This species was described in Trappe et al. 1996 from one specimen. Below is a quote from this paper describing the unique features of this species.
“Mesophellia rava differs from all other members of the genus with yellowish spore masses by its thick endoperidium and large, firm trabeculae.”
There are only two records of this species. One from the type specimen collected in 1969 (described in 1996, Trappe et al.) and another collected in 2008, 1100 km from the first location.
Two collection locations which are ~1100 km apart.
1) Collector: Saunders, D.; Date: 1/08/1969; latitude: -35.4167; longitude: 141.75; Location: Australia, Victoria, Mildura, Murray Darling Depression, NW district. Wyperfeld National Park, NW corner.
2) Collector: Danks, M.; Date: 6/03/2008; latitude: -30.48711; longitude: 152.28148; Location: Australia, New South Wales, Armidale Dumaresq, New England Tablelands, Serpentine Nature Reserve, Waterfall Way, opp Apiary Site 310, DS6 off plot.
All members of Mesophelliaceae are thought to be ectomycorrhizal and incorporate ectomycorrhizae in their peridium. All Mesophellia sp. 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 sp. 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 currently no conservation actions for this species
- Sequencing of type specimen to confirm species distinctiveness.
- Targeted searches for this species around collection locations and elsewhere in similar habitat.
- Identification of Mesophellia sp. collections in herbaria (note: there are 111 records of on the Australian Living Atlas 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.