oyster mushroom", a common and edible species (see notes). The two species are often confused. The reference links provide loads of information on this species, as well as some excellent photos.


Found on the Gold Creek walking track at Gold Creek Reservoir, which lies just to the west of Brisbane. Freshwater lake and dense native bushland vegetation of dry eucalypt forests and subtropical rainforests. Moderately sunny aspect, but surrounded by much larger eucalypt species like blue, grey and red gums. This specimen was found growing at the base of an ironbark tree. Cool and damp location.


The only surefire way to be absolutely certain this is ghost fungus would be to view it at night. That is impractical in most cases, so the second best option is to see what species have been identified in the national park. The following list has identified Omphalotus nidiformis as occurring here, whereas Pleurotus ostreatus, the oyster fungus, has not. Here's the list -

No species ID suggestions


Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 days ago

That is a really unusual fungus of yours, Tukup. My first impression was that it's a type of jelly fungus. Who knows? Let the search begin!

Tukup a week ago

BTW - Don't know if you saw this spotting, apparently few have. I was hoping you could give me some insight as you seem to be much more up on fungi than I. I'd appreciate any thoughts you, Brian and a few others might have.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a week ago

Tourist or not, I'll be right as long as my friend walks ahead of me. Have a good day :)

Tukup a week ago

From what you wrote earlier, your friend should be a tourist :-) just so the Drop Bears aren't tempted. Thanks Neil. Have a good one.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a week ago

Thanks, Tukup. I think you'd have to eat an awful lot to die, but they will definitely cause a lot of discomfort. I'll spare myself that drama and just head out with a torch one night. I'll take a friend just in case certain marsupials who avail themselves of gravity make an appearance ;)

Tukup a week ago

Normally, I don't believe in ghosts, but then I've never seen a picture of one before. There is also another way to tell which it is. A person could eat it, then he could post the results . . . . . or his surviving family members could. You chose a better way :-) Thanks for sharing. Great notes Neil.

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Lat: -27.46, Long: 152.87

Spotted on May 6, 2018
Submitted on May 14, 2019

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