Identification: Yellow jelly fungi

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by David Wong, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. David Wong

    David Wong Active Member

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    Rightly or wrongly, I have labelled these little yellow patches from Mayne Island as Witches' Butter (Tremella mesenterica). However, I have also seen the brown fungus found in Richmond (shown in the last photo) as Witches' Butter (Tremella mesenterica) too. I am confused. Please clarify for me. Many thanks.
     

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  2. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    That last one would be Witches' Apple Butter. :)
    Sorry, couldn't help myself.
     
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  3. David Wong

    David Wong Active Member

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    I don't even know if my ID for the yellow jelly fungi as Witches' Butter (Tremella mesenterica) is correct. They have different shapes and sizes; I assume them all to be of the same species, for lack of better reference resource.
    The common name could be confusing. Could the dark brown jelly be Exidia glandulosa?
     
  4. Frog

    Frog Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Witches' Butter is a good example of why we often avoid using common names: In this part of the world there are so many cases of multiple common names in use for one mushroom.
    Every country, even regions within a country, brought their common names to North America, and few of the Indigenous peoples's common names are in use.
    Where there were no "established" common names, field guide authors were often forced to make some up, which has added to the confusion.
    Britain, interestingly, has a pretty clear logical set of common names, but many of them have never been used in NA, so switching to their system would probably just add to the messiness.
     
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  5. David Wong

    David Wong Active Member

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    As a novice, I quickly learned about this confusing issue. Thanks for the explanation why this problem occurs.
     
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  6. Frog

    Frog Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The substrate for the orange blobby jellies looks like hardwood, and if so, you very likely have Tremella mesenterica. The orange jelly antlers are Calocera, and the brown jelly is a species in either Exidia or Tremella. I don't right now recall which one... if I figure it out I'll chime back in, or perhaps someone else will.

    There are many jellies, but relatively few seem to attain large size, so it is a bit easier to ID the larger ones.

    A foremost expert in this polyphyletic, convergently evolving group of gelatinous critters worked at UBC before sadly he passed away some years ago: Dr Robert Bandoni, a lovely kind and very learned person. I had the very brief privilege of learning from him, and I am sorry he is gone for many reasons. Not many folks seem to work on jellies - they are extremely interesting and varied, and an interesting challenge.
     
  7. David Wong

    David Wong Active Member

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    Thank you for taking time to differentiate the different kinds of jellies. They are no less interesting than mushrooms.
    I was treating in the ID, thinking if Candlestick fungi have different shapes, the yellow jelly jellies can do so too. Now I know not all yellow jellies are the same.
     
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