The Families of Mushrooms and Toadstools Represented in the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Anamorphic forms occurring.

Morphology. The fruit-bodies producing asci and ascospores; simple; erect-elongate, unbranched; capitate (drum-stick shaped); solitary (but often grouped); stipitate; discrete; tiny to small; about 5–10 mm high in C. corvina; cleistothecial (the ascoma formed from coiled initials); producing asci and spores on an exposed hymenium; ascus-bearing hymenial layer everted; stromata absent. The asci more or less globose. The ascospores oblate or allantoid; ornamented (pitted or reticulate).

The hyphae without clamp connections.

Ecology. Saprophytic. Coprophilous, or keratinophilic (often on rotting feathers, hair, horns, hooves, owl pellets). The fruit-bodies borne on the ground.

British representation. About 10 species in Britain; about 9 genera - Onygena, etc.

World representation. About 60 species; genera about 24.

Classification. Ascomycota; Ascomycetes; Eurotiomycetidae; Onygenales.

Comments. Related families include dermatophytes causing tinea in humans.

Illustrations. • Onygena corvina (LH).

To view the illustrations with captions giving names in current use, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, distributions of character states within any set of taxa, source references, and other relevant material.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2008 onwards. The families of mushrooms and toadstools represented in the British Isles. Version: 6th March 2015.’.