Rhizomorpha corynophora

Above photos by Bob Thomas, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Stann Creek District, Belize, May 2012.

Photo by Bob Thomas, also Cockscomb, May 2010.Photo by Bob Thomas, also Cockscomb in Kaway Swamp, May 2003.

We often encountered this fungus in Cockscomb, and had no idea of its identification.  Dr. M. Cathrine Aime, Purdue University (formerly at Louisiana State University AgCenter), identified our photos as the vegetative state of a possibly pathogenic basidiomycetous fungus.  She noted that the sexual form has not been found, much less reported.  It may cause web blight of leaves, as shown in our bottom photo above.

The next to lowest photo is of an unidentified bird’s nest taken at chest level along the trail that incorporates Rhizomorpha corynophora in its construction.  We are not sure if the bird used it, or it developed in the nest materials after construction.

Otherwise, it is interesting and a thing of beauty.


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