Fungi Lost & Found

The sculptured toadstool (Amanita sculpta) had not been seen in Singapore for more than 80 years. Photograph: Adrian Loo/National Parks Board of Singapore

Over our nearly dozen years linking to stories we have shared plenty of what we have called lost and found stories (including this and this and this, and this), as well as fungi stories too numerous to link back to, this is the first lost and found fungi story:

Lost and found: how a Facebook post led to the ‘chocolate chip’ toadstool

The sighting of a ‘magnificent’ specimen of the Amanita sculpta, not seen in Singapore for 80 years, shows how the public can aid in conservation efforts

The cap is like a chocolate chip cookie,” says Serena Lee, senior manager at Singapore Botanic Gardens’ herbarium, describing the top of the sculptured toadstool (Amanita sculpta). “It’s big and chunky, and has a beige and dark brown cap with pileal warts.”

Despite its distinctive appearance and a large fruiting body that can range from 10 to 27cm wide, the sculptured toadstool went awol in Singapore for more than 80 years.

It was first collected in the 163-hectare (402-acre) Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, one of the first forest reserves to be created in Singapore, in 1939, and was described as a new species in 1962 by botanist EJH Corner, a former assistant director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

The toadstool species has been recorded in other parts of Asia, including Malaysia, Thailand, China, Japan and Laos, but is thought to be rare and has been put up for assessment for the IUCN Red List.

There were no sightings of the fungus in Singapore until August 2020, when a member of the public posted a photo of a curious-looking toadstool to a Facebook group about the flora of Malaysia and Singapore…

Read the whole article here.

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