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

Tripospora venezuelensis E. Müll.

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Scientific name
Tripospora venezuelensis
E. Müll.
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Cup-fungi, Truffles and Allies
Assessment status
Under Assessment
Proposed by
David Minter
David Minter
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

This fungus seems to be an exceptionally rare obligate symbiont of Retrophyllum rospigliosi (itself a red-listed conifer) in Venezuela. It has only been observed once, in 1963.

Geographic range

Venezuela (Mérida). The altitude of its only known station is 2200 m above sea level.

Population and Trends

Known only from one collection, made in 1963. The absence of recent observations make it impossible to estimate extent of occurrence or area of occupation.

Population Trend: Uncertain

Habitat and Ecology

This species produces stromata and fruitbodies on dead portions of green leaves and stems of the conifer genus Retrophyllum. The life-cycle and biology have not been investigated, but disruption of colonized leaves is very localized, suggesting that the plant is well adapted to the presence of the fungus. There are no reports of the fungus causing harmful effects to the trees colonized. There is, for example, no evidence of premature leaf fall. The possibility that the fungus may have some beneficial effect on the tree has not been considered. Dispersal is by ascospores, possibly involving wind during humid spring weather, when the fertile extension expands and opens the upper chamber where dry masses of ascospores have accumulated. The ascospores bear a strong resemblance to the tetraradiate conidia of aquatic hyphomycetes, but the possibility that they too are adapted to specialized water dispersal has not been investigated.  The only known associated organism is the conifer Retrophyllum rospigliosi (synonym Podocarpus rospigliosi), itself a threatened species.


Loss of habitat and (if more than one exists) fragmentation of populations.

Conservation Actions

A search is needed to try to rediscover this species.

Ex situ conservation. Not known to occur in any fungal culture collection. No genetic information about this species is stored in Genbank [accessed 1 March 2014].

Research needed

Use and Trade


BENNY, G.L., SAMUELSON, D.A. & KIMBROUGH, J.W., Studies on the Coryneliales. III. Taxa parasitic on Podocarpaceae: Lagenulopsis and Tripospora. Botanical Gazette 146: 431–436 (1985). DEL VALLE CATANIA, M. & ROMERO, A.I., Tripospora militaris sp. nov. from Argentina, with a key to the known species. Mycological Research 105(8): 1020–1024 (2001). JOHNSON, P.R. & MINTER, D.W., Structure and taxonomic significance of the ascus in the Coryneliaceae. Mycological Research 92(4): 422–430 (1989). MINTER, D.W. Tripospora venezuelensis. IMI Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria No. 1670 (2006). MÜLLER, E. & DENNIS, R.W.G., Fungi Venezuelani VIII. Plectascales, Sphaeriales, Loculoascomycetes. Kew Bulletin 19(3): 357–386 (1965). PIROZYNSKI, K.A. & WERESUB, L.K., A biogeographic view of the history of ascomycetes and the development of their pleomorphism. In Kendrick, W.B. (ed.), The Whole Fungus (Ottawa, Canada: National Museum of Natural Sciences, National Museums of Canada & The Kananaskis Foundation) 1: 93–123 (1979).

Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted