Morphology and taxonomy of Sarcoscypha ololosokwaniensis sp. nov.: A new Ascomycota species from Serengeti National Park-Tanzania


Donatha Damian Tibuhwa

Traditional taxonomy emphasizes the morphological features to characterize a taxon. Sarcoscypha is a genus in Sarcoscyphaceae family which display wide array of morphological variations. The genus is widespread in northern hemisphere and boreal regions, but also occurs in sub tropical areas and in the southern hemisphere. Both macro and micromorphological features including (ascocarp size, colour, shape, exterior surface of the fruit body, asci size, shape, as well as ascospore size, ends and lipid bodies) were used in a conventional taxonomic analysis of fresh Sarcoscypha material collected from southern hemisphere in Tanzania. Results showed that compared with similar species from northern hemisphere, Tanzanian materials were relatively smaller, smooth, vivid sharp red inside a saucersshaped ascocarp, sessile to substipitate, microscopically unsheathed ascospores with two lipid bodies, distinctive geographical distribution, and unique season of fructification. Furthermore, a dichotomous identification key constructed for the six close similar species proved that Tanzanian material differed from other close species compared. Therefore based on conventional morphological taxonomy Tanzanian material from Serengeti National Park is described for the first time as a new Ascomycota; Sarcoscypha ololosokwaniensis sp.nov.

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