This species is described from one specimen by Trappe et al. in 1996 from a specimen collected in 1993. The following is a quote from the species remarks:
“Mesophellia westresii at first appeared to be small specimens of M. labyrinthina, except for the pinkish hue of the glebal core and the rather narrow endoperidium. Microscopy revealed, however, that its tissues were composed of much narrower hyphae than those of M. labyrinthina; this was particularly striking in the glebal core: the core hyphae of M. westresii are 1.5-3 pm in diameter, those of M. labyrinthina 5-6 pm in diameter.”
There is only one record for this species, the type for which it is described. This specimen was collected in 1993 and the species erected in 1996 (Trappe et al.). The location where is this species was collected is still a State Forest and there are other fragmented State Forest’s within 50 km of its collection location. It is possible that this species survives within these forest fragments. Further surveys are needed to confirm this.
Williams, Western Australia (“4.6 km from the junction of Wandering and Williams Road, Dryandra State Forest” on specimen notes).
Population Trend: Uncertain
All members of Mesophelliaceae are thought to be ectomycorrhizal and incorporate ectomycorrhizae in their peridium. This species was recorded under Eucalyptus accedens in a Mediterranean climate. 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 Perth.
- 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.