Bird’s Nest Fungi in Malaysia

Johari Jalinas

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, 43650 Bangi, UKM, Selangor Darul Ehsan E-mail: johari_j@ukm.my Bird’s nest fungi are tiny and are generally overlooked, although patches of hundreds or thousands of them are common in recreational park in Malaysia.

Cup-shaped body

Lens-shaped periodiole

Figure 1 Cyathus striatus with periodioles in cup-shaped fruit bodies

Cyathus striatus (Photo by: Johari Jalinas) Location: Lata Jarum, Raub, Pahang Darul Makmur

Matured basidiocarp is a hollow cup containing a number of lentil-shaped bodies (peridioles), the whole resembling a small bird’s nest with eggs. The fungal spores are contained in the periodioles which are easily splashed out of the cup by rain drops onto the surrounding vegetation. In most cases, the nests begin as closed, cushion like structures with lids that open to permit spore dispersal. Immature specimens or empty nests may resemble some kinds of cup fungi. The immature nests can be easily distinguished by the presence of the eggs, which contain basidia as well as spores, and empty nests can be distinguished microscopically from

ascus-bearing cup fungi. One species, the Cannon Fungus, is spherical rather than nestlike, and has one peridiole.

Cyathus striatus Order: Nidulariales Family: Nidulariaceae Genus: Cyathus

Description: Broadly cup-shaped, narrowing below, with lined inner wall and dark eggs attached by coiled cords. Fruiting Bodies: ¼-5/8” (0.5-1.5 cm) wide and high; variable in shape, typically with slender base and upper 1/3 flaring outward; brownish to gray-buff to deep chocolate-brown; outer wall covered with shaggy or woolly hairs and faintly to strongly grooved; inner wall marked grooved, not shaggy, shiny; lid white Eggs: 1/32-1/16” (1-1.5mm) wide; somewhat triangular, dark, with cord. Spores: 15-20 x 8-12µ; elliptical, notched at 1 end, smooth. Habitat: On dead wood, bark, twigs, and wood chips, in open woods. Range: Widely distributed in Peninsular of Malaysia Malaysian Bird’s Nest Fungi in different location

Location: Lubuk Manggis, Pangsun Hulu Langat, Selangor Darul Ehsan. Photo by: Johari Jalinas

Location: Lata Jarum, Raub, Pahang Darul Makmur Photo by: Johari Jalinas

Location: Sg Congkak, Hulu Langat, Selangor Darul Ehsan. Photo by: Johari Jalinas

References:

Gary H. Lincoff. 2008. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. Chanticleer Press Inc. Page 827-829. Tan Teck Koon. 1990. A Guide to Tropical Fungi. Singapore Science Centre. Page 98-99 Gerrit J. Keizer. 1998. The Complete Encylopedia of Mushrooms. Rebo International-2nd Edition. Page 143