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Coprinellus sp. 'ozonium'

Coprinellus sp. (either C. domesticus or C. radians)


I thought I'd seen some weird fungus in my time, but this stuff tops just about everything, and I had no idea where to start to ID it other than it resembled mouldy old carpet. I spent a couple of hours researching slime moulds to no avail, only to discover that this is actually a fungus, and an agaric fungus at that. These matted hair-like threads (some suspiciously look like cat hairs to me) are known as "ozonium", which are mycelial mats of branching filamentous structures that are exposed outside the substrate - in this case, a rotting log. And it's from this ozonium that the fruiting bodies grow. There are two almost identical species, both of which occur in Australia - C. domesticus and C. radians, the later of which has larger spores, but other than resorting to microscopic analysis, the easiest way to ID the exact species would be to wait and see which mushrooms pop up. Regardless, the mushrooms will be "ink-caps". Coprinellus species mushrooms belong to the family Psathyrellaceae. PS: Also at the same location and on the same log -


Spotted on a rotten log in subtropical rainforest. Full shade, and still very moist due to recent rains. Found on the Gold Creek walking trail 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.


The Mushroom Expert reference link (to the right) has loads of information. The first photo actually shows the mushrooms growing from the ozonium mass, but it also demonstrates that the ozonium is not the actual fruiting body, although it obviously plays a crucial role in the fruiting process. Also a couple of Wikipedia links, although information there is very basic -

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

Thank you, Tukup. Working on a good list of common names (secret giggles). I spent hours on this spotting, firstly just to find out what it was, and secondly to figure out how it all worked. It got too deep and I got so bogged-down with some of the terminology. Hopefully my description makes sense.

Tukup a year ago

And you have my vote to name it whatever you want :--)

Tukup a year ago

A "cat-hair mimic" fungus. What a deal!! Maybe Coprinellus felis catus :-)
Thanks for sharing and the good notes Neil.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago and partially answer my question. It seems to be very similar to an insects' ontengeny - egg to death and the various stages of development in between... I think?

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

Thanks, Mark. This is insane! Ok, is this like the "caterpillar to the moth" metamorphosis, or the "face-hugger to the alien zenomorph" kinda deal? I was pondering this yesterday. I don't really understand the relevance of the ozonium if the mushroom is the fruiting body producing the spores. Or is the mass of the hyphae just the early development of the mushroom itself? PS: If Tukup can have his Punk Caterpillar, can I call this one Coprinellus Ranga, please? It is such a cool name and far more PC than other ranga references ;)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway a year ago

Glad you found the ID Neil. There was nothing on it at all when we first searched this stuff a few years ago. Fabulous and furry. Maybe 'Coprinellus ranga' ;-)

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Spotted on May 6, 2018
Submitted on May 8, 2019

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