ClimateWatch

An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. 126 Photo by Clare Snow
  2. 126_0 Photo by Heino Lepp courtesy of Australian National Botanic Gardens

Ghost Fungus

Omphalotus nidiformis

Appearance

  • Glows in the dark.
  • Fan or trumpet-shaped fruit bodies with white to cream gills.
  • Cap 75-150 mm.
  • Spore print white.

What to Observe

  • Fruiting - button,
  • Fruit mature,
  • Fruit over mature,
  • Fruit dried out

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

Fungi start fruiting with rainfall.  Warmer summers mean fruiting may start later.  Also increases in decay rates in forests may trigger fruiting in spring and autumn.

When To Look

Starts fruiting in May after first rain

Where To Look

  • Southern Australia
  • Look on and around dead and living trees and stumps

Sightings

The map below displays the accumulated observations of these species as reported by ClimateWatch observers, together with the layer showing how the range of the species might change between now and 2085, with orange areas indicating where the species might disappear, and green areas where the species range might expand.

References

Bougher N. 2009. Fungi of the Perth Region and Beyond

  1. Search Species

  1. What Else?

    Pleurotus australis often called the Southern Oyster Mushroom (see page J-45 of Perth region and beyond field book) or Brown Oyster (as in Fungimap book)

  1. Did You Know?

    James Drummond, an early settler and plant collector in Western Australia talked of a large luminous mushroom (most likely Omphalotus nidiformis) and reported that several Aboriginal people, when they saw it "...cried out 'Chinga!' their name for a spirit, and seemed much afraid of it".

    Ghost fungus is mild to taste, but causes vomiting.