Life on a Quarter Acre


There may be more species of fungi in my yard than of any other group of organisms [1], including insects. And yet, so far, I've only found six.

Of course, most fungi are small, live underground, in decaying wood, or as internal parasites of the other yard inhabitants. So they're not easy to photograph and even harder to identify.

But what about the lichens? [2] There are many lichens in the yard, growing on trees, logs, and rocks. But they, too, are hard to identify, especially from photographs.

But still, I should do better than six!

Phylum Basidiomycota (Basidiomycete Fungi)

Class Agaricomycetes

Order Agaricales (Common Gilled Mushrooms and Allies)


Agrocybe acericola (Maple Agrocybe)

Agrocybe pediades (Common Fieldcap)

Agaricaceae (Field Mushrooms and Allies)

Agaricus campestris (Meadow Mushroom)

Nidulariaceae (Bird's Nest Fungi)

Crucibulum laeve (Common Bird's Nest Fungus)

Class Pucciniomycetes

Order Pucciniales (Rust Fungi)


Gymnosporangium globosum (Juniper-Hawthorn Rust)

Phylum Ascomycota (Ascomycete Fungi)

Class Lecanoromycetes (Common Lichens)

Order Lecanorales

Parmeliaceae (Shield Lichens and Allies )

Parmelia sulcata (Shield Lichen)

  1. There are 2.2 to 3.8 to million species according to a recent (2017) estimate.
  2. Lichens are composite organisims resulting from a mutualistic relationship between a species of fungus and an algae or cyanobacteria. .