Saturday, January 23, 2021

No bird built these bird's nests.

 They look like birds' nests. But most of the "eggs" have flown.

A cluster of bird's nest fungi on a branch beside the Eve River. Probably Nidula sp.

The "eggs" are spore cases. They lie in the bottom of the nest until a drop of rain dislodges them. Because of the shape of the cup, they can be shot out up to 2 metres from the source. There, they dry out and split apart, releasing the spores. 

Six of these nests are empty. It has been raining, and the spore cases (peridioles) are now settling in among the twigs in the duff around their tree. Two of the nests are still full.

I brought home a twig from Oyster Bay with a couple of bird's nest fungi, and turned the microscope on them.

The "eggs", tied up in string.

Some species have a sticky trailing thread, a funicular cord, attached to the peridiole. If that thread encounters a twig on its flight, the peridiole will swing around and wrap itself around the twig.(Wikipedia)

I don't know if these are the threads Wikipedia is talking about. I haven't noticed them on other bird's nest fungi, but then I haven't looked at the others under the 'scope. Next ones I find, I will.


Parecen nidos de pájaro. Pero los huevos ya volaron.

Estos son hongos nido creciendo en una rama cerca del río Eve, probablemente perteneciente al género Nidula. Los dichos "huevos" son cuerpos fructíferos donde se desarrolan las esporas. Esperan en el fondo del nido hasta que una gota de lluvia, cayendo dentro del nido, les lanza al aire. Pueden llegar hasta a dos metros del sito de origen. Allí se secan y se abren, dejando las esporas en libertad.

Seis de estos niditos ya han esparcido sus esporas en las recientes lluvias, y los peridiolos (así se llaman los "huevos') ya estarán escondidos entre las ramitas caídas en el suelo. Dos esperan una próxima gota de agua.

Me traje una ramita con hongos nido de Oyster Bay y los examiné bajo el microscopio.

Foto: un nido con sus peridiolos, que parecen estar enredados con hilo.

Dice Wikipedia: "Algunas especies tienen un hilo pegajoso que se extiende desde el periodolo, una cuerda funicular. Si ese hilo se encuentra con una rama al volar, el periodolo se dará vuelta alrededor de la rama,"

No sé si estos hilos en la foto son los de que habla Wikipedia. No los he visto en otros hongos nido, pero no los he mirado con el microscopio, solamente con lente de mano o la cámara. Lo haré en el futuro.

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