• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • Preliminary Assessed
  • LCAssessed
  • Published

Octaviania ivoryana Castellano, Verbeken & Thoen

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Scientific name
Octaviania ivoryana
Castellano, Verbeken & Thoen
Common names
sundu (Bariba people)
igbano ukwo (Nagot people)
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Proposed by
Susana P. Cunha
Susana C. Gonçalves, Susana P. Cunha
James Westrip

Assessment Notes

Current name of the species is Afrocastellanoa ivoryana.

Su on May 12, 2023—Uncertain population trend is only referred to under justification, maybe add it under population as well?


Afrocastellanoa ivoryana is an ectomycorrhizal truffle-like fungus, widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a population size estimated at 220000 individuals. This species is subjected to loss of habitat in miombo woodlands, but since it is not exclusive to this type of habitat, it is difficult to estimate population decline. Therefore, it is assessed as Least Concern (LC).

Taxonomic notes

The species’ current name is Afrocastellanoa ivoryana. It was initially described as Octaviania ivoryana, but its unique phylogenetic position and morphological characteristics led to the proposal of the monotypic genus Afrocastellanoa (Orihara and Smith 2017, Index Fungorum 2022)

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

EDGE species 2022

Geographic range

Afrocastellanoa ivoryana is found in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was originally described from specimens found in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Guinea and Senegal (Castellano et al. 2000), and has since been recorded in Benin, Togo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (GBIF records 2022).

Population and Trends

Afrocastellanoa ivoryana has been reported from 22 sites (localities), including 12 from the original description (Castellano et al. 2000)— Zimbabwe (5), Kenya (1), Guinea (1), Senegal (4), and 11 georeferenced records on GBIF (accessed on September 2022) that include records from Democratic Rebublic of the Congo (1), Togo (1), and Benin (9).
Following Dahlberg & Mueller (2011) guidelines and assuming one functional individual per site, the population size is estimated at 220000 mature individuals. This estimate is based on the fact that this is a terrestrial, isolated to gregarious species, not particularly conspicuous, but nevertheless apparently common and widespread across Sub-Saharan Africa (Orihara & Smith 2017).
There may be some decline in population through habitat loss, but since this species is not exclusive to one type of habitat, population trend is not clear.

Population Trend: Uncertain

Habitat and Ecology

Afrocastellanoa ivoryana is a truffle-like fungus found in tropical to temperate regions of sub-saharan Africa, where it occurs in open forest, miombo woodlands and savannas. It forms ectomycorrhizas with several African plant hosts. So far it has been described to associate with Fabaceae trees (Afzelia africana, Anthonotha crassifolia, Isoberlinia spp. and Brachystegia boehmii, B. longifolia, B. spiciformis and Julbernardia globiflora) as well as Phyllanthaceae shrubs of the genus Uapaca (e.g. U. pilosa) (Castellano et al. 2000, Degreef & De Kesel 2017).
Fruiting occurs from July through September in the Sudanian woodland and January, February in Zambezian miombo woodland (Castellano et al. 2000).

Subtropical/Tropical Dry ForestSubtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland ForestDry SavannaMoist Savana


Possible threats to this species result from habitat disturbances and loss of host trees through expanding slash and burn agriculture into miombo woodlands and use for charcoal production (Degreef et al 2020). Deforestation caused by the development of mining sites in RD Congo and mining-related pollution and timber sourcing could also present a threat in this region (Mwitwa et al., 2012). Moreover, one of Afrocastellanoa ivoryana’s plant hosts, Afzelia africana, has been assessed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Shifting agricultureMining & quarryingUnintentional effects: subsistence/small scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]

Conservation Actions

Research needed

Use and Trade

Used and highly valued as food by the Nagot people of Benin (De Kesel et al. 2002).

Food - human


Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted