ASCOMYCOTA: Cup Shaped Fungi


There are several families of cup shaped fungi within these orders: Heliotales (Cudoniaceae, Dermateaceae, Heliotaceae, Hemiphacidaceae, Hyaloscyphaceae, Lachinaceae, Leotiaceae, and the Mitruliacae), Neolectales (Neolectacae), Orbeliales (Orbeliacae) and the Pezizales (Calocyphacae, Disinaceae, Helvellaceae, Mycocaliciaceae, Morchellaceae, Pezizaceae, Pyronemataceae, Sarcoscyphaceae and the Sarcosomataceae)

Helotiales is an order of the class Leotiomycetes and contains the largest order of inoperculate ascomycetes including 10 families, 501 genera, and 3881 species. Most Heliotales have cup-shaped apothecia and live on humus, dead wood, manure and other organic material as saprotrophs. 

Neolecta is the only genus in the family Neolectaceae and in the order Neolectales. Neolecta species consist of smooth, yellowish, club-shaped fruitbodies. Although they are often referred to as "Earth tongues", (as are Geoglossum and Microglossum), they are not closely related to the latter. All Neolecta species live in association with trees, though it is not known if the fungus is parasitic, saprotrophic, or mycorrhizaI, they are edible.  

The Orbiliaceae are a family of saprobic sac fungi in the order Orbiliales. The family contains 288 species in 12 genera distributed primarily in temperate regions. Some species in the Orbiliaceae are carnivorous fungi. They have evolved various methods to trap, penetrate and digest the internal contents of nematodes. Click on photo to see an enlarged version. Click on the Orbiliaceae family below to see the representative fungus.

The Pezizales order contains 16 families, 199 genera, and 1683 species. A few species are regarded as significant economically, such as morels and truffles. Species in this order are saprotrophic, mycorrhizal, or parasitic on plants. They grow on wood, leaves, soil and dung primarily in temperate regions and at high elevations. Eight families are represented here. They include the Caloscyphaceae, Discinaceae, Helvellaceae, Morchellaceae, Pezizaceae, Pyrenemataceae, Sarcoscyphaceae and the Sarcomataceae. Click on the photo representing each family to see the respective images of fungi in each family. 

The following include photos and brief descriptions of cup fungi in the ascomycota arranged alphabetically. To see details of each fungus, click the image to enable its enlargement.