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Page number:138 
Description type:Non-original description 
Description:CLIMACODON PULCHERRIMUS (Bark. & Curt.) Nikol. -Figs. 197-206
Pileus up to 75 mm radius, sessile or with an effused basal portion, at first descending, then more or less horizontal and applanate, often imbricated ; strigose-spiculose with processes up to 3 mm long at the base of the pileus, fibrillose-strigose towards the margin with processes shorter, rather scattered, and more or less appressed; at first white, then pale fawn tan, cinnamon to orange-brown or reddish brown when dried. Margin fimbriate to entire, thin or obtuse. Spines up to 4 mm long, decurrent, crowded, subulate, rarely flattened, smooth, concolorous with the pileus with whitish tips, horny and dark reddish brown when dried, often glued together as if suffused by some sticky matter. Context 6-16 mm thick at the base of the pileus, fibrous-cheesy, slightly tough, faintly zoned, fibrillose, not lacunose, whitish, usually staining pinkish-rufescent in dilute KOH. Smell not particular.
Context of the pileus monomitic, consisting of generative hyphae, towards the base of the pileus increasingly mixed with connecting and tendril hyphae. Generative hyphae 3-10 µm wide, not inflating, branched (sometimes irregularly so), septate; thin-walled and without clamp-connections near the margin; thin-walled to thick-walled (cell-wall up to 2.5 µm) and with 1-4 clamps per septum farther back from the margin; all hyphae at the margin with dense oleaginous contents, which become progressively less apparent the farther away from the margin. Generative hyphae with frequent excrescences, which develop into connecting or tendril hyphae usually thinner than the parent hyphae. Context of the spines monomitic, its hyphae usually narrower than those of the pileus, without clamps. Oleiferous hyphae abundant in the core of the spines, unbranched at the apex, becoming more and more branched towards the sides, gradually passing into basidiferous hyphae towards the middle of the spines. Basidia 17-22 x 3-4 µm, clavate, without clamp-connection, 4-spored. Sterigmata 2.5-3 µm long. Spores 3.5-4.5 x 1.5-2 µm, ellipsoid, adaxially flattened, smooth, colourless, with 1-2 guttules, not amyloid, with oblique apiculus. Gloeocystidia 2.7-4.5 µm wide, projecting but little beyond the basidia, thin-walled to thick-walled, not encrusted, sometimes not developed
Apart from the type of H. duriusculum Lloyd's collections contain a second packet labelled with the same name (Lloyd Mycol. Coll. 4865). This was collected by E. M. Burkill in the "Economic Gardens" at Singapore, 15 June 1914, at the base of a living Hevea brasiliensis. Unfortunately, the material was treated with mercury chloride, which is the surest way of ruining a fungus and of annihilating the possibility of re-examination.
In addition to the records under the names Hydnum deceptivum, H. duriusculum, H. singaporense, LLOYD also listed two Japanese collections as Hydnum discolor. These are Yasuda 366 (1916, Lett. 63: 9) and Yasuda 495 (1918, Lett. 68: 7). It is not clear why he decided on giving the specimens this name for there is a note in the packet of the second collection which reads: "I do not know that there is any real difference between this & Hyd. pulcherrimum. . .." This piece of information may have come to the knowledge of ITO, since this author (1955: 196), hesitatingly to be sure, placed H. discolor in the synonymy of the present species. The basionym of H. discolor Fr. is H. agaricoides SWARTZ (1788: 149; 1806: 1927), a name which Fries apparently considered unsuitable. The description in Swartz's second publication is the more detailed one and is notable in that, although the surface of the pileus is specifically mentioned, not a word is said of the fibrillose-strigose cover which is such a striking feature in fresh specimens. Therefore, since original material is lacking, Hydnum discolor is rejected as a possible earlier name for C. pulcherrimus unless it is proved beyond doubt that in the type locality-Jamaica-no other kind of epiphytic Hydnum is to be found (or has been found) that tallies with Swartz's description.
Prof. Nannfeldt kindly informed me that the material in Fries' herbarium under the name H. discolor has no nomenclatural value, as it was collected by an unknown North American collector and of a relatively recent date.
One of the Japanese collections belonging to the present species (Yasuda 374) was mentioned by LLOYD as Hydnum helvolum. He regarded this as conspecific with another collection (Yasuda 340), on which he had reported earlier (1916, Lett. 61: 6, 7). The latter, however, turns out to represent Mycoleptodonoides aitchisonii, which see.
AHMAD (1969: 40) recorded C. pulcherrimus from the Kaghan Valley, West Pakistan, but listed C. septentrionalis as a synonym. This raises the question to what species his collection actually refers, a question that cannot be answered without examination of the material.
The material of Climacodon pulcherrimus from Tembeling (Singapore Field No. 24184), which happened to be examined first because it looked more promising than the others, proved somewhat anomalous. First, the hyphae of the pileus develop clamps very close to the margin, a phenomenon that, to a lesser extent, was also noted to occur in the type of Hydnum salmoneum R. Heim (MAAS GEESTERANUS, 1967b: 68). Secondly, ramification is often irregular in that the main branch after developing a side-branch often fails to produce a septum (indicated in the figure by the letter a). Thirdly, secondary septa are unusually frequent (indicated in the figure by the letter b). Fourthly, gloeocystidia are lacking altogether. Instead, there are, near the tip of the spines, hyphae with dense oleaginous contents, which might be called oleiferous hyphae.
A collection like the one discussed above is likely to be called "deviating from the normal," but I have since seen so many minor deviations of one kind or another that it is their sum total that eventually opened my mind for the acceptance of a broader species concept. This in turn led me to abandon the gloeocystidia as a differential character. Instead, Climacodon pulcherrimus can be recognized by (i) the regular occurrence of two to three clamps per septum in the widest hyphae, (ii) the abundance of oily matter in the hyphae of the younger parts, and (iii) the pinkish to rufous discoloration of the context in a KOH solution, which is manifest even in dried material.
An interesting observation was made by Burkill & Holttum who found that the original colour of their specimen collected at Fraser's Hill was "bright tomato red." They further supplied the information that the substratum was "dead wood." The third important fact in connection with this specimen is the presence of sharp-edged grains of quartz sand, some of which are deeply embedded in the tissue of the fungus. From this it would seem not too bold to assume that the specimen grew from the side of a log which had been lifted by the rising waters of a river in spate and rolled over, whereupon the specimen was detected by Burkill & Holttum. Perhaps it is admissible further to assume that the fungus had responded to the anomalous conditions by a chemical change (oxidation or decomposition?) of its oleaginous contents, resulting in a reddening of the entire basidiome. If this is what really happened, then perhaps the bright orange colour of Hydnum salmoneum may also be explained as the response to an abnormal condition. It may be recalled that Heim found his fungus on a charred tree trunk.
As regards the development of the basidiome, Prof. Corner's notes on the subject are here reproduced in full:
"In 1931 I studied the development of eight fruit-bodies which came up on a log that I kept in the `fungarium' in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Growth was very rapid for a fungus with little inflation of the hyphae. For measurements I took the radius of the fruit-body (that is its length from insertion to the margin of the pileus) and the width of the pileus.
Fruit-bodies begin as a strigoso-spicular knob with descending growth. The hymenium begins to form over the centre of the descending apex which then spreads peripherally on the free side, away from the substratum, and becomes more or less horizontal.
At about 48 hours age, the rate of marginal growth, measured radially, is 6-8 mm in 24 hours. It may increase in the next 48 hours to 10 mm in 24 hours, which was the maximum that I observed. It then declines till the fruit-body is fully grown in 10-17 days. The rate of increase in width of the fruit-body is about 1.5-2 times as great from the third to the fifth day, after which it declines rather more rapidly.
The total life of the fruit-body from inception to death was about 17 days for fruit-bodies 42 x 62 mm (radius x width) and up to 27 days for larger fruit-bodies (57 x 100 mm to 100 x 125 mm). Sporing began when the first spines appeared at about 48 hours old. During the last 4-6 days the white or cream colour of the fruit-body changed to pale fawn tan.
The fruit-bodies do not develop sporadically but in regular crops which follow heavy rain after a fairly dry spell. Four crops came up on the logs during the year Feb. 1931 to Feb. 1932. Fomes levigatus Corner grew on the same logs, and their fruit-bodies grew intermixed, often in very close proximity. Those of the Hydnum were not eaten by snails or beetles or by the white termites that eventually devoured the logs."
 
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