British Ascomycetes: 45. 1981.
Photo: On cow dung (the small brownish cups are Ascobolus)
Common Name: none
Synonym: Cheilymenia coprinaria (Cke.) Boudier (Bull. Soc. Myc. Fr. 1: 105. 1885.)
Apothecia sessile, cylindrical to cushion-shaped, becoming shallowly cupulate to saucer-shaped, 1.0-4.0 (5) mm broad; margin upturned, even to wavy, with pale-tan, bristle-like hairs; hymenium red-orange to yellowish-orange, glabrous, plane to concave; exterior surface lighter than the disc, with scattered, pallid, stiff hairs; context fleshy, thin, orange; odor and taste not investigated.
Spores 16-19 x 10.0-12.5 µm, ellipsoid, smooth, thin-walled, hyaline, lacking oil droplets; asci eight-spored, uniseriate, the tips inamyloid; paraphysis slender, slightly clavate.
Scattered, gregarious, to clustered on dung, primarily cow, but also horse and other herborvores; fruiting year-round when moisture is available; common, but seldom collected.
Edibility unknown; insignificant.
Like many dung fungi, Cheilymenia fimicola and a close relative, Cheilymenia stercorea, are cosmopolitan species, found wherever cows and horses are pastured. Both are small orange cups with bristle-like marginal hairs, but with subtle differences. In Cheilymenia fimicola the hairs are straight, septate, tapered to a point, and branched only at the base. Cheilymenia stercorea in contrast, has two types of hairs, some straight, tapered, and septate like Cheilymenia fimicola, though usually darker, plus shorter, stellate-branched hairs found mostly at the base of the apothecia. A third Cheilymenia, found occasionally on horse manure, Cheilymenia theleboloides, is pale-yellowish and has inconspicuous, nearly hyaline hairs. Other look-alikes include Coprobia granulata and Scutellinia scutellata. The former produces orange cups on dung, but lacks marginal hairs, and as the species epithet suggests, has a roughened exterior. Scutellinia scutellata is a bright-orange cup with conspicuous marginal hairs, but occurs on rotting wood, not dung.
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