This working group was established on 27 January 2001.  As a specialist group within the DNFC, they provide a forum for naturalists who wish to undertake identifications of fungal specimens using a microscope. Participants are encouraged to provide their own fungal material for study. The Herbarium at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin is open as a venue for events.

Since the group started work in 2001, they have studied specimens from a wide range of orders and families of fungi. Groups we have tackled on evening meetings include agarics, boletes, rusts, discomycetes, pyrenocarpous ascomycetes, lichens, lichenicolous fungi, bryophilous pyrenomycetes, coelomycetes, hyphomycetes and myxomycetes. They have identified material from St. John’s Wood, Glasnevin, Massachusetts, Phoenix Park, North Bull Island, The Great Heath, Merionethshire, Glenbarrow, Silver River, Coursetown and Longueville.

The literature available for use at microscope workshops includes the contents of the secretary’s library and some other reference works. These include standard mycological works such as Moser Agarics & Boleti, Watling et al. British Fungus Flora, Rayner Russula, Pegler Puffballs and Chanterelles, Breitenbach & Kranzlin Fungi of Switzerland, Ellis & Ellis Microfungi on Land Plants, Wilson & Henderson Rusts, Dennis British Ascomycetes, Seaver North American Cup Fungi, Purvis et al. Lichen Flora, Dobson Lichens, Wirth Flechtenflora, Hennipman Cladonia, Hawksworth Keys to lichenicolous fungi, Döbbeler Moosebewohende Ascomyceten, Sutton Coelomycetes and Ing Myxomycetes. For tracing previous records of species in Ireland and Britain, Muskett & Malone Catalogue of Irish Fungi, Ing BMS Foray Roscrea, Emmett BMS Foray Fermanagh, Cannon et al. British Ascomycotina, Dennis Fungi of the Hebrides and Fungi of SE England, Clark Fungi of Warwickshire, and Kirk <GBCHKLST.mdb> are also to hand. Helpful literature is still being acquired. Recent additions include Hansen & Knudsen Nordic Macromycetes I, II & III and Keys: Newsletter of the British Mycological Society Key-Group 1-12.

Facilities available for use by participants at indoor meetings include compound microscopes, slides, coverslips, water, dissection microscopes, scalpels and tweezers, pencils, herbarium specimen cards and some mycological reagents. In tracking field localities and obtaining grid references for specimen labels, we have complete sets of the OS Discovery Series 1:50000 maps, the ½ inch maps and the 1 inch maps for Ireland. The AA Glovebox Atlas Ireland is useful as it contains a gazzeteer of 3000 villages listing grid references. There are also some OS maps from Britain. For confirming identifications, reference material from the DBN herbarium may be consulted. The Irish fungal collection contains 1,970 different species and is arranged following the Dictionary of the Fungi 8th edition. For locating specimens from exsiccati, which may be represented in the foreign fungi collection, Oudemanns Enumeratio Systematica Fungorum is useful.

During the evening sessions, they encourage participants to demonstrate to others the microscopic details of fungal anatomy and morphology that they observe in specimens. To assist with terminology, Marriott Guides for the Amateur mycologist, Largent How to identify mushrooms to genus, Hawksworth et al. Dictionary of the Fungi, and Webster Introduction to Fungi are on the shelf.

As the organisation develops an inertia of its own, they plan to circulate via e-mail three types of information. Firstly, a calendar of events and notices of forthcoming meetings is being circulated to the DNFC secretary, the British Mycological Society members in Ireland, and now the Northern Ireland Fungus Group. Secondly, as and when minutes of meetings have been compiled, they will be circulated to participants who attended. Thirdly, for the club proceedings an annual report of the fungus working group’s activity, including complete biological records of all specimens studied, will be compiled and sent to the DNFC secretary, the BMS secretary and other interested parties.

Should you wish to contact the DNFC fungus working group – please e-mail in the first instance The current calendar can be circulated to e-mail addresses anyone who has expressed an interest in contributing to the group.

Our regular microscope workshop in the Herbarium, National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin takes place on the first Wednesday of every month, unless otherwise indicated. Interpolated with this are additional herbarium evenings. There will be some weekend excursions to various parts of Ireland, where fungal field studies will be undertaken. It is also likely that additional field events will be arranged at short notice, so if you wish to be notified do initiate an e-mail contact.

Postal address:

Howard Fox,

DNFC fungus working group,

National Botanic Gardens,


Dublin 9.


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