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Mushroom Miércoles: Hongas de Ecuador - A Fungal Foray in the Amazon

Good evening, friends,


I just made it back from Ecuador and wrapped up a week of mushroom exploration in the jungle. What a tremendous diversity of life down there. My brain is pudding after a redeye back so today let’s play the hits and look at the highlight reel of all the fun finds.


First, I need to correct something from last week’s story about Chaz: his first tumor was a colorectal tumor, not a liver tumor. Bit of an important detail that I got wrong. My bad.


Entomopathogenic fungi (fungi that parasitize insects, colloquially known as “cordyceps”)


Ophiocordyceps australis growing from an ant that was tucked into a decaying seed pod.
Ophiocordyceps australis growing from an ant that was tucked into a decaying seed pod.

Paraisaria amazonica growing from a cricket.
Paraisaria amazonica growing from a cricket.

Ophiocordyceps species on a mealworm grub that Lizzy and Aiden found.
Ophiocordyceps species on a mealworm grub that Lizzy and Aiden found.

I found this Ophiocordyceps australis poking out of the leaf litter the first night we got there.
I found this Ophiocordyceps australis poking out of the leaf litter the first night we got there.

Beauveria locustiphila growing from a cricket.
Beauveria locustiphila growing from a cricket.

Something wild growing on a moth. Camelo found on the underside of a leaf.
Something wild growing on a moth. Camelo found on the underside of a leaf.

Ophiocordyceps nidus complex growing on buried Katydid (insect) eggs.
Ophiocordyceps nidus complex growing on buried Katydid (insect) eggs.

Tiny cordy on a cricket with a dime for scale.
Tiny cordy on a cricket with a dime for scale.

More Fungi


A green Hygrocybe that April found.
A green Hygrocybe that April found.

Phaeoclavulina cyanocephala that Chandler found.
Phaeoclavulina cyanocephala that Chandler found.

Clavaria schaefferi. These were fairly common.
Clavaria schaefferi. These were fairly common.

Psilocybe moseri. A psychoactive species. Note the blue bruising on the cap indicative of psilocybin breaking down into psilocin.
Psilocybe moseri. A psychoactive species. Note the blue bruising on the cap indicative of psilocybin breaking down into psilocin.

Bristly Tropical Cup (Cookeina tricholoma).
Bristly Tropical Cup (Cookeina tricholoma).

We’ll end with this peculiar Coltricia-like mushroom. It’s branched like leaves coming off a stem. Fascinating.
We’ll end with this peculiar Coltricia-like mushroom. It’s branched like leaves coming off a stem. Fascinating.

Alright gang, I’m near the email length limit so I’ll save the rest for next week.


Speaking of next week, big eclipse. Have you heard about this? I’m going to attempt to see the total solar eclipse on Monday so it’s shaping up to be a Toadstool Tuesday. Good luck to everyone else attempting to see totality, or anyone trying to see the eclipse at all.


Here’s to clear skies,

Aubrey

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