A Beginner’s Guide to Identifying The Protostelids by Frederick W. Spiegel, John D. Shadwick, Lora A. Lindley,

By Frederick W. Spiegel, John D. Shadwick, Lora A. Lindley, Matthew W. Brown

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Prespore cell (PSP): not shown, circular in outline when viewed from above. Scale bar: 100µm, all. Comments: While this species is found most frequently on bark from living trees, it is about as likely to occur on dead primary tissues in the Hawaiian Islands. It appears to be a species that is often associated with arid habitats, and it occurs at higher elevations (>3000m) than most protostelids. Similar species: This is a distinctive species which is usually easy to identify. From some angles, 4-spored sporocarps may be difficult to distinguish from the smaller P.

It may be a bit more common in the tropics than in temperate areas. Orignially described as Cavostelium bisporum Olive & Stoian. Similar species: None, this species is unique and nearly impossible to misidentify. However, if you encounter what appears to be a 4-spored example of E. bisporum, it is probably the much less common E. lunatum Olive & Stoianovitch which has an articuated half-cup shaped columella (Fig. D). Sporocarps arranged on a slime column or pad deposited by a plasmodium prior to dividing into prespore cells.

This particular example was observed on substrates from the Ozarks of Arkansas and has stalks that are on the proportionally shorter end of the range stalk lengths. Some fruitings may have stalks that are up to two spore diameters longer. Similar species: Only an occasional fruiting of S. vulgare that has a coarse reticulum on the spores might be mistaken for S. reticulata. It may be the case that the two species are very closely related or conspecific and that spore reticulation is a variable trait.

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