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Mycologia. 2014 Jan-Feb;106(1):113-8. doi: 10.3852/13-065.

Morchella australiana sp. nov., an apparent Australian endemic from New South Wales and Victoria.

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Warren Wilson College, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 9000, Asheville, North Carolina 28815-9000.


An abundant fruiting of a black morel was encountered in temperate northwestern New South Wales (NSW), Australia, during a mycological survey in Sep 2010. The site was west of the Great Dividing Range in a young, dry sclerophyll forest dominated by Eucalyptus and Callitris north of Coonabarabran in an area known as the Pilliga Scrub. Although the Pilliga Scrub is characterized by frequent and often large, intense wildfires, the site showed no sign of recent fire, which suggests this species is not a postfire morel. Caps of the Morchella elata-like morel were brown with blackish ridges supported by a pubescent stipe that became brown at maturity. Because no morel has been described as native to Australia, the collections were subjected to multilocus molecular phylogenetic and morphological analyses to assess its identity. Results of these analyses indicated that our collection, together with collections from NSW and Victoria, represented a novel, genealogically exclusive lineage, which is described and illustrated here as Morchella australiana T. F. Elliott, Bougher, O'Donnell & Trappe, sp. nov.


Ascomycota; Callitris; Eucalyptus; Morchellaceae; Morels; Pezizales; Western Australia

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