Phylum:Ascomycota >> Class: Ascomycetes >>  Order: Helotiales 
 BCRC Number NO BCRC Number!  
 Scientific Name: Asterocalyx mirabilis

Asterocalyx mirabilis Höhn., Sitzungsber. Kaiserl. Akad. Wiss., Math.-Naturwiss. Kl., Abt. I. 121: 402. 1912.

 Description: Stroma substratal, visible as a blackened surface on the substrate or a rind on the host at the base of the stipe of the apothecium. Apothecia grey brown to dark brown, scattered or gregarious, superficial, subsessile or stipitate. Disc concave, 0.3-0.7 mm across, opening with a circular aperture bounded by a well-defined margin of distinct white color, aperture 140-470 µm wide, with a flat extension of the receptacle covering part of the hymenium, 50-80 µm wide from the circular aperture to outer apothecial margin, the apical cells surrounding the white aperture curved, 7-10 × 3-5 µm. Hymenium translucent when fresh and white when dry. Stipe central, cylindrical, short, stout, smooth, dark gray-black to black when dry, less than 0.25 mm in length. Receptacle cup shaped with prominent flattened broad margin of gelatinized hyphae glued together and flared out to a dentate rim, the rim radially streaked with brown fibrils, gray-brown when fresh and brown or dark brown when dry. Asci (40-)50-60(-87.5) × (3-)4-7(-10) µm, clavate-cylindrical, broadest at the middle, tapered at the base to a short, rounded and slightly expanded foot, arising from a crozier, apex subconical, pore J+ when stained with Melzer’s reagent with or without KOH pretreatment, 8-spored. Ascospores (23-)33-40(-42.5) × 1-2(-2.5) µm, hyaline, acute on both ends, 3-septate. Paraphyses filiform, narrowly lanceolate, without branch or occasionally base branched, non-septate or sparsely septate, usually equal to the asci or occasionally exceeding the asci by ca. 5-10 µm, <1.3 µm in diameter. Subhymenium with loosely interwoven hyaline hyphae. Medullary excipulum composed of 2-3 layers of 3-4 µm in diameter brown-walled, short-cells. Ectal excipulum gelatinized, composed of pigmented thick-walled hyphae, 3-5 µm in width, flaring out to form a very broad, wedge-shaped, dentate margin that extends beyond the hymenium 100-150 µm.

Taiwan, Ilan: Fushan Botanical Garden, alt. 650 m, on rachis of Sphaeropteris lepifera, 19 Feb. 1998, M. L. Wu, 980219P3 (TMTC), and on rachis of Alsophila spinulosa, 05 Apr. 1998, M. L. Wu, 980405-24 (TMTC). Taipei: Yangmingshan National Park, alt. 550 m, on rachis of Angiopteris lygodiifolia, 28 Dec. 1999, C. M. Chou, 991228P1 (TMTC) and 26 Nov. 2000, C. M. Chou, 001126P1 (TMTC); Taipei: Shienchiyen, alt. 200 m, on rachis of Angiopteris lygodiifolia,06 Mar. 2000, C. M. Chou, 000306P4 (TMTC).

 Habitat: Peteridiocolous. On the rachis of Alsophila spinulosa (Hook.) Tryon and Sphaeropteris lepifera (Hook.) Tryon, usually on the curved adaxial surface of the rachis.

Java, Australia and Taiwan.


Wu, ML., 2002.


M. L. Wu

 Note: The species is very common on tree ferns in Taiwan. Sometimes it occurs in large numbers on a single rachis. However, it may be obscured by the hairs on the rachis of A. spinulosa.