Stemonitopsis typhina (F.H. Wigg.) Nann.-Bremek.

Stemonitopsis typhina - the silk stocking myxo. 

2nd June 2018

After a couple of days of heavy rain followed by warmth, myxos were cropping up all over Nagshead. Among these was a small collection of a Stemonitis-like group of sporangia. Initially white, they soon became pink, and finally a silvery-brown. Individual sporocarps were 2-3mm high by 0.4mm in diameter. They had the “silk-stocking” appearance typical of S. typhina,  especially on the stalks, which were solid, opaque and horny. 

They arose from dark red hypothalli, one to three sporangia per hypothallus.

On maturing, the peridium eventually began to  break up at the top, exposing capillitium with many free ends but no appreciable surface net. Although a surface net is reported, particularly on the lower part of the sporocarp, this was not observed. The columella reached almost to the tip of the sporocarp.

Spores were pale, spherical, thin walled with clusters of dark warts, 6.0 to 7.0 µm Ø.

This is a cosmopolitan species very common throughout the British Isles.

Developing sporangia show the “silk stocking”-like surface characteristic of this species.

Spores and Capillitium x 500

Spores 6.0 - 7 µm Ø x 900