Notes on Syncephalis (Zoopgales, Zoopagomycota) from the Farlow Herbarium, with the description of a new species, Syncephalis aethiopica

Mycologia. Jan-Feb 2018;110(1):192-200. doi: 10.1080/00275514.2018.1426960.


The Harvard mycologist Roland Thaxter collected and studied a wide variety of fungi. Although he described >1000 fungal species, he was unable to describe all the specimens he collected before his death in 1932. His collections and microscope slides remain an important resource for studying fungal diversity at the Farlow Herbarium at Harvard University. Thaxter described three species in the obligate mycoparasite genus Syncephalis: S. pycnosperma, S. tenuis, and S. wynneae. He retained slide mounts of several other species, including a new species from his collection that was not described. Here, we describe that new species as S. aethiopica based on morphological analysis of his preserved slides. We also discuss the morphology of S. reflexa, a species apparently only known from slides preserved at the Farlow Herbarium.

Keywords: Culture; Wynnea; merosporangia; new taxon (one); secondary sporophores; zygospores.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Specimen Banks*
  • Fungi / classification*
  • Fungi / cytology
  • Microscopy
  • Plants / microbiology*