New Zealand Fungi

Submitted by daniel on Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:51

In mid April 2017 I managed to take photos of a bunch of beautiful mushrooms on the South Island.
The images uploaded include the most stunning, strange and unique mushrooms as well as some choice edible mushrooms, such as King boletes and giant puffballs. Enjoy! 

Entoloma hochstetteri

What a beauty! Entoloma hochstetteri is known as Blue Pinkgill in New Zealand. It is supposedly the only mushroom in the world that made it on a bank note. It is depicted on NZ's $50 note.

Entoloma hochstetteri gills

Even the gills of Entoloma hochstetteri a steel blue. I think it should be known as the "Smurf Shroom", but here might be objections from India, where it is supposedly occuring as well. That blueness would clearly make this pinkgill "Shiva's Shroom" .

Favolaschia calocera wavy Poreconch

Favolaschia calocera, known as the Wavy Poreconch, is a charismatic wood decayer closely related to Mycena, I can never resist to take a photograph, though I have hundreds of poreconch shots already (see more below). The word "Poreconch" might look odd to some, contracting two nouns to one name is an inventive approach to set up up a binomial system in English. I am not sure if it was pioneered in the UK or New Zealand.

 Pluteus velutinornatus Velvety shield

Pluteus readiarum growing out of a decaying trunk in the middle of Christ Church.

Pluteus velutinornatus Velvety shield cap

The cap of Pluteus readiarum shows these cool fibres.

 Leratiomyces erythrocephalus Scarlet pouch

Leratiomyces erythrocephalus, the Scarlet pouch. In NZ there is a whole bunch of these "pouch" mushrooms, whose gills are degenerated. They appear in a range of colors, but more interestingly in different taxons (see below). It is speculated that these pouch mushrooms co-evolved with non-flying birds that used to be common on the islands until mammals showed up, first in the form of humans which also brought along, but much later, rats, possums etc. that endangered and helped to drive a fee of the birds into extinction. I have no idea what impact the absence of these mycophagous birds is having on the populations of the pouch mushrooms.  

 Cortinarius secotious Arthur Pass

 Another secotious mushroom seen near Arthur's Pass. The spore color reminded me of a webcap (Cortinarius sp.). 

Cortinarius porphyroides  Makarora NZ

A member of the Cortinarius porphyroides group seen in Makarora below Haast Pass is another of these colorful pouch mushrooms. Jerry Cooper was so kind to let me know that there are 4 species of Purple pouch webcaps and they can not being differentiated without microscopy. 

Cortinarius porphyroideus group

These Purple pouch webcaps I found near Lake Rotoroa which lies within the borders of Nelson Lakes National Park in the South Island. This could be another species as the image above. However, it clearly belongs to the Cortinarius porphyroides group.

And yet another colorful fungus! A red Clavulina seen in Franz Josef on the West Coast.

Cordyceps tuberculata NZ

Cordyceps tuberculata parasitizing a moth attached to a root shoot seen in Franz Josef. I love the exposed structure of the sessile perithecia.

Glow worm trap New Zealand

A glow worm trap by day light. Larvae of the gnat Arachnocampa luminosa, which is endemic to New Zealand build traps in wet locations as caves and shady overhangs to snare other insects, and also millipedes and snails on their silken traps with sticky mucus drops. In the dark the larva lights up these traps and the Māori name "titiwai" meaning "projected over water" describes the process well. The glowworms' bioluminescence is based on the chemical process involving luciferin and luciferase, substances that are also found in bio-luminescent fungi.

Isaria on Arachnocampa luminosa??

An image of possibly Arachnocampa luminosa - the glow worm larva infected by a Isaria sp. a cordyceps anamorph. I found several of these anamorphs right between the traps and A. luminosa is known to fall victim to cordyceps. 

Boletus edulis

Surrounded by giant gnarly non-native pines, probably Pinus radiata. a fat mature porcino is growing. I spotted a group of two while driving the highway and had to turn around.
Boletus edulis is non-native in the southern hemisphere and was introduced with European tree seedlings, probably on the roots of an oak. Check out a very interesting paper on Boletus edulis and Boletus aff. reticulatus in Canterbury and surroundings, New Zealand, by Jerry Cooper in Mycological Notes 11 (2012), which can be found here.

Boletus edulis NZ Stem pores

Reticulation of the stipe as typical for Boletus edulis group. Somewhat untypical seems to me the coloration of the upper stem and the tube layer.

 My daughter Sophia showing off the two giant New Zealand porcini.

The site of the two porcini. One is growing in dead center of the image under the curved fallen branch, the other growing in front of the stem base of the lower big pine.

Hydnum Arthur's Pass NZ

I was quiet blown away to find hedgehog mushrooms (Hydnum spp.) near Arthur's Pass. Reading a great recent molecular study on the global diversity of Hydnum surprised me even more. So I am not a 100% if I found Hydnum crocidens, which is endemic to New Zealand and Australia or one of the other at least 2 more undescribed species found in New Zealand.

Hydnum  crocidens var. wellingtonii Arthur's Pass NZ

However, the stems were laterally attached, hence it would be Hydnum crocidens var. wellingtonii. Anyway, tasty there were! (Sorry for the poor quality, it's a cell phone picture).

© Daniel Winkler

  • While taking the mushroom pictures often I was accompanied by the curious and friendly South Island robin (Petroica australis australis, here its call) that came within arm's reach to check out what I was doing. It really felt like being in a fairy land sitting in the moss marveling at beautiful mushrooms while being surrounded by singing birds not afraid of humans!

  • Marasmius oreades New Zealand

    The Fairy ring mushroom, Marasmius oreades apparently introduced to New Zealand, where it is also known as the Scotch Bonnet. It is an excellant edible, great structure and taste.  Although it is a bit tedious to pick. It is has a rich nutty taste and dries easily and is reconstituted quickly, which could be explained with the unusual capacity of Marasmius to fully revive when there is moisture available again after having dried out completely.

    Calvatia gigantea habitat Fairlie

    A group of Giant puffballs Calvatia gigantea (= Langermannia gigantea) growing out of a pasture feeding on decaying herbaceous and grassy material.

  • Check out this size! How small Heidi's hand is! We pickled a smaller one and put marinated slices on the Barbie. Wished we had picked a few more! 

Entoloma yellow new zealand

A beautiful yellow Entoloma, probably Entoloma sulpherum growing amidst duff covered by the strange and infamous black sooty mold we encountered frequently covering everything. The mold grows on waste honeydew that is produced by scale insects which suck sap and secrete honeydew.

Austroboletus lacunosus Flecked bolete tubes

Austroboletus novaezelandiae, cosely related to Australia's Flecked bolete (A. lacunosus), has these cool purplish colored tubes.

Austroboletus lacunosus Flecked bolete

Austroboletus novaezelandiae

Austropaxillus nothofagi

A pair of Austropaxillus, maybe A. nothofagi, but there is a few other very similar Autropaxillus species in New Zealand. Though Austropaxillus looks like closely related to the Rollrim, Paxillus, and both are members of the Boletales, but they are classified in different families. Austropaxillus is closely related to Serpula lacrymans, the dry rot fungus, that is the bane of wooden structures. 

Phellodon sinclairii nz

Phellodon sinclairii, a toothed fungus, however there is a few species growing in the bush under that name.

Phellodon sinclairii  

Looking at the toothed hymenium of clearly another species of Phellodon. This cool organism should be Phellodon plicatus, the Folded tooth, but the taxonomy of Phellodon is still in flux in New Zealand as Jerry Cooper pointed out to me.

Clitocybe Franz Josef

A decurrent Agaric, probably in the still evolving hydropoid Porotheleaceae family that also should include the genera of Hydropus, Gerronema, and a few Trogia spp.. This mushroom is growing out of stems of a perennial or softish shrub branch photographed against the light near Franz Josef on the West Coast from the South Island.

This is the most mysterious fungus I found! Or is it something else? The consistency felt fungal but i do not see a fertile tissue. Could it be a cambium going wild? I am still hoping for a good tip.

The same organism, which I refer to as "White tongue fungus", just a bit more aged seen near Makarora.


Mycena ura gills Makarora

The striking red Mycena ura seen in Makarora.

Mycena ura New Zealand

Yes, striking red, but tiny! However, spotting them was not only helped by its intense color, but also by its abundance. I found a group of 40 specimens growing around a fern.


Rossbeevera pachydermis or Chamonixia pachydermis

The Potato fungus Rossbeevera pachydermis, previous known as Chamonixia pachydermis is often found half buried in soil in Nothofagus Forests. This member of the boletales turns blue an dgreen with age and its spore are dark brown.

 Crucibulum laeve Christ Church

Crucibulum laeve, a gorgeous Bird's nest fungus seen in Christ Church.

I love the honey comb structure displayed when looking at the cap of the Wavy Poreconch -  Favolaschia calocera,.

Favolaschia calocera

Lichens (Cladonia?) lit up in the first sun beams in a Southern beech tree (Nothofagus sp.) near Milford Sound.

Hokitika Gorge

Waters nearly as blue as the Smurf shroom seen in Hokitika Gorge.

Beauveria bassiana Cicada Paparoa

Beauveria bassiana digesting a cicada in Paparoa.

Isaria sinclairii = Isaria cicadae
Isaria sinclairii = Isaria cicadae growing from a cicada that was buried in the soil.

Cordyceps tuberculata Franz Josef

A close up of Cordyceps tuberculata growing on a moth near Franz Josef, West coast of the South Island of New Zealand.


Two Awesome webpages to help you learn about and identify fungi of New Zealand:

Ridley, Geoff 2006. A photographic guide to Mushrooms and other fungi of New Zealand, Auckland, 143 p. - out of print, but you might find it used online

Last edited on Wed, September 6, 2017, 2:27 pm