Camarops petersii

Scientific nameCamarops petersii (Berk. & M.A. Curtis)
Derivation of nameCamarops means "can make an arched
cover." This fungus was first described in 1869 by Berkeley
and Curtis from specimens collected by Judge Thomas M.
Peters (1810-1888) in Alabama, who is honored by the
specific epithet petersii.  
Synonyms: Bolinia petersii (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) Lloyd;
Hypoxylon petersii Berk. & M.A. Curtis; Peridoxylon
petersii (Berk. & M.A. Curt.) Shear.   
Common name(s):  "Dog's nose fungus"
Phylum:   Ascomycota
Order:   Boliniales
Family:   Boliniaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate: Saprobic; solitary or
grouped on decaying (typically decorticated) hardwood logs
(e.g., oak, elm); summer and fall.       
Dimensions:  Cushion-shaped fruit bodies are 2-9 cm wide,
sub-circular to oval to irregular in shape and up to 2 cm high.  
Description: A grayish-brown to yellowish-brown peridium
initially encloses the "flesh" (i.e., stroma) of this ascomycete.
The peridium ruptures to reveal the black, glistening, pimple-
dotted surface of the stroma. The peridium eventually ends
up as a ragged-edged ring of tissue around the periphery of
the stroma. Many perithecia are embedded at various
depths within the stromatal tissue and the ostioles of their
long necks terminate at the pimple-dots on the surface. Dark
ascospores exude from the ostioles (along with an exudate)
to form a wet, shiny film on the surface of the stroma.        
Edibility: Unknown. 
Comments: This species is apparently much more common
than its absence in most field guides would indicate. Its
conspicuous size and shiny, tar-like appearance on oak logs
is quite eye-catching. Old records indicate American
chestnut was once a common habitat for Camarops
before the demise of the tree as a prominent forest
species due to the chestnut blight fungus.

More information at    

Figure 1. Camarops petersii on a barkless (decorticated)
log. Photo © John Dawson.

Figure 2. Camarops petersii. Photo © John Dawson.

Figure 3. Camarops petersii. This older specimen has
lost its dark luster. Photo © Steve Nelsen.

Figure 4. Cluster of Camarops petersii on a decorticated
hardwood log. Photo © Dianna Smith.

Figure 5. Same cluster as Figure 4 but photographed three
months later in November. Photo © Dianna Smith.

Figure 6. This cluster of Camarops petersii was detached
from the wood and placed on the bark in order to take the
picture. Photo © Dianna Smith.

Figure 7. The long dimension of this exceptionally large
specimen of Camarops petersii is 8.5 cm.
Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 8. The underside of the specimen in Figure 7.
Some of the wood substrate is attached to the specimen.
Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 9. The peridium is intact on the three small
specimens. Photo © John Plischke III.

Figure 10. The ruptured peridium (veil) reveals the shiny
black stromatal surface beneath. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 11. Close-up of a portion of Figure 10 showing the
torn peridium and the black, pimple-dot surface of the
stroma. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 12. Longitudinal section of a young specimen of
Camarops petersii. Many perithecia form at various depths
within the brownish stroma. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 13. Close-up of a portion of Figure 12. The shiny
perithecial cavities are not yet filled with dark ascospores.
Each perithecial cavity (chamber) is connected to the
stromal surface via a long perithecial "neck."
Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 14. Longitudinal section of an older specimen
showing the perithecia filled with dark ascospores and
liquid. Photo © Gary Emberger.


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