Dark purple earth tongue (Geoglossum atropurpureum)

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Dark purple earth tongue
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Dark purple earth tongue fact file

Dark purple earth tongue description

KingdomFungi
PhylumAscomycota
ClassLecanoromycetes
OrderLeotiales
FamilyGeoglossaceae
GenusGeoglossum (1)

Earth tongues are highly distinctive fungi; the ridged and leathery fruiting body above the stem does indeed resemble a tongue. In this species, the head of the fungus is reddish-brown or purplish-black in colour, and it is not separated from the non-fertile stem (or stipe) (2).

Size
Fruiting body height: 3 – 9.5 cm (2)
Stem (stipe) height: 3 cm (2)
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Dark purple earth tongue biology

The earth tongue fruiting bodies of this species are produced between August and December (2). This fungus obtains its nutrients from the soil (2).

Fungi are an enormous group of organisms that are so distinctive from both plants and animals that they are placed in their own kingdom. The main body of the fungus is composed of a multitude of microscopic threads (known as ‘hyphae’) which are located within the substrate (5). The fruiting body (such as the more familiar mushroom or toadstool) is produced to release spores and thus allows reproduction to occur. Fungi feed by absorbing nutrients from their surroundings.

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Dark purple earth tongue range

Rare in central, northern and western Europe, the dark purple earth tongue is also found in parts of Asia and North America (2).

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Dark purple earth tongue habitat

Dark purple earth tongue inhabits old grasslands and heathlands, associated with sandy soils (2).

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Dark purple earth tongue status

Short-listed for inclusion in the Bern Convention by the European Council for Conservation of Fungi (ECCF), and included on the Red Lists of 9 European countries (3).

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Dark purple earth tongue threats

Dark purple earth tongue is under threat from the destruction of its habitat, mainly from agricultural expansion or from the afforestation of grasslands (2).

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Dark purple earth tongue conservation

Careful management of existing habitat will help to secure the future of the dark purple earth tongue. In addition, this species is a candidate for listing in Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, otherwise known as the Bern Convention (3) (4).

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

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Glossary

Spores
Microscopic particles involved in both dispersal and reproduction. They comprise a single or group of unspecialised cells and do not contain an embryo, as do seeds.
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References

  1. National Biodiversity Network, Species Dictionary (July, 2003)
    http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nbn/
  2. European Council for Conservation of Fungi (ECCF) (2001) Datasheets of threatened mushrooms of Europe, candidates for listing in Appendix I of the Convention. Bern Convention Standing Committee.
    http://www.nature.coe.int/CP21/tpvs34e.htm
  3. The distribution, status and habitat requirement of the 33 fungal candidates for listing in Appendix I of the Bern Convention. (June 2003)
    http://www.artdata.slu.se/Bern_Fungi/Bern_Fungi.htm
  4. Pegler, D. & Spooner, B. (1992) The Mushroom Identifier. Apple Press, London.
  5. Bern Convention (June, 2003)
    http://www.nature.coe.int/english/cadres/bern.htm
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Image credit

Dark purple earth tongue  
Dark purple earth tongue

© Anders Janols / www.algonet.se/~skogsris/

www.algonet.se/~skogsris/
janols.anders@telia.com
http://www.algonet.se/~skogsris/

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