Rare Assynt record of fungus Chaetosphaeria myriocarpa

March 4th 2014

A walk through Little Assynt is always an enjoyable and interesting thing to do. On 31 January 2014 David and Avril Haines, Culkein Drumbeg were getting near completing the loop from the All Abilities car park to the Little Assynt Tree Nursery when they spotted several small areas of black on a few branches of six pine trees.

A closer look revealed what appeared to be clumps of small black disks which looked like caviar. Not sure if this was a fungus they took a sample which Ian Evans, Nedd passed to Professor Bruce Ing from Rhue near Ullapool. A few days later Bruce replied to say this was an ascomycete (cup fungus) called Chaetosphaeria myriocarpa which is a common species, but usually on fallen dead wood, not on parts of upright trees.

Further research revealed that this fungus only appears to have been recorded on the dead wood of broad-leaved trees where, as the photograph shows, this record was from very much alive pine trees.

The late John Blunt from Nedd has only one record of this species in Assynt from over 5000 other fungi records and it was from near Loch nam Breac (NC1032) in 2000.

Chaetosphaeria myriocarpa on Scots Pine Little Assynt. Photo D. Haines
Chaetosphaeria myriocarpa on Scots Pine Little Assynt. Photo D. Haines
Chaetosphaeria myriocarpa on pine Little Assynt. Photo D. Haines
Chaetosphaeria myriocarpa on pine Little Assynt. Photo D. Haines

Report a Sighting

Recent Sightings

Great Northern Diver

four birds, Loch Dhrombaig (DAH) (19/02)

Harbour Porpoise

two animals off Bay of Clachtoll (DAH) (13/02)

Redshank

three birds, Bay of Culkein (DAH) (13/02)

Curlew

15 birds flying between Stoer and Clachtoll (DAH) (13/02)

Pygmy Shrew - skull in owl pellet

skull of Pygmy Shrew, along with those of two Field Voles, found after examination of probable Tawny Owl pellet, Clachtoll Peat Track, Creag Clais nan Cruineachd (Gwen Richards and Ian Evans) (13/02)

Otter

single animal in Loch Inver opposite Spar shop (Ian and Jane Young) (12/02)

Barn Owl

single bird near Loch an Ordain, Clachtoll (Yates family) (12/02)

Stoat

single animals in Achnacarnin (Pam Mackenzie) and Raffin (Hilary Richardson) (11/02)

Map