12 October 2011

Parasitic Bolete in Coed Bach Park

Whilst walking the dog in Coed Bach Park, Pontarddulais we picked a rather slug-eaten example of the parasitic fungus Xerocomus parasiticus (Parasitic Bolete) growing from its host, Scleroderma citrinum (Common Earthball). Identification is straightforward as this is the only fungus known to grow from any kind of puffball. The photo below shows sections through the parasitised Common Earthball. Note that early in the development of the earthball fruiting body, the spores are relatively pale, but these blacken with age.
There appear to be very few local records of the Parasitic Bolete, so it is always worth noting if you come across this easily recognised species. Non-mycologists (myself included) should always take a record shot or specimen as fungi are a particularly challenging group due to their plasticity and variation. See also earlier post of Earthballs in situ http://goweros.blogspot.com/2010/10/common-fungi-in-our-woodlands.html

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