ISTOCK PHOTO
ISTOCK PHOTO

70 Totally Amazing Common Names for Fungi

ISTOCK PHOTO
ISTOCK PHOTO

Elaphocordyceps ophioglossoides—in case you didn’t know—is a species of fungus, and while its scientific name is certainly elegant, it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. As such, it has a recommended common name: Snaketongue Truffleclub.

The British Mycological Society has an enormous list of fungi species with their scientific and common English names. It’s a lexical journey that does not disappoint, and seriously, if someone doesn’t feel compelled to pursue mycology and/or get a killer band name out of this, we’ll be very disappointed.

1. Pavement Mushroom // Agaricus bitorquis

2. Bearded Fieldcap // Agrocybe molesta

3. Pink Disco // Aleurodiscus wakefieldiae

4. Snakeskin Grisette // Amanita ceciliae

5. False Deathcap // Amanita citrina

6. Destroying Angel // Amanita virosa

7. Upper Crust // Amaurodon cyaneus

8. Club Foot // Ampulloclitocybe clavipes

9. Hair Sedge Smut // Anthracoidea capillaris

Bulbous Honey Fungus.Tom Jutte via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

10. Bulbous Honey Fungus // Armillaria gallica

11. Purple Jellydisc // Ascocoryne sarcoides

12. Powdery Piggyback // Asterophora lycoperdoides

13. Barometer Earthstar // Astraeus hygrometricus

14. Drab Tooth // Bankera fuligineoalba

15. Lemon Disco // Bisporella citrina

16. The Pretender // Boletus pseudoregius

17. The Humpback // Cantharellula umbonata

18. Dewdrop Dapperling // Chamaemyces fracidus

19. Gassy Webcap // Cortinarius traganus

20. Golden Navel // Chrysomphalina chrysophylla

21. Devil's Fingers // Clathrus archeri

22. Skinny Club // Clavaria incarnata

23. Mealy Frosted Funnel // Clitocybe ditopa

24. Lentil Shanklet // Collybia tuberosa

25. Tiger's Eye // Coltricia perennis

26. Wet Rot // Coniophora puteana

27. Distinguished Inkcap // Coprinus alopecius

28. Drumstick Truffleclub // Cordyceps capitata

29. Bug Sputnik // Cordyceps clavulata

Turquoise Elfcup. Lynette via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

30. Turquoise Elfcup // Chlorociboria aeruginosa

31. Hairy Parachute // Crinipellis scabella

32. Common Bird's Nest // Crucibulum laeve

33. Cinnamon Jellybaby // Cudonia confusa

34. Weeping Toothcrust // Dacryobolus sudans

35. King Alfred's Cakes / Cramp Balls // Daldinia concentrica

36. Dark Crazed Cap // Dermoloma pseudocuneifolium

37. Snaketongue Truffleclub // Elaphocordyceps ophioglossoides

38. Witches' Butter // Exidia glandulosa

39. Elbowpatch Crust // Fomitiporia punctata

40. Funeral Bell // Galerina marginata

41. Cabbage Parachute // Gymnopus brassicolens

42. Bitter Poisonpie // Hebeloma sinapizans

43. Twisted Deceiver // Laccaria tortilis

44. Whiskery Milkcap // Lactarius mairei

45. Chicken of the Woods // Laetiporus sulphureus

46. Hairy Nuts Disco // Lanzia echinophila

47. Cat Dapperling // Lepiota felina

48. Dog's Mercury Rust // Melampsora populnea

49. Goblet Parachute // Marasmiellus vaillantii

50. Bald Knight // Melanoleuca melaleuca

51. Bedstraw Smut // Melanotaenium endogenum

52. Cryptic Bonnet // Mycena picta

53. Vampires Bane // Mycetinis scorodonius

54. Mint Mildew // Neoerysiphe galeopsidis

55. Hotlips // Octospora humosa

Jack O Lantern. Liz West via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

56. Jack O Lantern // Omphalotus illudens

57. Mealy Oyster // Ossicaulis lignatilis

58. Midnight Disco // Pachyella violaceonigra

59. Pancake Crust // Perenniporia medulla-panis

60. Bonfire Cauliflower // Peziza proteana f. sparassoides

61. Lion Shield // Pluteus leoninus

62. Moon Carrot Rust // Puccinia libanotidis

63. The Flirt // Russula vesca

64. Potato Earthball // Scleroderma bovista

65. Contorted Strangler // Squamanita contortipes

66. Hairy Earthtongue // Trichoglossum hirsutump

67. Plums and Custard // Tricholomopsis rutilans

68. Scurfy Twiglet // Tubaria furfuracea

69. Fingered Candlesnuff // Xylaria digitata

70. Dead Moll's Fingers // Xylaria longipes

[h/t @pourmecoffee]

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Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Scientists May Have Found a Cure for Deadly White-Nose Syndrome in Bats
Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

White-nose syndrome, a disease that affects insect-eating bats, is one of the most devastating wildlife diseases on record. But there may be a relatively simple way to stop it, according to new research: UV light.

As New Atlas reports, a new study from the U.S. Forest Service and the University of New Hampshire has found that only a few seconds of exposure to ultraviolet light causes permanent damage to the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, Pseudogymnoascus destructans. The results were published in Nature Communications on January 2.

White-nose syndrome has killed millions of bats in the United States and Canada over the past decade, according to the USGS. Bats infected by the fungus use more energy during their winter hibernation than healthy bats, meaning they might run out of their energy reserves and die before spring comes. The infection causes dangerous physiological changes including severe wing damage, weight loss, and dehydration.

The P. destructans fungus can grow only in temperatures ranging from 39°F to 68°F, so it infects bats only when they're hibernating. But it's also hard to treat diseased bats as they hibernate, making it even more difficult for scientists to stop the disease. And stopping it is a big deal, not just for wildlife organizations but for governments and farmers, since the bats at risk are important predators that feed on crop-destroying insects. Previous research has shown that UV light can screen hibernating bats for white-nose syndrome—the skin lesions that form on the wings of infected bats glow orange-yellow under UV light—but this is the first study to show it can also be a treatment.

The researchers exposed six closely related Pseudogymnoascus species to UV light for a few seconds to see how the fungi would react. (P. destructans was the only pathogenic species involved.) They found that P. destructans lacked a key enzyme that helps it repair the DNA damage inflicted by exposure to UV light. Whereas other species weren't affected by the light, P. destructans exposed to a low dose of UV light had only a 15 percent survival rate. When that dosage was doubled (to what was still a moderate dose), the species had less than a 1 percent survival rate.

This extreme sensitivity to UV light could be a way for scientists to battle white-nose syndrome. But first they'll have to test the effects of the light on infected, hibernating bats, instead of just working with samples of the fungus in the lab. It's possible that the light could damage the bats' skin, killing off important species in their microbiome, or have some other unintended effect. But even as a preliminary finding, this is a hopeful step.

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Paul Mannix, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0
Scientists Improve Drug Safety—for Penguins
Paul Mannix, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0
Paul Mannix, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0
Penguins are adorable. Their infections are a lot less cute. Fortunately, scientists may have figured out how to safely knock out at least one deadly fungal disease. The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. Fungi in the genus Aspergillus have all kinds of strange talents. They turn up in the pantry as black mold—and in the refrigerator, as key ingredients in soy sauce and lemon-flavored drinks. Some enzymes derived from these fungi can help people with celiac disease digest gluten. But others can also make people and other animals, including penguins, very, very sick. Avian aspergillosis can lead to chronic and acute respiratory infections. The disease strikes wild and captive birds all over the world, but is especially common among African penguins in zoos, refuges, research centers, and aquaria. For a while, those penguins were treated with a medication called vitraconazole. Then the fungus evolved a resistance. There's another option: a second drug called voriconazole, which has been used successfully to cure aspergillosis in other birds. But penguins aren't other birds. They've got their own peculiar bodies and metabolisms. A dose that's good for the goose may be too much for the penguin. To determine how much voriconazole a penguin should take, researchers enlisted 18 penguins at a New Jersey aquarium in two separate trials. They tried the birds on various dosing schedules and quantities, then tested their blood plasma to see how their bodies absorbed the drug. The scientists then took all that information and fed it into a computer model, which allowed them to calculate how quickly and efficiently the average African penguin could metabolize the medication. They arrived at a concentration of 5 milligrams per kilogram of penguin body weight, once a day. Lead author Katharine Stott is an expert in translational medicine at the University of Liverpool. "Although this project was a somewhat unusual one for our group," she said in a statement, "the problem it presents is common: how can we better understand dosing strategies to optimize the use of antimicrobial agents?" Stott noted that her group's methods could carry over into other small patients as well: "The project also dealt with an issue commonly faced when trying to design pediatric treatment regimens in that dosing requirements are not always proportionally related to patient size."

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