Octopodotus stupendus

By Laura Briscoe

May 7 2020

Octopodotus from octopus and the Greek suffix–otus, indicating resemblance, because of the tentaculiform conidial appendages.

stupendus from the Latin, meaning astonishing or wonderful, in reference to the ornate conidia.

While tiny in stature, this little fungus is stupendus in charm. This species of marine fungi came to us in the personal collection of Jan Kohlmeyer built in collaboration with Dr. Brigitte Volkmann-Kohlmeyer and the late Erika Kohlmeyer, experts in marine fungi. This species grows on the dead leaves of saltmarsh cordgrass as a decomposer. Not only does it grow in marine habitats, but it also resembles a marine animal. The conidia, or asexual spores, have apendages that make them look like tiny octopuses under the microscope!

A Closer Look

More about: Fungi

Kohlmeyer, J & B. Volkmann-Kohlmeyer. 2017. Octopodotus stupendus gen. & sp. nov. and Phyllachora paludicola sp. nov., two marine fungi from Spartina alterniflora. Mycologia 35: 117-123.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15572536.2004.11833139