Taxonomical and nomenclatorial data


Sarcoscypha (Fr.) Boud. 1885

Type: S. coccinea (Jacq.: Fr.) Lamb.

Anamorph: Molliardiomyces Paden 1984


Generic diagnosis:

Apothecia mostly developed on branches, producing a blackish stain to the substrate surface; sessile or often stipitate, disc usually bright-coloured (scarlet), rarely orange, yellow or white, non-gelatinous, externally white-felty by appressed long and narrow hairs, margin smooth or finely fimbriate or with small teeth; ectal excipulum of textura prismatica(-porrecta); ascospores smooth, thick-walled, ellipsoid or oblong-cylindrical, bilateral-symmetrical, with slight to strong bipolar truncation (in some species saddle-shaped, looking hemispherical after a rotation for 90° on the longitudinal axis), containing at the mature stage one or a few large or medium-sized LBs and many minute ones in each half, central area without LBs, with (?16-)32 nuclei; asci arising from simple septa, thick-walled; paraphyses with numerous small, orange to red LBs (colour due to carotenoids).


Accepted European and N-American species of Sarcoscypha:


Sarcoscypha austriaca (O. Beck ex Sacc.) Boud. 1907

Lachnea austriaca O. Beck ex Sacc. 1889

Peziza imperialis O. Beck 1884 non Peck 1878

= S. austriaca var. lutea Ruini & Ruedl 1999 (yellow form)

Anamorphic state: Molliardiomyces coccinea Paden 1984

Sarcoscypha coccinea (Jacq.: Fr.) Lamb. 1887

Peziza coccinea Jacq. 1772

?= Geopyxis coccinea var. lactea Massee 1911 (white form)

Anamorphic state: Molliardiomyces eucoccinea F.A. Harr. 1990

The N-American collections possibly deserve a separate taxon (variety or species).

Sarcoscypha dudleyi (Peck) Baral 1984

                Peziza dudleyi Peck 1894

Anamorphic state: Molliardiomyces dudleyi F.A. Harr. 1990

Sarcoscypha jurana (Boud.) Baral 1984

Sarcoscypha coccinea var. jurana Boud. 1903 (or 1888? BSMF 4: 194)

Anamorphic state: unnamed (see Perić & Perić 2007: fig. 19)

Sarcoscypha macaronesica Baral & Korf in Baral 1984

Anamorphic state: unknown, but see Harrington (....)

Sarcoscypha occidentalis (Schwein.) Sacc. 1889 f. occidentalis

Peziza occidentalis Schwein. 1832

= Sarcoscypha occidentalis f. citrina W.Y. Zhuang 1993 (yellow form)

Anamorphic state: Molliardiomyces occidentalis Paden 1984



Accepted Sarcoscypha species outside Europe and N-America


Sarcoscypha cerebriformis W.y. Zhuang & Z. Wang 1996 – From China

Sarcoscypha chudei (Pat. ex Le Gal 1953) Eckbl. 1968 - From Madagaskar. After Le Gal (1953) with rather small apothecia (0.5-8 mm) and broadly ovoid spores 16-27.5 x 9.5-16 µm.

Sarcoscypha hosoyae F.A. Harr. 1997 - From Japan, on unidentified twigs. Very close to S. dudleyi and S. jurana, as in these species the ascospores have a large entirely surrounding envelope.

Sarcoscypha humberiana F.A. Harr. 1997 - From Taiwan, e.g. on Cinnamomum. Very close to S. austriaca. Conidia are of the same size as in that species, but it is not stated whether they are also formed on conidiophores emerging from the ascospores.

Sarcoscypha javensis Syd. - From Java. Harrington (1997: 54, 1998: 240) found the type material conspecific with many tropical collections formerly misidentified as S. occidentalis. She stated that this species has the widest distribution, occurring throughout the tropics and subtropics of Africa, India, Indonesia, the Carribean region, and Mexico. It is said to differ from true S. occidentalis mainly in larger spores and shorter apothecial stipes. A description is perhaps given in Harrington´s thesis (1996). Sequence data place it in a group with S. occidentalis, S. mesocyatha and S. hosoyae (Harrington & Potter 1997), while the tree in Harrington (1998) places S. javensis at the base of the genus (see under phylogeny).

Sarcoscypha knixoniana F.A. Harr. 1997 - From Japan, e.g. on Machilus or Bladhia. From the small size of apothecia and ascospores this appears to be very close to S. occidentalis, but conidia are much larger.(13.5-[1]9 x 4.5-8.5 µm), and sequence data refer it at the base of both S. coccinea and S. austriaca.

Sarcoscypha korfiana F.A. Harr. 1997 - From NE China, on unidentified twigs. From sequence data close to S. occidentalis, morphologically scarcely distinct from S. occidentalis except for a more yellow disc. Conidia so far not observed.

Sarcoscypha lilliputiana (Le Gal 1953) Eckblad 1968  = Plectania lilliputiana Le Gal 1953 – From Madagaskar. Apothecia very small (0.5-1 mm!).

Sarcoscypha mesocyatha F.A. Harr. 1997 - From Hawaii, e.g. on twigs of Acacia, fruits of Myrsine. From sequence data very close to S. occidentalis, but apothecia and ascospores larger, apothecia mostly subsessile. Conidia so far not observed.

Sarcoscypha serrata (Le Gal 1953) Eckbl. 1968 – From Madagaskar. Very similar to S. jurana. Yet, another collection from Madagaskar was ?correctly identified as Plectania coccinea var. jurana by Le Gal (1953).

Sarcoscypha shennongjiana Zhuang 2000 – From China (internet, where published?)

Sarcoscypha vassiljevae Raitv. 1964, Eesti NSV Tead. Akad. Toim. (Biol.) 13:29 - From Wladiwostok. Apothecia with constantly white hymenium, spores 21-29 x 10-13 µm.



Taxa probably belonging in Sarcoscypha but of unclear specific identity


Peziza acetabuliformis Batarra - synonym of Sarcoscypha ?coccinea fide Persoon (1799: 76)

S. emarginata (Berk. & Broome 1875) F.A. Harr. 1997 - The type material (Sri Lanka) was re-examined by Harrington & Potter (1997: 262) who considered it a synonym to replace the younger epithet jurana. This can hardly be accepted since the spores of S. emarginata are distinctly larger (38-41.5 x 16-18 µm fide Le Gal 1953). The authors did not provide a redescription of the type specimen, nor did any other author. It seems further unlikely that the so far host-specific S. jurana occurs in S-Asia on a probably different host. No sequence data are available referring to the type of S. emarginata. Hence, the identity of S. emarginata remains unsolved. The name emarginata is said to refer to the truncate spore ends, a character which led Harrington to believe in a synonymy with S. jurana. Similarly Le Gal (1953: 293) identified a single, badly preserved apothecium from a collection from Madagaskar as Plectania coccinea var. jurana.

Peziza epidendra Bull. 1789 – synonym of Sarcoscypha ?coccinea according to various authors

Peziza hesperidea Cooke & Peck 1872 (from Niagara Falls) Geopyxis hesperidea (Cooke & Peck) Sacc. 1889 - synonym of Sarcoscypha occidentalis after Seaver (1942), a possible identity with S. javensis remains to be examined.

Peziza insolita Cooke ≡ Geopyxis insolita (Cooke) Sacc. – synonym of S. ?coccinea  (white form)

Humaria minutula Pat. 1907 – possibly synonymous with Sarcoscypha chudei fide Le Gal 1953

Sarcoscypha coccinea var. pseudoaurantia (Hazsl. 1885) Boud. - synonym of Sarcoscypha ?coccinea (Scop.: Fr. 1772) Lamb. 1887, according to description (type inexistent in BP).

Peziza pulcherrima Raf. – listed by Seaver (1928) as a synonym of “Plectania coccinea. Description too vague to associate with any species of Sarcoscypha (Harrington 1990)

Sarcoscypha pusio (Berk. & M.A. Curtis 1875) Sacc. 1889 - synonym of Sarcoscypha occidentalis (Schwein. 1832) Sacc. 1889 fide Pfister (1979 : 33), but a possible identity with S. javensis remains to be examined. Harrington (1990) was unable to examine any authentic material.

Sarcoscypha saxicola Henn. 1898  - From Ebersdorf in Reuss, among rocks, 24.III.1898. Description (spores 24-28 x 11-14 µm) could point to S. jurana, but perhaps also to Leucoscypha (Neotiella).

 Sarcoscypha groenlandica Henn. 1897-99 – Compared by the author with S. occidentalis 

 Sarcoscypha sherrifii Balfour-Browne 1955 – From China (Spores 25-35 x 10-12 µm), see W.y. Zhuang (1998, Flora Fungorum Sinicorum, in Chinese)


Taxa belonging in the Sarcoscyphaceae but definitely excluded from Sarcoscypha


Sarcoscypha alpina Ell. & Ev. 1897 - synonym of  Microstoma protractum (Fr.) Kanouse  after Kanouse (1948: 487)

Sarcoscypha carminea Pat. 1899, Bull. Soc. mycol. Fr. 14: 205 Phillipsia carminea (Pat.) Le Gal (see Harrington 1990)

Sarcoscypha colensoi (Berk.) Sacc. 1889 Boedijnopezzia colensoi (Berk.) Korf & Erb (see Harrington 1990)

Sarcoscypha cruciata (Fr. 1851) Sacc. 1889 - synonym of  Microstoma protractum (Fr.) Kanouse  fide Kanouse (1948)

Sarcoscypha floccosa (Schw. 1834) Sacc. 1889 Microstoma floccosum (Schw.) Raitv. after Eckblad (1968: 14)

Sarcoscypha hiemalis (Bernst.) Velen. 1934 - synonym of  Microstoma protractum (Fr.) Kanouse fide Kanouse (1948: 486)

Sarcoscypha obliqua (Zoll. 1847) Sacc. 1889 - synonym of  Cookeina tricholoma (Mont.) Kuntze fide Seaver (1942)

Sarcoscypha minuscula Boud. & Torrend 1911 Pseudopithyella minuscula (Boud. & Torrend 1911) Seaver 1927

Sarcoscypha notarisiana (Bagnis) Boud. 1907 - probably a Cookeina fide Korf ( pers. comm.)

Sarcoscypha protracta (Fr. 1851) Sacc. 1889 Microstoma protractum (Fr.) Kanouse , type species of Microstoma.

Sarcoscypha striatispora Zhuang 1991. Nanoscypha striatispora (Zhuang) F.A. Harr. Both morphological and sequence data showed that this species falls within the limits of the close genus Nanoscypha (Harrington 1998).

Sarcoscypha striispora (Ell. & Ev. 1896) Sacc. & Syd. 1899 - synonym of  Cookeina tricholoma (Mont.) Kuntze after Pfister (1978 : 99)

Sarcoscypha tetraspora (Seaver 1925) Denison 1963 Nanoscpha tetraspora (Seaver) Denison (see Harrington 1990)



Taxa belonging in the Sarcosomataceae


Sarcoscypha craterium (Schwein.) Banh. 1937 Urnula craterium (Schwein.) Fr., type species of the genus Urnula

Sarcoscypha melastoma (Sow.: Fr.) Rehm 1895 Plectania melastoma (Sow.: Fr.) Fuckel  (see Harrington 1990)



Pezizalean taxa removed from the Sarcoscyphaceae and Sarcosomataceae


Sarcoscypha albovillosa Rehm 1904 - synonym of Leucoscypha rutilans (Fr.) Dennis (see Harrington 1990)

Sarcoscypha alphitodes (Berk.) Sacc. 1889 - synonym of Leucoscypha albocincta (Fr.: Fr.) Bres. (see Harrington 1990)

Sarcoscypha aestiva Velen. 1922 - synonym of Leucoscypha vivida (Nyl.) Dennis & Rifai after Svrcek´s revision of the type (pers. comm.)

Sarcoscypha corium (Weberb. 1873) Schroet. 1893 Helvella corium (Weberb.) Massee (see Harrington 1990)

Sarcoscypha dawsonensis Peck 1906 – synonym of Geopyxis vulcanalis (Peck) Sacc. (see Harrington 1990)

Sarcoscypha fusiformis Velen. 1934 - description reminds of Leucoscypha vivida (Nyl.) Dumont & Rifai

Sarcoscypha imperialis Peck 1878 Sowerbyella imperialis (Peck) Korf

Sarcoscypha lepida (Berk. & Curt. 1860) Sacc. 1889 - synonym of  Geopyxis carbonaria (Alb. & Schwein.) Sacc. fide Rifai (1968) and Pfister (1977)

Sarcoscypha polytrichi (Schumach. 1803) Höhnel 1917 Lamprospora polytrichi (Schumach. ex Fr. : Fr.) Le Gal

Sarcoscypha radiculata (Sow.: Fr.) Sacc. 1889   Sowerbyella radiculata (Sow.: Fr.) Nannf. . Type species of Sowerbyella.

Sarcoscypha rhenana (Fuckel 1870) Sacc. 1889 Aleuria rhenana Fuckel 1869 fide Eckblad (1968) or Sowerbyella rhenana (Fuckel) Moravec (see Harrington 1990)

Sarcoscypha roseotincta Clements 1896 - studied by Harrington (1990) who excluded it from Sarcoscypha but was unable to place it generically.

Sarcoscypha rubrans (Quel. 1892) Boud. 1907 - synonym of ?Leucoscypha rutilans (Fr.) Dennis. Possibly no type material exists (Korf, pers. comm.)



Taxa referred to the Helotiales


Sarcoscypha melanopus (Berk. & M.A. Curtis 1869) Sacc. 1889 - synonym of  Lachnum brasiliense (Mont. 1856) J.H. Haines & Dumont 1984 fide Spooner (1987)

Sarcoscypha pusilla Velen. 1934 - synonym of  Lachnum pygmaeum (Fr. 1822) Bres. 1903 fide Svrcek (1976: 168)

Sarcoscypha tenuispora Cooke & Massee 1893 Cudoniella tenuispora (Cooke & Massee 1893) Dennis 1974



Completely unclear taxa


Sarcoscypha cocotina Cooke  - from Great Britain, Epping, “ad fibras nucis Cocoes” (Saccardo 1889: 158)

Sarcoscypha concatenata Rick 1906  - from S-Brasilia, on Pinus. After Dennis (1960: 116) the type material is without hymenium.

Sarcoscypha dolosa (Weberb.) Sacc. 1889 - Scarcely a Sarcoscyphaceae (spores 10 x 5 µm fide Saccardo)

Sarcoscypha excelsa Syd. 1924  - ??

Sarcoscypha keeskemetiensis Hollos ex Sacc. 18?99 (Vol. 16): 715  - From Ungarn, ad terram. Spores 12 x 6 µm

Sarcoscypha pateraeformis (Dur. & Lév.) Sacc. 1889  - From France, St. Germain-en-Laye, on soil. No microfeatures in Saccardo.

Sarcoscypha proboscidea (Wallr.) Sacc. 1889  - “Ad terram nudam nemoribus Roslebiensis Thuring.”. In Saccardo without microfeatures.

Sarcoscypha racovitzae Bommer & Rousseau 1900  - From Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. No type found fide Gamundi (1975 : 165), badly described.

Sarcoscypha radiculosa (Berk. & Br.) Sacc. 1889  - From Sri Lanka. After Saccardo with minute spores 7-8 x 4.5 µm, hence scarcely operculate.




I am thankful to all who have contributed to this account. Many have sent me collections and observation data. Especially I wish to thank W. Dämon for preparing the distribution map. Biogis Consulting (Salzburg, Austria) is thanked for permission to use their mapping program "BioOffice".



References (incomplete)


see also


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Baral, H.O. (1984). Taxonomische und ökologische Studien über Sarcoscypha coccinea agg., Zinnoberrote Kelchbecherlinge. Diplomarbeit Univ. Tübingen.

 --- (1984). Taxonomische und ökologische Studien über Sarcoscypha coccinea agg., Zinnoberrote Kelchbecherlinge. (Kurzfassung). Zeitschr. Mykol. 50: 117 – 145.

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