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Flora (pdf)

Stinkhorns in Hong Kong
Three new additions to the vascular plant flora of Hong Kong
Sometimes common is not common!
A new population of Popowia pisocarpa (Annonaceae) in Lam Tsuen
What eats Ilex chapaensis fruits?
Gemmae of the moss Octoblepharum albidum taken as food by spider mites

Stinkhorns in Hong Kong

by Justin Bahl

This past summer two rare species from the Phallaceae family, colloquially known as stinkhorns, were identified. Members of the Phallaceae are very distinct, or rather they stink. The reproductive strategy of these unique and strange fungi is to attract insects, most often flies, to assist in spore dispersal. To accomplish this, they are covered with slime heavily laden with spores and mimic foul smells such as dung or rotting flesh. The species identified, Dictyophora indusiata (Long Net Stinkhorn) and Dictyophora multicolor (Yellow Veiled Lady), are two of the more spectacular members found in Hong Kong. Spores and slime are produced on a head or cap and both produce a long and intricate skirt-like net that extends from the base of the head to the ground. The most obvious difference between these two species is the colour of the net. In the Long Net Stinkhorn, the net is white whereas in the Yellow Veiled Lady, the skirt is bright orange-red, but for both species the odour is di-stink and you will probably smell them before you see them. For pictures and descriptions in Chinese refer to Chang Shu-ting and Mao Xiaolan "Hong Kong Mushrooms" Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1995.

Justin Bahl identified Dictyophora indusiata; Gavin Smith and Neil Hutchinson identified Dictyophora multicolor.



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