Mesophellia pallidospora was described in 1996. According to Trappe et al. (1996) “The very pale spores ... distinguish it from all others of the genus. It is close
to M. glauca, but in addition to the difference in spore colour its spores tend to be fusoid and have a larger length : width ratio than does the latter species. Moreover, the core of M. glauca has meandering, open veins and lacks oil droplets in the core hyphae.”
There is only one record for this species, the type for which it is described. This specimen was collected in 1932 and the species erected in 1996 (Trappe et al.). The location where is this species was collected is now heavily cleared for agriculture and urban settlements. This species is either extinct, under recorded or invalid.
Willunga Hill, South of Adelaide, South Australia
There is no information on the population beyond the single specimen upon which the species was described.
All members of Mesophelliaceae are thought to be ectomycorrhizal and incorporate ectomycorrhizae in their peridium. All Mesophellia species require animals for dispersal, mainly mammals. The mammals break open the crusty outer layers to reach a sterile edible core. In doing so the powdery spores are dispersed via either ingestion by the animal, carried on the outside of the animal or dispersed via wind or soil movement.
As this is an ectomycorrhizal species the main threat would be land clearing. All Mesophellia species require animal dispersal to dig up and expose their spores. As this the spores are either dispersed by the animal, via wind or soil movement. Therefore, local extinction of mycophagous mammals can also pose as a threat to this species.
There are no actions currently in place to conserve this species.
- Sequencing of type specimen to confirm species distinctiveness
- Targeted searches for this species around Adelaide.
- Identification of Mesophellia collections in herbaria (note: there are 111 records in the Atlas of Living Australia recorded as “Mesophellia sp.”)
Trappe, J. M., M. A. Castellano, and N. Malajczuk. 1996. Australasian Truffle-like Fungi. VII. Mesophellia (Basidiomycotina, Mesophelliaceae). Australian Systematic Botany 9:773–802.