Mitrulinia ushuaiae was described from South America. New Zealand material so-identified is considered to be a different species within Mitruliana (fide Peter Johnston). DNA sequences from a NZ specimen suggest that this fungus is phylogenetically isolated in the Leotiomycetes. But there is a South American Leotiomycete sequence (KY462418) that is very close and likely to be Mitrulinia ushuaiae, but probably not the same species as NZ specimens.
The NZ species is macroscopically distinctive, and the few collections indicate that, although widespread, it is not common. It has not been collected personally by ascomycete specialist Peter Johnston in over 4 decades of collecting.
NZ endemic. 5 collections from 2 geographically separate areas in the South Is., New Zealand. Quite spectacular because of yellow colour and size. Rarely collected but possibly widespread at least in the South Island. Considered a separate unnamed species of Mitrulinia, separate from M. ushuaiae
Known from Nothofagus forest from Craigieburn Forest Park, mid-Canterbury (3 specimens) and vic. Glenorchy, Otago Lakes (2 specimens).
Despite its conspicuous appearance, the species has not yet been collected personally by Peter Johnston (ascomycete specialist) in over 4 decades of his collecting.
Saprobic on wood of native beech, especially Fuscospora cliffortioides and F. solandri.
Recorded locations are in protected forests, with host species widespread. Climate disruption could be considered the major threat, until more is known about reasons for its apparently disjunct distribution.
Further phylogenetic studies to differentiate relationships among Southern Hemisphere specimens, likely representing two distinct species.
Spooner, B.M. 1987: Helotiales of Australasia: Geoglossaceae, Orbiliaceae, Sclerotiniaceae, Hyaloscyphaceae.116 ed. Bibliotheca Mycologica;
Gamundí, I.J. 1977: Subantarctic Geoglossaceae: I. Kew Bulletin 31: 731-739