Paint splash fungi

These fungi form thin, crust-like layers on the surface of fallen wood. Most commonly found on the underside of pieces of wood lying on the ground, although there are species characteristically found on drier pieces of wood, or tree fern fronds, held off the ground. Most are white or yellowish in colour, although a few are brightly coloured. These are amongst the most important fungi of the native forest, very active at breaking down fallen wood and hence returning nutrients to the soil. There are many species in a large number of genera, difficult to distinguish, even with a microscope. Each species has a characteristic appearance to the surface, sometimes completely smooth, sometimes with short teeth or other surface textures, sometimes with pores. Only a few species are treated here, to give a feel for the diversity of forms and colours.
Most species are thought to be indigenous, and a few are endemic. Gloeocystidiellum porosum and Schizopora radula could be exotic. G. porosum is found on mostly introduced plants, and typically in human modified habitats. S. radula is widely distributed in native forests, but is also found in disturbed sites outside forests. It is genetically very similar to populations from Europe and could have been introduced by humans and subsequently invaded native forests.


NameImageDescriptionNZFungi Entry


Corticioid fungi forming white, yellowish or buff, flat adherent fruiting bodies. Hymenial (sporeproducing) surface may be smooth, cracked, or have fine teeth or pores. Macroscopically, Hyphodontia is similar to many other genera of corticioid fungi and needs to be identified by its distinct microscopic characters such as typical branching pattern of hyphae and sterile cells (cystidia).<...


Polypore fungi with crust-like to pileate (shelf-like) basidiocarps causing a white rot of fallen wood. Junghuhnia meridionalis can be recognised by its orange poroid fruiting body. Junghuhnia rhinocephalus forms an initially cream fruiting body becoming brown when mature. It is easily recognized by its pleasant vanilla-like smell.
Four species have been reported from New Zeala...


Polypore fungi forming thin, crust-like fruiting bodies on dead wood. The surface of the fruiting bodies is covered with irregular pores and is cream with an orange tinge. Causes a white rot (i.e. produces enzymes that can degrade all components of wood cell walls).
Two species occur in New Zealand, the most common being the cosmopolitan S. radula. S. radula is widely distribut...