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Leathery Earthfan

Thelephora sp.


Some interesting fungus I found on a rocky fire trail. Thelephora is a genus of fungi in the family Thelephoraceae. The genus has a widespread distribution and contains about 50 species. Fruit bodies of species are leathery, usually brownish at maturity, and range in shape from coral-like tufts to having distinct caps. Almost all species in the genus are thought to be inedible. Species in the genus are commonly known as "fiber fans" and "fiber vases". (Wikipedia) .....although I particularly like the common name "leathery earthfans" which applies to the family group Thelephoraceae. NB: The species Thelephora terrestris looks very promising and is well documented in Australia.... However, it does have an association with pine trees and forests, of which there are none in GIrraween, but maybe it also has an association with native Australian cypress species? Native cypress is also in the Pinales order, and there's Callitris endlicheri (black cypress) all over Girraween, as well as C. rhomboidea (dune cypress) and C. monticola (dwarf cypress).


Spotted along a fire trail, approaching the Peak Trail in Girraween National Park. Dry sclerophyll forest with sandy granite soils, substantial undergrowth and accumulated leaf litter, and foliage much greener and lush since the drought has broken. Exposed to full-sun along this section of track, although there were some areas that were still damp and muddy from recent rain. Here's some park info -


Many thanks to the folks in the Facebook group Australia & New Zealand Fungus Identification, for their assistance in helping me to ID this spotting.

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 years ago

Thanks, Tukup. They were quite small but there were so many of them. I should have put down the echidna as a reference of scale. The echidna is featured on our 5 cent coin, which is roughly the same size as a US dime.

Tukup 4 years ago

I was thinking, "That's a great picture of a pine cone," then I saw it was a fungus. It was a good picture when it was a pine cone, it's even better now that it's a fungus. 😊 Great series, and you don't have to chase them all over to get a shot. Congratulations Neil on the nomination..

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 years ago

Wow. Cheers, Mark. I appreciate the nomination :)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 4 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 4 years ago

Great spotting Neil.

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Mar 7, 2020
Submitted on Mar 28, 2020

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