A splash of yellow to brighten a winter woodland.

January Fungi in Wern Wood

I recently spotted this brightly coloured fungus in Wern Wood. It is a variety of Tremella fungus, similar to a commonly found jelly fungus, known as “Yellow Brain Fungus”, Tremella mesenterica. There is another closely related species Tremella aurantia which although less common, looks very similar. Both species have bright yellow, jelly-like fruiting bodies when fresh and are found growing on fallen deadwood from broadleaf trees, such as this example.

Fun fact:

Neither species feeds on the deadwood itself, but instead are parasitic on other fungi which themselves have been attacking the deadwood.  One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between these related Tremella fungi, is to look for evidence of what they have been feeding on. Tremella aurantia attacks Hairy Curtain Crust Stereum hirsutum while Tremella mesenterica  is parasitic on Peniophora crust fungi.

Yellow fungus on small branch

Tremella fungus (Lewis Goldwater)