The Hidden World

By Sandy Benson
No one thinks twice about the tiny world we walk on everyday but a hidden world exists right below your feet.
‘What, that is amazing!!!’ were the words I heard all morning as we
discovered what was living on and underneath the tiny fungi. Sean Moore was the hit of the day bringing his hand held microscope that attached to his phone. The detail was so clear that he was able to identify several species including Hexapoda and Harvestman living on fungi the size of a matchstick head. One of the fungi inspected looked as though it was absorbing a tiny insect. I was so suprised by the amazing fungi we found in Coachwood Glen, but I was equally suprised by what we couldn’t see with the naked eye. Sean also recorded their movements on his phone.

Additional Information
We have found some interesting fungal specimens in the Blue Mountains, some of which are only known from Tasmania, New Zealand, and some from Queensland. We have only been able to identify some other specimens down to genus level, as they don’t appear in any of the fungi field guides. The family Boletaceae is particularly under-represented in field guides, though we have many different genera in the Blue Mountains.
We will be collecting some of these fungi to send to the Plant Pathology Herbarium at Orange for confirmation of the species. This herbarium holds a large collection of fungi from NSW, more than 113,000 specimens,
Bushcare website – Fungi of the Blue mountains. This webpage was set up for Liz to add her information.

If you missed out on attending the last Fungi Foray, we will be holding another Fungi Foray in Fairy Dell, Springwood later in the year, so please keep an eye out for dates.