A Parasite on Tea-tree Bug

Fungimap has been monitoring Tea-tree fingers – a parasitic fungus on a paint fungus that lives on Tea-tree. Septobasidium clelandii is a parasitic fungus that can be found emerging from swellings on Tea-tree twigs. However it is not parasitic on the Tea-tree, but on the female of a coccid bug (Callococcus leptospermi) that forms galls on several species of Leptospermum. It also parasitises another coccid that inhabits Mealeuca decussata. The fruiting bodies look like tiny dark blades. (Coles and Talbot, 1977)

There are less than 100 observed specimens of the fungus on the Atlas of Living Australia. However, it has recently been sighted in the Bunyip State Park in Victoria and in Tasmania. Looking back at our project https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/551156-Septobasidium-clelandii on iNaturalist https://www.inaturalist.org it can be seen that it also fruited around this time last year. Which is a different time of year than has been reported in some literature https://www.jstor.org/stable/4119391 This highlights the importance of adding sightings to the iNaturalist app, as the information can be used to learn new information about the species.

Sightings of Septobasidium clelandii on the Atlas of Living Australia.

If you have sightings of any fungi please add them to the Fungimap project on the Inaturalist app which can be found here https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/fungimap-australia.



Coles, B. and Talbot, P. H. B. (1977). Kew Bulletin. Septobasidium clelandii and Its Conidial State Harpographium corynelioides. Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 481-488. Springer on behalf of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. DOI: 10.2307/4119391

Couch, J. N. (1938). The genus Septobasidium. University
of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.