Cup Fungus - Cookeina tricholoma

The genus Cookeina is one of the best known and most often collected genera of tropical Pezizales in the family Sarcoscyphaceae. The fairly large, often hairy apothecia attract the attention of most general collectors.

The fruiting body in Cookeina tricholoma is covered in really long hairs that look like eyelashes, probably for protection from fungivorous, or fungi-eating. It is a saprobic fungus that grows on dead wood in tropical forest and can be found in Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Michael Pilkington | Locality: Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Guyana (2007)

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Collation of different species of fungus.

1. Microstoma floccosum (species of Cup Fungi) 2. Delicatula integrella 3. Campanella sp. 4. Cookeina sp. 5. Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail Fungi) 6. Pleurotus sp. (Blue Oyster) 7. Puff Ball Fungi 8. Marasmiaceae sp. 9. Cortinarius bibulus 10.Clavarioid (Coral) Fungi 11. Calyptella capula 12.Toothed Fungi 13Auriscalpium vulgare 14Calostoma cinnabarina 15. Monotropa coccinea 16Pterospora andromedea17. Laetiporus sp. 18. Red Cage Fungi 19. Phallus indusiatus (Bamboo Fungi) 20. unknown sp.

Cookeina is a genus of cup fungi in the family Sarcoscyphaceae, members of which may be found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Species may be found on fallen branches of angiosperms, trunks, and sometimes on fruits. The Temuans of Peninsular Malaysia are reported to use certain species from this genus as food, 
and also as a bait for fishing, where it is rubbed against the hook.

When mature apothecia become filled with water, the asci absorb some of that water and develop a Turgor pressure, a hydrostatic pressure within the ascus which put pressure on the tip of the ascus, held in place by the rigid ascus wall. As the water level in the cup reduces due to evaporation, the asci tips dry out, resulting in a negative vapor pressure that ultimately results in the thin tissue at the wall of the apex (the operculum) breaking outward, releasing the spores.