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Sarcodontia crocea (Schwein.) Kotl.

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Scientific name
Sarcodontia crocea
(Schwein.) Kotl.
Common names
hrotnatka zápašná
Orchard Tooth
Ābeļu sarkodoncija
Gelber Apfelbaum-Zahnporling
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
IUCN Red List Criteria
Iršėnaitė, R.
Dahlberg, A., Svetasheva, T. & Krisai-Greilhuber, I.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/147533826/148058863


Sarcodontia crocea is a bright yellow resupinate wood-inhabiting fungus growing on old fruit trees, mainly apple trees (Malus spp.) in old orchards, gardens, meadows and along roadsides throughout Europe. Such trees have become rare due to the cutting of old and damaged fruit trees and modern engagement of gardens and orchards. The habitat for Sarcodontia crocea has declined and continues to do so due to intensification of orchard and garden management. The habitat and population size are suspected to have declined by over 30% during the last 30 years (3 generations); this is ongoing and suspected to continue into the future. Therefore the species is assessed as Vulnerable (VU) A2c+3c+4c.

Geographic range

Sarcodontia crocea is distributed in Europe, Asia and North America (Eriksson et al. 1981). The core distribution is in the western and southeastern part of Europe (Austria, United Kingdom, German, Poland (Szczepkowski 2010), Ukraine, Denmark, Latvia, France). The species is found north to southern Sweden (Gotland and Öland) and southern Finland, but not in Norway. It is recorded in East European Forest steppe and southern Preurals in Russia (Volobuev et al. 2015, Safanov 2006) and the eastern part of the USA. It is rare in many countries and classified as extinct in Estonia.

Population and Trends

Sarcodontian crocea is currently known from about 400-500 localities in Europe. There are about 30 localities in Austria. In Germany it is known from about 200 localities and is not considered to be rare. In Poland the fungus is rather well investigated and the number of localities is about 70 (Szczepkowski 2010, Szczepkowski et al. 2017) and it has been proposed as nationally Near Threatened (NT). In the UK it is found in ca. 50 localities and classified as Vulnerable (VU). In Estonia it considered as regionally extinct (RE). In several countries; Finland, Lithuania, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and Hungary; it is known only from few localities and nationally red listed as Critically Endangered (CR) or Endangered (EN) (Venturella et al. 2006, Senn-Irlet et al. 2007). In Czechia, it was earlier considered as a dangerous parasite in apple orchards (Kotlaba 1953), but it is now listed as Near Threatened (NT). In Russia, it is quite rare and known from about 30 localities in 14 regions in the European part (Volobuev et al. 2015, Safanov 2006). It is not included in any Red Data list of Russia. It is recorded from eastern North America (about 40 records in GBIF). 

In Germany, the area of extensively managed orchards has been reduced in area from 1.3 million ha in 1950 to less than 500 000 ha in 2000 (Güll 2015). 

This reduction in habitat for Sarcodontia crocea is an ongoing process throughout Europe due to intensification of orchard and garden management. The habitat and population size are suspected to have declined by more than 30% during the last 30 years (3 generations); this is ongoing and suspected to continue into the future.

Population Trend: decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Sarcodontia crocea forms annual, resupinate, fruit bodies, covered with densely crowded sulphur-yellow spines, on living fruit trees from Rosaceae family, mainly Malus (Kotlaba 1953, Eriksson et al. 1981, Szczepkowski 2010) and rarely on Pyrus, Sorbus and Prunus. It is also reported from other deciduous trees e.g. Acer, Fraxinus, Fagus and Quercus (Eriksson et al. 1981). It is considered to be a saprotroph. It colonizes dead, dry branches or appears in bark cracks and rotted hollows of the trees in orchards, gardens and roadsides. It causes white rot (Szczepkowski 2010). It is confined to mature and old trees in orchards (often abounded), parks and gardens. The fruit bodies appear in summer, autumn, and sometimes in warm winters. It is easily recognisable, well-known and distinguishable by having bright sulphur-yellow fruit bodies and a remarkable sweetish-fruity (anise or pineapple) odour.


Sarcodontia crocea is threatened by felling old fruit trees in gardens, villages and roadsides. Modern and intensive cultivation of fruit trees is unfavourable to the fungus, because of the short turnover times of the trees.

Conservation Actions

Maintaining mature fruit trees is the most important conservation action for this species. Also, the conservation of habitat containing wild fruit trees (Malus sylvetris) in roadsides, wood pastures and villages is important. Raising the awareness of this habitat is recommended.

Use and Trade

The species is not known to be used.

Source and Citation

Iršėnaitė, R. 2019. Sarcodontia crocea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T147533826A148058863. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T147533826A148058863.en .Downloaded on 30 January 2021

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