Tremella sp.

Tremella is a genus of jelly fungi which commonly occurs in South Australia. Here are 2 species which are easy to identify & hard to confuse with anything else.

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Taxonomic name: Tremella mesenterica
Tremella 
comes from the Latin tremo meaning ‘tremble’ and ella meaning ‘small.’ mesenterica  comes from the Greek mesos meaning ‘middle’ and enteron meaning ‘intestine.’
Common name(s): Witche’s butter, yellow brain.
Habitat/ecology: Found on decaying wood.
Parasitic on Stereum hirsutum or Peniophora sp. which are wood rotting fungi.

Description:
A convoluted mass of large lobes & folds make up the fruit body. Usually yellow in colour when young, turning orange with maturity. Soft & gelatinous texture.
Spore print: White or pale yellow.

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Taxonomic name: Tremella fuciformis
Tremella 
comes from the Latin tremo meaningtrembleand ella meaning ‘small.’
fuciformis 
comes from the Latin fucus meaning ‘paint’ or ‘dye’ and forma meaning ‘form’ or ‘shape.’
Common name(s): White brain, snow fungus.
Habitat/ecology: Saprophytic (decomposer) on dead wood. Commonly found in wet Eucalyptus forests.

Description:
White, somewhat transparent. A convoluted mass of large lobes & folds make up the fruit body. Soft & gelatinous texture.
Spore print: White.
Look alikes: Tremella encephala is somewhat similar in appearance but is smaller than T. fuciformis & is an off white, pale-creamy yellow colour.

This fungus is edible and is used in a sweet Asian style soup along with dates, longan berries & jujubes

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