Cucurbitaria Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. (London) 1: 508, 519 (1821).
MycoBank number: MB 1348; Index Fungorum number: IF 1348; Facesoffungi number: FoF 08180; 95 morphological species (Species Fungorum 2020), 7 species with molecular data.
Type species – Cucurbitaria berberidis (Pers.) Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. (London) 1: 519 (1821).
≡ Sphaeria berberidis Pers., Neues Mag. Bot. 1: 83 (1794).
Notes – Cucurbitaria was described by Gray (1821) and C. berberidis is considered the type of the genus which is usually regarded as saprotrophic or necrotrophic. Cucurbitaria is one of the oldest pyrenomycete genera with a long taxonomic debate. There are over 460 epithets listed in Index Fungorum (2020) including 34 infraspecific taxa, of which at least 340 do not belong to Cucurbitariaceae (Jaklitsch et al. 2017). To date there is DNA sequence data for only a few species, and the validity of taxonomic concepts and other species remaining uncertain. Recent studies have proven that some of these taxa do not belong to Cucurbitaria and group in other families. Jaklitsch & Voglmayr (2017) demonstrated that species such as C. obducens, C. piceae (both producing muriform ascospores) and C. rhododendri (with phragmospores), belong to three different genera of Melanommataceae. Wanasinghe et al. (2017a) revealed that some of the cucurbitaria-like species belong to Camarosporidiellaceae, i.e. Cucurbitaria celtidis, C. elongata, and C. laburni.
Cucurbitaria elongata (Fr.) Grev. (Material examined: ITALY, Forlì-Cesena, Corniolo, on dead wood of ytisus scoparius, 06 December 2011, E Campestri, MFLU13-0085). a Ascomata on the host stems, partly erumpent. b Close up of the ascomata. c Section of an ascoma. d Close up of the peridium. e Hamathecium comprising asci and filamentous pseudoparaphyses. f Hyaline, filamentous pseudoparaphyses. g 8-spored asci with short pedicels. h Ascus tip showing apical apparatus. i–l Golden brown to dark brown, ellipsoidal to broadly, muriform ascospores. Scale bars: c =200μm, d =20μm, e = 10μm, f–h =30μm, i–l =10μm