• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Elaphomyces virgatosporus Hollós

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Scientific name
Elaphomyces virgatosporus
Common names
ungersk hjorttryffel
IUCN Specialist Group
Cup-fungi, Truffles and Allies
Assessment status
Under Assessment
Proposed by
Anders Dahlberg
Jean Berube, Thomas Læssøe, Johan Nitare
Jean Berube, Anders Dahlberg, Tine Grebenc, Ivona Kautmanova, Michael Krikorev, Thomas Læssøe
Comments etc.
Michael Castellano

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

The species was originally described from thermophilous forests in Hungary and Hungary still has the highest number of known localities.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

The hypogeous fungus Elaphomyces virgatosporus is a very rare ectomycorrhizal fungus with perennial ascocarps. Only a few scattered observations are known from Europe and one in US (Mississippi). The US report has been considered to represent ”an ancient, relict species originating from ages prior to the continental drift” but according to M. Castellano the American material is not E. virgatosporus. The last 30 years, the hypogeous mycoflora in northern Europe has been intensely investigated but this species is very rarely found.  The truffle appears in small, threatened and relict remnants of broadleaved deciduous habitats (ecosystems) with e.g. Corylus, Fagus, Carpinus and Quercus (probably with tree-continuity and living mycelia from ancient time).  No recent disperal is known.

Geographic range

Temperate zone in Europe. Reported from Hungary, Spain, Switzerland, NW Norway and SE Sweden (limestone island of Öland and Gotland).
In Hungary, mainly restricted to the Carpathian Basin.  The number of known sites very low.  Habitat overstrained by game breeding (Siller et a. 2005). The fungus would appear to well established in at least one of the Norwegian localities -  a very ancient hazel dominated forest.
Not present in Switzerland: Beatrice Senn-Irlet; I do not have any record of Elaphomyces virgatosporus in my database.  We have to ask the curator of the herbarium at ETH Zürich if a collection with this name exists. I tend to say no - not recorded from Switzerland.

Population and Trends

Population Trend: Uncertain

Habitat and Ecology

A hypogeous fungus forming ectomycorrhiza with deciduous trees; Corylus, Quercus, Carpinus and Fagus. The records from Sweden and Norway are all from Corylus stands on ± calcareous, almost black sandy soils with low proportion of clay. The habitat can often be characterized as ”nemoral, old wooded meadows, coppice and semi-natural broadleaved stands or old hazel groves”. In Hungary associated with Quercus-Carpinus stands but has also been recorded with Fagus. In Asturias, NW Spain it was found in a stand with Castanea, Fagus and Corylus.


Main threat is logging and local exploitation. Also the very small and isolated populations.

Conservation Actions

Known localities should be protected against change in management.

Site/area protection

Research needed

Further surveys should be carried out, not least in western Norway to establish the Norwegian population size.

Population size, distribution & trends

Use and Trade


Bohlin, K. 2002. http://www.artfakta.se/artfaktablad/Elaphomyces_Virgatosporus_2000.pdf
Domínguez, E.R. 2015. http://www.asturnatura.com/fotografia/setas-hongos/elaphomyces-virgatosporus-hollos-2/10789.html
Dodge, C.W. 1929. The higher Plectascales. Ann. Mycol. 26: 145-184.
Hawker, L.E. 1954. British hypogeous fungi. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London, Ser. B, 237: 429-546.
Kers, L.E. 1997. Elaphomyces virgatosporus found in Sweden. Svensk Bot. Tidskr. 91: 25-36.
Knapp, A. 1952. Die europäischen Hypogaeen-Gattungen und ihre Gattungstypen. Schweiz. Zeitschr. Pilzk. 28: 81-92.
Laessøe, T., Jordal, J.B., Borgergren Nielsen, J.G., Holtan, D. & Larsen, P. 2009. Elaphomyces virgatosporus in NW Norway – the northernmost record of a rare truffle. Agarica 2009, Vol. 28: 43-49.
Siller I., Bálint, D., László, A., Gizella, V., Lívia, F., Ferenc, P.-F., Zoltán, B. &  Imre, Z. 2006: Védett nagygombafajok Magyarországon – Mikológiai Közlemények, Clusiana 45(1-3): 3-158.
Siller, I. et al. 2006. Hungarian distribution of the legally protected macro fungi species. Studia bot. Hung. 36: 131-163.
Szemere, L. 1965. Die unterirdischen Pilze des Karpatenbeckens. Budapest.

Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted