Agaricales » Pterulaceae » Myrmecopterula

Myrmecopterula moniliformis

Myrmecopterula moniliformis (Henn.) Leal- Dutra, Dentinger & G.W. Griff., in Leal-Dutra, et al., IMA Fungus 11(no. 2): 12 (2020)

Diagnosis:  Basidiome if present bushy, pteruloid, white-cream to light brown and greyish surface, normally concolorous or stipe with a darker tone than the hymenophore, arising from cottony subiculum with mycelial cords. Hyphal system, dimitic hyphal system. Basidiospores relatively small spores, usually less than 7 μm wide. Usually associated with the nests of ants, growing on top, or from a living or dead nest, or being cultivated by the ants.

Index Fungorum Number: IF831049

Notes: Basidiomes of Myrmecopterula species are very similar to those of Pterula in habit, shape, and colour, but differ in the presence of mycelial cords and a cottony subiculum from which the basidiomes emerge. Some species of Myrmecopterula arise from soil, while others superficially appear to grow on wood. Closer observation of basidiomes formed on wood revealed that, rather than being lignicolous, they instead grow from a loose, granular substrate within a cavity inside the wood. This substrate in some cases resembles the substrate in the fungus gardens of the Apterostigma pilosum group of ants. In addition, M. moniliformis, which arises from soil, has been found emerging from active and inactive attine nests, (S. Sourell, pers. comm.; M. C. Aime, pers. comm.). Thus, all but one of the Myrmecopterula clades found to date had some association with attine ants, of which the two farmed mutualist species (M. nudihortorum and M. velohortorum) are best known. The five other species (of which only M. moniliformis is named) are less well studied and may play a role in decomposition of residual substrates in abandoned fungus garden, or potentially even as mycoparasites of the ant cultivar. In contrast, no Pterula spp. have any reported association with ants, but instead are found growing directly from wood and leaf litter.

Figure 1. Diversity of coralloid genera of Pterulaceae. a-f: Myrmecopterula [A: Apterostigma sp. nest with M. velohortorum (RC12; CALD170307–02)*with M. sp. SAPV1 (F82; CALD170307–02)* growing on top of the garden veil; b: M. sp. (F99, HSTM-Fungos 9930); c: M. sp. (F138, FLOR 63724); d: Apterostigma sp. nest with M. nudihortorum (TRS111004–04)*; e: M. moniliformis (CJL585)*; f: M. sp. (F71, HSTM-Fungos 9943)]. g-h: Pterula [G: loretensis (RLC273, K(M) 205,553)*; h: Pt. cf. verticillata (K(M) 27,119)]. i-l: Pterulicium [I: Pm. secundirameum (RB 575794); j: Pm. aff. fluminensis (FLOR 56379); k: Pm. lilaceobrunneum (M117, FLOR 56455). l: Pm. sprucei (F68, HSTM-Fungos 9940)]. M-O: Phaeopterula [m: Ph. sp. (F7, HSTMFungos 9944); n: Ph. stipata (M15, FLOR 56375); o: Ph. juruensis (F33, FLOR 63719)]. Close inspection of B and C reveal the basidiomes to be growing from a granular substrate resembling substrate of ants’ fungus garden. Photos d, e and g kindly provided by Ted Schultz, Susanne Sourell and Michael Wherley respectively. Bars = 1 cm. * Samples not deposited.


Figure 2. Maximum-likelihood tree of Pterulaceae and Radulomycetaceae. Support values on the branches are UFBoot/BPP and shown only for UFBoot≥70 and BPP ≥ 0.70 and branch length ≥ 0.003 substitutions per site. Asterisks (*) represent maximum UFBoot/BPP values, dashes (−) represent values below the cut-off threshold (70%), and dots (.) represent ML clades that were not recovered in the BI tree. Details for the complete tree can be found in Additional file 2 and TreeBase (ID: 24428). Scale bar: nucleotide substitutions per site




Leal-Dutra, CA; Griffith, GW; Neves, MA; McLaughlin, DJ; McLaughlin, EG; Clasen, LA; Dentinger, BTM. 2020. Reclassification of Pterulaceae Corner (Basidiomycota: Agaricales) introducing the ant-associated genus Myrmecopterula gen. nov., Phaeopterula Henn. and the corticioid Radulomycetaceae fam. nov. IMA Fungus. 11(no. 2):1-24


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