A first for Sussex and only ever recorded 11 times in the British Isles;hell yeah!( Pachyphloeus melanoxanthus )

Zebedee and I found a pea sized truffle,Pachyphloeus melanoxanthus its a first for Sussex and only ever recorded 11 times in the British Isles; twice in 1986 and then not since 1878 and first recorded in 1843, not bad! I will get this  double checked by Kew as its an important find and needs to be recorded but I have no reason to believe that this has not been identified correctly by a fellow fungi expert. I had my suspicions, nice to be right!

The pictures below are of the truffle spores of Pachyphloeus melanoxanthus seen through my microscope and the picture taken with my phone so not the best. 8 spores in each long shaped, short stalked asci helped identify this subterranean fungus.

This picture shows the whole asci revealing all eight spores!

The truffle  was smaller than a pea and quite amazing how I spotted it in the first place but at first gimps it looked minutely warty but often soil can do a good job of truffle mimckry so I squeezed it to see if it was a truffle or not and to my horror it popped, not familiar with popping truffles! Normally they are dense and firm, Leaving me with a mass of material that was hard to identify, it smelt strong,sweet,,fruity sort of truffley and was found among'st Beech woodland in chalky soil.growing alongside T aestivum, fascinating!

Below is a picture of the truffle, I had to get it from the internet just to show you what the actual ascocarp looks like, gutted I stupidly demolished mine, wont be making that mistake twice !

Picture ref:

Illustration and © Amer Montecchi
Italy /Thomas Læssøe/MycoKey & Jens H. Petersen/MycoKey 

http://www.mycokey.com/MycoKeySolidState/species/Pachyphloeus_melanoxanthus.html

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Comments  

truffleandmushroomhunter 2012-11-26 12:38
Yes I imagine that's exactly the case and when you look at previous records for these types of underground fungi interestingly enough it was when truffle hunting was part of gamekeepers knowledge and they actively hunted.
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Anna Keleher 2012-11-26 11:35
An exciting find, guessing this species is alive and well in Sussex and just not many Zeb and Melissas to discover them. Well done!
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