Hygrocybe aurantipes (an agaric fungus) - vulnerable species listing

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to list Hygrocybe aurantipes A.M. Young, an agaric fungus, as a VULNERABLE SPECIES in Schedule 2 of the Act. The listing of Vulnerable Species is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. Hygrocybe aurantipes A. M. Young (Fungi, Basidiomycota, Agaricales, Hygrophoraceae) is a small, brightly-coloured gilled fungus. It is described by Young (1999): Pileus 20-40mm, conical becoming expanded conical and finally more or less plane sometimes with the margins reflexed, smooth, dry; not radially fibrillose; at first dark olivaceous brown (4F8-5F8) then rapidly with greenish yellow tints as the pileus expands and often with orange tints when old; margins not splitting, a little pellucid striate and usually lighter in colour when young. Lamellae narrowly adnate to adnate with slight decurrent tooth, distant, thick, extensively connected by veins across the pileus' undersurface and these may reach up to halfway across the lamellae face, 1 set lamellulae, yellowish cream to buff-cream or yellowish orange (3A4-3B4), margins concolorous. Stipe 30-60 x 3.5-7.0 mm, cylindrical but often flattened, the stipe base may be either inflated or slightly tapered, smooth, dry, pale yellow-orange (4A6,5A6-6A6) but sometimes with apricot pink tints, usually more pallid superiorly, base concolorous but may be white or more yellowish, hollow.

Observations from Lane Cove Bushland Park show that this species is variable. Some specimens possess characters not included in the description by Young (1999) above. For example, one collection has above-ground basidiomes (fruiting stucture) where the gills are distinctly grey and extend to a lemon edge.

2. Hygrocybe aurantipes A. M. Young is known only from its type locality in the Lane Cove Bushland Park in the Lane Cove Local Government Area in Sydney and from the Blue Mountains National Park (Mt Wilson) and Hazelbrook.

3. Surveys in potentially suitable habitats elsewhere in the Sydney Basin Bioregion have failed to find Hygrocybe aurantipes A. M. Young. At Lane Cove the species occurs not only in leaf litter but also on mossy creek banks, under a closed canopy. The species does not produce basidiomes all year, but non-reproductive hyphal structures occur below ground.

4. Hygrocybe aurantipes A. M. Young is likely to be threatened by water-borne pollutants. Industrial pollutants occur particularly in the upper reaches of Gore Creek in Lane Cove Bushland Park, and domestic contaminants arise from residential properties on the perimeter of the Park. The species is also likely to be at risk from encroachment by exotic weeds, dumping of rubbish and garden refuse, pedestrian traffic in areas where hyphae or basidiomes occur, and inappropriate bush regeneration measures that disturb the forest canopy and native understorey plants.

5. In view of points 2, 3 and 4, above the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Hygrocybe aurantipes A. M. Young is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate.

Proposed Gazettal date: 19/07/02

Exhibition period: 19/07/02 - 23/08/02


Young, A.M. (1999). The Hygrocybeae (fungi, Basidiomycota, Agaricales, Hygrophoraceae) of the Lane Cove Bushland Park, New South Wales. Austrobaileya 5(3) 535-564

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Page last updated: 28 February 2011