Cantharellus variabilicolor is only known from Madagascar. It has exclusively been found under the introduced Eucalyptus robusta, and it appears to be more closely related to an Australian taxon, rather than similar-looking northern hemisphere species. This does raise some doubts to its origin in Madagascar, but with there being no records from outside of the country it is tentatively treated as native in this assessment. This may need to be revised in future, though. It has a wide range in the Central Highlands of Madagascar, and given its habitat preference it is not suspected to be under significant threat. Therefore, it is assessed here as Least Concern.
Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?
Cantharellus variabilicolor appears to occur throughout the Central Highlands of Madagascar in Eucalyptus robusta plantations (Ariyawansa et al. 2015). It is more closely related to Australian taxon Cantharellus concinnus, as opposed to similar-looking northern hemisphere congeners (Ariyawansa et al. 2015). This does raise some doubts as to its origin in Madagascar, but in the absence of any records from outside of the country it is thus tentatively considered native here.
Population and Trends
There is no quantitative information regarding population size and trends, although given its habitat preference it may not be under significant threat.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Habitat and Ecology
This species has been exclusively recorded from under Eucalyptus robusta (Ariyawansa et al. 2015). As its name suggests, it has a highly variable colour, which can grow mixed together within one site (Ariyawansa et al. 2015).
Given its habitat preference, Cantharellus variabilicolor is suspected to not face any significant threats.
Research is need to ascertain whether this species is strictly native to Madagascar, or whether it could be a result of an accidental introduction with Eucalyptus robusta.
TaxonomyPopulation size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecology
Use and Trade
This species is commonly sold at markets and on road stalls during the rainy season (Ariyawansa et al. 2015).