• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Sarcodon fuscoindicus (K.A. Harrison) Maas Geest.

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Scientific name
Sarcodon fuscoindicus
(K.A. Harrison) Maas Geest.
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Under Assessment
Proposed by
Joaquin Cifuentes
Joaquin Cifuentes
Comments etc.
Else Vellinga, Anders Dahlberg, Emma Harrower, Kent Brothers

Assessment Notes

Prel DD

Taxonomic notes

Sacodon fuligineo-violaceus (Eastern North America, USA and Mexico) and Sarcodon joeides (Europe) are look alikes, though not having blakish blue hues. Combined morphological studies and analysis of DNA sequences indicated the presence of cryptic European taxa within the circumscriptions of Hydnellum concrescens, Phellodon melaleucus and Phellodon niger (Ainsworth, 2010), then Mexican subpopulation of Sarcodon fuscoindicus should be confirmed.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

This species is easily recognized because of the deep blackish blue basidiomes. It has a limited distribution, restricted to North America: Western Part of Central Neovolcanic Axis in Mexico and Pacific North West in USA). In Mexico it has been collected only once in more than 50 years. Recently, based on panbiogeographic studies, Contreras-Medina and Eliosa-León (2001) and Morrone and Márquez (2001) proposed that the Mexican biota shows different biogeographic relationships as suggested by two North American tracks, one at the east and other at the west, and a Gondwanic track, that relate Mexico to the rest of the Neotropical region. The geographic distribution of the elements that constitute the Mexican biota has been the result of vicariance, dispersal events and local extinction, as well as climatic changes and speciation processes in situ (Salinas-Moreno et al. 2004), in a complex plate tectonic scenario (Ferrusquía Villafranca 1993; Ortega et al. 2000).

DD under IUCN criteria. Mexican subpopulation cospecificity has to be confirmed since the probable host species, Abies religiosa, happen to be endemic to central Mexico.

Geographic range

North America: Western Part of Central Neovolcanic Axis in Mexico and Pacific North West in USA.

Population and Trends

In the Pacific North West (USA) so far >30 localities are known but only one recorded in Western Central Mexico. In Central and Eastern Mexico It has been observed stipitate hydnoids decline (Cifuentes 1999) after an analysis of Mexican Herbaria records, but Western Mexico Sierra Madre Occidental has been poorly explored.

Population Trend:

Habitat and Ecology

Ectomycorrhizal symbiont associated with mature forest and old trees in conifer and mixed temperate forests. Mexican subpopulation might be associated to Abies religiosa, an endemic tree in Central Mexico.

Temperate Forest


Hydnoid stipitate fungi are one of the most threatened groups of macromycetes, they become important for the recent decline of sporocarps of ectomycorrhizal fungi in large parts of Europe (Arnolds, 2010).
Mexican and Central American temperate forests, associated with mountain chains; are among those preferred ecosystems for activities such as agriculture and animal husbandry. Therefore temperate areas are considered habitats that have been highly disturbed and they are most threatened and, in most of cases, lacking conservation Policies (Luna-Vega et al., 2006).

Shifting agricultureNomadic grazingRoads & railroadsUnintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target)Recreational activitiesTrend Unknown/Unrecorded

Conservation Actions

Site conservation in Mexico. In PNW, USA, already some sites are under protection.

Site/area protection

Research needed

We need to know exactly plant hosts (It might be Abies religiosa, endemic in Central Mexico), the exact sizes of individuals and populations and the influence of nature conditions on fruiting.

Population size, distribution & trends

Use and Trade


Ainsworth AM, Parfitt D, Reogers HJ, Boddy L, 2010. Cryptic taxa within European species of Hydnellum and Phellodon revealed by combined molecular and morphological analysis. Fungal Ecology 3: 65–80.
Arnolds E. The fate of hydnoid fungi in The Netherlands and Northwestern Europe. Fungal Ecology 3:  81–88.
Cifuentes Blanco, J. 1999. Distribución y algunos aspectos ecológicos de hongos hidnoides estipitados de México. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Facultad de Ciencias. Bases de datos SNIB2010-CONABIO proyecto No. H177. México, D.F.
Contreras-Medina R, Eliosa-León H (2001) Una visión panbiogeográfica preliminar de México. In: Llorente J, Morrone JJ (eds) Introducción a la biogeografía en Latinoamérica: teorıíass, conceptos, métodos y aplicaciones. UNAM, Mexico City, pp 197–211
Ferrusquía-Villafranca I (1993) Geology of Mexico: a synopsis. In: Ramamoorthy TP, Bye R, Lot A, Fa J (eds) Biological diversity of Mexico: origins and distribution. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 3–107
Harrison KA, 1961. New or little known North American Stipitate Hydnums. Can. J. Bot. 42: 1205-1233.
Maas Geesteranus. 1971. Hydnaceous fungi of the eastern Old World.
Maas Geesteranus. 1975. Die Terrestrischen Stachelpilze Europas..
Luna-Vega I, Alcántara Ayala O, Contreras-Medina RL, Ponce-Vargas A, 2006. Biogeography, current knowledge and conservation of threatened vascular plants characteristic of Mexican temperate forests. Biodiversity and Conservation 15:3773–3799 DOI 10.1007/s10531-005-5401-1
Morrone JJ, Márquez J (2001) Halffter’s Mexican transition zone, beetle generalized tracks, and geographical homology. J Biogeogr 28:635–650
Salinas-Moreno Y, Mendoza MG, Barrios MA, Cisneros R, Macías-Sámano J, Zúñiga G (2004) Areography of the genus Dendroctonus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) in Mexico. J Biogeogr 31:1163–1177

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted