T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Cheilymenia (Genus) cup fungi

Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Pezizomycetes
Order: Pezizales
Family: Pyronemataceae
Genus: Cheilymenia
Common names: Cup fungi

Cheilymenia is an apothecial fungus in the family Pyronemataceae. The Cheilymenia genus has a worldwide distribution, especially in temperate regions, and contains 66 species, many very similar in appearance and habitat and only separable by microscopic examination of the asci, spores and other cell structures.

Coprophilous fungi are a common type of saprobic fungi that grow on animal or bird dung. In temperate areas, they appear throughout the year in clusters on faeces. The cups are up to 3 mm in diameter and are red/orange/yellow in colour. 
The spores of coprophilous species are unwittingly consumed by herbivores and birds from vegetation and are excreted along with the plant matter in their dung. The fungi then flourish in the faeces, before releasing their spores to the surrounding area continuing their life cycle.

Photos below are Cheilymenia growing on chook faeces.







A cup fungi with two feeding Poduromorpha (Springtails)

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/