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


Scutellinia colensoi (Eyelash button)

Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Subphylum: Pezizomycotina
Class: Pezizomycetes
Subclass: Pezizomycetidae
Order: Pezizales
Family: Pyronemataceae
Genus: Scutellinia
Species: S. colensoi
Synonyms: Lachnea colensoi
Binominal name: Scutellinia colensoi
Common name: Eyelash button, Eyelash Cup, Molly Eye-winker, Eyelash Pixie Cup

Scutellinia colensoi is a tiny, indigenous, non-endemic, stemless fungi found growing on damp rotten wood. It is also grows terrestrial among moist mosses on the ground. It is usually seen during autumn but spores will develop during other warm wet periods.
S. colensoi is one of the most widespread of the world's fungi.
Its caps are usually 3 to 5mm across but they can be up to 15mm wide and up to 5mm high. The caps can vary in colour from orange through to a very deep red inside the cup. The caps are slightly concaved but become flattened when mature. They are initially rounded but can develop irregular margins when they push up against neighbouring caps.
The cap upper surface is shiny and while its underside is matt. 
The outer surface of the cap is infertile; the ascospores are produced on the shiny inner surface which is the hymenial or spore-bearing area of the cap.
The cap is without a visible stipe and is attached to the soil by mycelial threads. 
A distinguishing feature of these fungi is the peripheral ring of 1-2 mm dark hairs that line the cap's margin, hence the common name ‘Eyelash button’.

  

  

In this photo the 
peripheral ring of dark hairs that line the caps margin can be seen. These give this fungi its common name ‘Eyelash button’.