Bird’s Nest Fungi

Splash cups

Genera Nidula, Crucibulum, Cyathus, and Mycocalia

This page may contain affiliate links.
Read our disclosure and privacy policy here.

Bird’s Nest Fungi are unique and fascinating fungi known for their nest-like appearance, containing small egg-like structures called peridioles. These “eggs” are actually capsules containing spores.

Bird’s Nest Fungi

Common Name
Bird’s Nest Fungi

Other Names

Splash cups

Latin Name

Genera Nidula, Crucibulum, Cyathus, and Mycocalia

Distribution

These fungi are widely distributed and can be found worldwide, particularly in temperate regions.

Appearance

The most distinguishing feature is the nest-like fruiting body, which contains the “eggs” or peridioles. When raindrops hit the nest, the force can eject the peridioles, aiding in dispersal.

Size

Generally small, the “nests” can range from 0.5 cm to 1 cm in diameter.

Habitat

They prefer decaying organic matter, like wood chips, old logs, and other woody debris.

Diet

Saprophytic; they feed on decaying organic material.

Lifecycle

Bird’s Nest Fungi begin as spores which germinate and form mycelium. This mycelium grows and eventually forms the nest-like fruiting bodies containing peridioles. Raindrops aid in the dispersal of the peridioles, which then release spores to propagate the fungus.

Defense Mechanisms

The structure of the fungi ensures that the spores are well-protected until they are forcibly ejected for dispersal.

Ecological Importance

As decomposers, Bird’s Nest Fungi play a crucial role in breaking down and recycling organic matter in forests and other ecosystems.

Conservation Status

Not typically of conservation concern due to their wide distribution and abundance.
Let's Go Avocado Team

There’s a lot to explore right where we are, in our own neighborhoods and backyards! Join us while we get off the couch and explore the everyday wonders of nature, science, space, engineering, art, and anything else we stumble upon during on our adventures.

More Posts: