Northern Hemisphere Cordyceps


Elaphocordyceps capitata (Holmsk.) G.H. Sung, J.M. Sung & Spatafora = Cordyceps capitata (Holmsk.) Link 
"The new genus Elaphocordyceps is proposed for a subclade of the Ophiocordycipitaceae, which includes all species of Cordyceps 
that parasitize the fungal genus Elaphomyces and some closely related species that parasitize arthropods"  (Sung et al. 2007).
Update: Quandt et al. (2014) transfered all Elaphocordyceps to Tolypocladium, thus now 
Tolypocladium capitatum 
(Holmsk.: Fr.) Quandt, Kepler & Spatafora
A rare 5 headed Drumstick Truffleclub - Elaphocordyceps capitata.  
© Daniel Winkler, Dec. 2011, Found near Florence, Oregon Coast.
Formerly Cordyceps capitata (Holmsk.) Link and now Elaphocordyceps capitata (Holmsk.) G.H. Sung, J.M. Sung & Spatafora is growing from an underground Elaphomyces deer truffle species. Elaphocordyceps capita has immersed perithecia and a capitate, darkish fertile "cap". E.capitata is distributed over the whole northern hemisphere.

Here a more typical one headed specimen sliced open for display.
© Daniel Winkler, Dec. 2011, Found near Florence, Oregon Coast.

A transect of the fertile head of the Drumstick Truffleclub.  Elaphocordyceps capitata's stem is clearly distinguished from the fertile tissue containing the perithecia. Note the tough outer layer in which the perithecia embedded. To the left is a close up.

Disected Elaphomyces (deer truffle, E. muricatus?) with young stroma of
Elaphocordyceps capitata sprouting out of the rind.
Photo: Langdon Cook [author of Fat of the Land] 2008 WA

Elaphocordyceps ophioglossoides, Snaketongue Truffleclub on Elaphomyces truffle, that have been dissected. Found on the Olympic peninsular by Christian Schwarz
Photo: © Daniel Winkler, Oct. 18, 2011

There has been research in China and Japan on the medicinal propensities of
closely related Elaphocordyceps ophioglossoides, which seems to have estrogenic substances.

Cordyceps militaris stroma structure. 
Photo: © Daniel Winkler, Oct. 18, 2011.

I am not sure what causes the growth of 5 heads from one Elaphomyces granulatus-deer truffle, but I have observed in Ophiocordyceps sinensis that double or multiple heads usually occur after the immature stroma was injured, most commonly fed on by a mycophagous insect. Right next to this specimen grew another one that had half of its stem based chewed off.
Photo: © Daniel Winkler, Dec. 2011, near Florence, Oregon Coast.

Photo: © Daniel Winkler, Nov. 2008, Olympic Peninsula, WA

Here an even closer look:
A crusty outer layer protects the perithecia, the spore producing organs that contain the asco-sacs are embedded.
Photo: © Daniel Winkler, Dec. 2011, Found near Florence, Oregon Coast.

Spores being released from the perithecia of TolypocladiumElaphocordyceps ophioglossoides.

Cordyceps militaris on a butterfly pupa found SE of Seattle by Marian MaxwellPhoto: © Daniel Winkler, Oct. 18, 2011.



 On the East Coast...

Larry Millman found this larva near Boston. The larva (length 2.7cm), probably of a tussock moth, has been infected by Hirsutella, an anamorph of Ophiocordyceps, according to Kathie Hodges, mycology professor at Cornell.
Joe Warfel took these great photos. Joe is into macro photography.  
Copyright: Joe Warfel, April 2010



Quandt, Alisha et al. (2014) Phylogenetic-based nomenclatural proposals for Ophiocordycipitaceae (Hypocreales) with new combinations in Tolypocladium. In: IMA Fungus. Jun 2014; 5(1): 121–134. 
Published online Jun 19, 2014. doi:  10.5598/imafungus.2014.05.01.12

Sung G-H, Hywel-Jones NL, Sung J-M, Luangsa-ard JJ, Shrestha B, Spatafora JW. (2007) Phylogenetic classification of Cordyceps and the clavicipitaceous fungiStudies in Mycology 57: 5–59
[PMC free article] [PubMed]


Last edited on Tue, December 30, 2014, 1:07 pm