Mossy Maze Polypore, Cerrena unicolor
Polyporaceae or Polypore Family


Cap 1 to 4 inches across, fan-shaped, velvety greyish, with concentric zones, usually with green bands from algae (not moss) growing on top. Pore surface white, turning gray. Perrenial, producing new pore layers annually (2 layers visible at right). Pores small, irregular, forming maze-like tunnels

Decays dead hardwood. Fairly common in Wildwood.

The maze-like pores, and velvety gray and green caps make this fungus easy to identify.

Under surface
This fungus has an amazing relationship with two species of wasp. Female horntail wasps get spores of this fungus on their ovipositors (egg-laying organs) and inject the spores into dead wood, along with their eggs. The spores germinate and the fungus begins to grow in the wood, breaking it down. The wasp eggs also hatch and begin to eat the fungus. The fungus produces a chemical that is smelled by an ichneumon wasp that drills through the wood and lays her eggs in some of the horntail larva. The ichneumon larvae then parasitize and devour the horntail larvae.
  Pores close up

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