Myrmecopterula Leal-Dutra, Dentinger & G.W. Griff., gen. nov.
Index Fungorum number: MB831048; Facesoffungi number: FoF
Etymology: From the ancient Greek μύρμηκος (=mýrmē– kos), genitive form of μύρμηξ (=mýrmēx), ants. Thus, Pterula of the ants, due to the observed relationship of several taxa in this genus with nests of fungus-growing ants.
Diagnosis: Differs from Pterula in the presence of the cottony subiculum.
Description: Basidiome if present bushy, pteruloid, white-cream to light brown and greyish surface, nor- mally concolorous or stipe with a darker tone than the hymenophore, arising from cottony subiculum with my- celial cords. Stipe surface sterile. Hyphal system, dimitic hyphal system. Basidiospores relatively small spores, usually less than 7 μm wide.
Ecology: Usually associated with the nests of ants, grow- ing on top, or from a living or dead nest, or being culti- vated by the ants.
Type species: Myrmecopterula moniliformis (Henn.) Leal- Dutra et al. 2019.
Notes: – Basidiomes of Myrmecopterula species are very similar to those of Pterula in habit, shape, and colour, but differ in the presence of mycelial cords and a cot- tony subiculum from which the basidiomes emerge. Some species of Myrmecopterula arise from soil, while others superficially appear to grow on wood. Closer observation of basidiomes formed on wood revealed that, rather than being lignicolous, they instead grow from a loose, granular substrate within a cavity inside the wood. This substrate in some cases resembles the substrate in the fungus gardens of the Apterostigma pilosum group of ants. In addition, M. moniliformis, which arises from soil, has been found emerging from active and inactive attine nests, (S. Sourell, pers. comm.; M. C. Aime, pers. comm.). Thus, all but one of the Myrmecopterula clades found to date had some as- sociation with attine ants, of which the two farmed mutualist species (M. nudihortorum and M. velohor- torum) are best known. The five other species (of which only M. moniliformis is named) are less well studied and may play a role in decomposition of re- sidual substrates in abandoned fungus garden, or po- tentially even as mycoparasites of the ant cultivar. In contrast, no Pterula spp. have any reported association with ants, but instead are found growing directly from wood and leaf litter.