Witches' Butter?

Please try to include photos to show all parts of the fungus, eg top, stem, and gills.
Note any smells, and associated trees or plants (eg oak, birch). A spore print can be very useful.
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Location: West Midlands

Witches' Butter?

Post by NickWood » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:31 pm

Happy New Year!
Looking for a confirmation that this might be Tremella mesenterica (Witches' Butter, Golden Jelly Fungus, etc.).
Found on a young deciduous tree (pos. birch) in a small plantation. From what I have read, Tremella mesenterica is usually found on dead wood, and in association with a Peniophora crust fungus. Apparent in some of the photos (especially the third) is a crust fungus - which, stupidly, I didn't take much notice of at the time. The orange hanging bit is presumably part of it which has dried.
As it was on a nature reserve, and the only fungus I found of interest, I didn't take anything for a spore print.
Thanks for any help.
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04 WBb.JPG
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Chris Yeates
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Re: Witches' Butter?

Post by Chris Yeates » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:24 pm

Hello Nick and a HNY to you too
Yes, no problem with Tremella mesenterica. The only other possibility is T. aurantia which is parasitic on Stereum hirsutum. Now you know of the association with Peniophora spp. you will take notice of it in the future ;) .
It's interesting to note the pallid areas of your fungus - which supports comments made by Peter Roberts in his paper on the two British yellow Tremella spp. in Mycologist vol.9(3) pp.110-14:

"Pallid fruit bodies have sometimes been given
the name Tremella lutescens, but there is nothing
to suggest the existence of a third yellow Tremella
species in Europe, and T. lutescens is now
regarded as a nomen dubium, probably synonymous with T. mesenterica. White, unpigmented or
albino fruit bodies have sometimes been given the
names Tremella albida Huds.: Fr. or Tremella
Pers. Both are nomina dubia

best wishes
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

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Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:58 pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Witches' Butter?

Post by NickWood » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:14 pm

Many thanks, Chris, for your quick and very enlightening reply, and for confirming identification.
Yet another item to add to the checklist - record the habitat in detail, including any nearby fungi!
All the best... Nick

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