Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Species Of Phallus-shaped Mushroom Named After California Academy Of Sciences Scientist

Date:
June 15, 2009
Source:
California Academy of Sciences
Summary:
As part of ongoing research on Sao Tome and Principe, a new Phallus mushroom has been discovered and described. Phallus drewesii belongs to a group of mushrooms known as stinkhorns which give off a foul, rotting meat odor. There are 28 other species of Phallus fungi worldwide, but this particular species is notable for its small size, white net-like stem, and brown spore-covered head. It is also the only Phallus species to curve downward instead of upward.

Photo of the stinkhorn mushroom, Phallus drewesii, named after Robert Drewes, Curator of Herpetology at the California Academy of Sciences.
Credit: Brian Perry

It's two inches long, grows on wood, and is shaped like a phallus. A new species of stinkhorn mushroom, Phallus drewesii, has been discovered on the African island of Sao Tome and graces the upcoming cover of the journal Mycologia. The mushroom is named after Robert Drewes, Curator of Herpetology at the California Academy of Sciences, and is described in the July/August issue by Professor Dennis Desjardin and Brian Perry of San Francisco State University.

Phallus drewesii belongs to a group of mushrooms known as stinkhorns which give off a foul, rotting meat odor. There are 28 other species of Phallus fungi worldwide, but this particular species is notable for its small size, white net-like stem, and brown spore-covered head. It is also the only Phallus species to curve downward instead of upward.

"The mushroom emerges from an egg and elongates over four hours," says Desjardin, who is also a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. "Its odor attracts flies who consume the spores and disperse them throughout the forest."

Desjardin and Perry named the new species after Drewes as an acknowledgment of his "inspiration and fortitude to initiate, coordinate and lead multiorganism biotic surveys on Sao Tome and Principe," according to the Mycologia paper.

"It's a wonderful honor and great fun to have this phallus-shaped fungus named after me," says Drewes. "I have been immortalized in the scientific record."

Phallus drewesii is not the first species to bear Drewes' name. A small moss frog native to South Africa (Arthroleptella drewesii) and a blind worm snake from Kenya (Leptotyphlops drewesi) were described in 1994 and 1996, respectively.

Over a span of forty years, Drewes has embarked on 36 expeditions to 19 African countries, where he has focused on the evolutionary relationships, natural history, and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles. Recently, he has turned his attention to Sao Tome and Principe, located in the Gulf of Guinea off Africa's west coast. Although it is a tiny nation - at 370 square miles, only about eight times the size of San Francisco - it hosts a number of plants, fungi, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians found nowhere else on Earth. Since 2001, Drewes has organized four multidisciplinary expeditions to the islands in an effort to document their biodiversity and gather data for conservation plans. Phallus drewesii was one of 225 fungus species that Desjardin and Perry collected during the 2006 and 2008 expeditions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by California Academy of Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

California Academy of Sciences. "New Species Of Phallus-shaped Mushroom Named After California Academy Of Sciences Scientist." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615144215.htm>.
California Academy of Sciences. (2009, June 15). New Species Of Phallus-shaped Mushroom Named After California Academy Of Sciences Scientist. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615144215.htm
California Academy of Sciences. "New Species Of Phallus-shaped Mushroom Named After California Academy Of Sciences Scientist." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615144215.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins