Otidea cochleata (Gedrongen hazenoor (BE) / Brown Ear (EN) / Schnecken-Öhrling (DE) / Otidée brun d'ombre (FR)) is a fungus in the Pyronemataceae family which is in the Ascomycota phylum.
All fungi in the Ascomycota phylum have spores that are produced in specialized holding cells called "asci." An ascus (singular of "asci") usually holds eight spores (but the number may vary greatly). The spores are ejected through the end of the ascus, where an opening develops. There is no definitive way to determine, without using a microscope, whether or not a mushroom belongs to the Ascomycota or the Basidiomycota (basidium-bearing fungi). Identification within the genus otidea is very complex so I have to rely on the opinion of some experts for the field-identification (without a microscopic determination) of this specimen.
Image: Schilde (BE) - 17/09/2010
© Johan Dierckx
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