• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • Preliminary Assessed
  • Assessed
  • DDPublished

Cordierites acanthophorus Samuels & L.M. Kohn

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Scientific name
Cordierites acanthophorus
Samuels & L.M. Kohn
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Cup-fungi, Truffles and Allies
Incertae sedis
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
Buchanan, P.
Mueller, G.M.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/154634653/154634775


Based on the paucity of data on its habitat and ecology and that it has not been seen since 1983, it is not possible to estimate the number of possible sites that the species may occupy or to predict population size or trends.  Hence, it is assessed as Data Deficient.

Taxonomic notes

DNA sequence data is needed for the New Zealand species to compare with existing data available for the type species (Cordierites guiaensis ex tropical America) to confirm generic name.

Geographic range

This is an New Zealand endemic only known from three collections, all housed in PDD.  All three collections are from a single small site recorded in three successive years in the Waitakere Ranges, boardering the city of Auckland to the northwest.

Population and Trends

Known only from three specimens collected in 1981, 1982, and 1983, possibly from the same mycelium, near Auckland, NZ. It has not been recorded since 1983 despite numerous attempts by an ascomycete specialist who lives near the site.

The dark colour of the ascoma reduces the detectability of the species by non-specialists which may be partially responsible for the lack of records. Changes in forest dynamics due to disease of the primary canopy tree, Kauri Dieback disease, may have negatively influenced the population of C. acanthophorus.  

Based on the paucity of data on its habitat and ecology and that it has not been seen since 1983, it is not possible to estimate the number of possible sites that the species may occupy.  Hence, it is assessed as DD.

Population Trend: unknown

Habitat and Ecology

The publication proposing the species lists its habitat as on soil at the base of Leptospermum sp. and on decaying wood, possibly associated with Leptospermum spp. (Myrtaceae). This habitat occurs widely throughout much of New Zealand.  No ecological information on why the species would be restricted to this site was provided.


The only recorded site is being impacted by Kauri Dieback disease, caused by Phytophthora agathidicida. Being close to Auckland city’s expanding western suburbs, the species is also subject to potentially negative human activities.

Conservation Actions

There are no conservation actions currently in place. 

Further surveys aimed at rediscovering this species are needed as it was last seen in 1983 and then only from one small site. 

Phylogenetic study is needed to confirm genus placement. Two other species of Cordierites have DNA sequences available. Based on the specimens sequenced (neither is the type), those species are not congeneric but probably in the same family (Cordieritidaceae).  The only material of C. acanthophorus in PDD is probably too old to provide DNA of adequate quality, so new specimens are needed.

Use and Trade

The species is not utilized.

Source and Citation

Buchanan, P. 2019. Cordierites acanthophorus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T154634653A154634775. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T154634653A154634775.en .Accessed on 8 February 2024

Country occurrence