Bird’s Nest Fungi

Splash cups

Genera Nidula, Crucibulum, Cyathus, and Mycocalia

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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


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


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.


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


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


Saprophytic; they feed on decaying organic material.


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.
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