• Proposed
  • 2Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Termitomyces eurrhizus (Berk.) R. Heim

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Scientific name
Termitomyces eurrhizus
Author
(Berk.) R. Heim
Common names
jizong, zhen gen yichaosan
Jirousigu
Baijigu
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Agaricales
Family
Lyophyllaceae
Assessment status
Proposed
Proposed by
Rosnida Tajuddin
Comments etc.
Olivier Raspé, Rosnida Tajuddin

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Termitomyces eurrhizus is from family Lyophyllaceae and known to form pseudorhiza (pseudo root), which extend deep into the soil. It is a unique characteristic that carry throughout the Termitomyces genus. This fungus is also known as T. albuminosus (Mortimer et al.,, 2012).

Common names: jizong, zhen gen yichaosan (China), Jirousigu (Taiwan), Baijigu (Japan)


Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

This fungus is edible and due to its nature to form symbiotic relationship with termite, this fungus cannot be cultivated and grow commercially as oyster mushroom or split gill mushroom. It is a local delicacy as some claim it to have similar taste as chicken when cooked. As this fungus has not been grown commercially due to its nature that reliant on termite mound to grow, it is important to harvest it correctly.


Geographic range

It usually preferred broad-leaves forests and can be found in Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, India and tropical Africa.  It can also be found in tropical and subtropical areas of Yunan and Sichuan provinces, China.


Population and Trends

Widely distributed, and no data showing the population is declining. As such this species is under the Least Concern (LC) IUCN Categories

Population Trend:


Habitat and Ecology

The fungus grows solitary on termite mound usually Macrotermitinae termites.


Threats

Incorrect harvesting technique in which the fungus is usually uprooted from the soil.


Conservation Actions

There are several projects conducted in attempting to cultivate T. eurrhizus in China, in which they used wood composition for fungal fruitification and encouraging the production of termite mounds to accommodate the fungus colonies and generations, but both approaches have yet to yield commercially. (Chang and Miles 2004; Shao-Yu 2006; Yujin et al. 2010). 

A correct harvesting technique are important to sustain the production of this fungus. The fungus could be removed only at the stem level, instead of uprooting the whole fungus from the soil.  The awareness on the correct technique in harvesting this fungus and controlling the number and size of harvests per season could be an initial approach in ensuring the sustainability of this fungus


Research needed

Surveys and inventories are needed to be conducted to determine the occurrence and distribution of this fungus.


Use and Trade

Edible and it is known for taste and delicacy for local communities.


Bibliography

Chang S, Miles PG (2004) Mushrooms Cultivation, Nutritional Value, Medicinal Effect, and Environmental Impact. ISBN: 978-0-8493- 1043-0:27–37 doi: 10.1201/9780203492086.ch2

Mortimer, Peter E., Samantha C. Karunarathna, Qiaohong Li, Heng Gui, Xueqing Yang, Xuefei Yang, Jun He et al. “Prized edible Asian mushrooms: ecology, conservation and sustainability.” Fungal Diversity 56, no. 1 (2012): 31-47.

Shao-Yu J (2006) Cultivation of Termitomyces albuminosus and its taste quality and evalution of physiological activities. National Chung Hsing University, Taipei

Yujin Z, Huachun G, Rongchun L (2010) Status of termite-mushroom artificial domestication cultivation-A review. Acta Microbiol Sin 50(10):1288–1292


Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted