Cantharellus tomentosus is a chanterelle of miombo woodland. Described from the East African woodland of Tanzania it is suspected that it could be a widespread species. Therefore, despite the likelihood that it is in decline as a result of ongoing anthropogenic threats to its habitat, it is not thought to approach the thresholds for consideration as threatened under any criterion. Thus C. tomentosus is assessed as Least Concern.
Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?
Cantharellus tomentosus was described from Tanzania in the Morogoro district, in miombo woodland (Buyck et al. 2000), and is known under the local name of Wipatwe in the Southern Highlands (Chelela et al. 2015). It is likely that this species is much more widespread than it is possible to judge, based on available records from the country (I. Olariaga Ibarguren in litt. 2022), and MNHN and Chagnoux, S. (2023) do hold a collection of a potential new variety of this species from Zimbabwe. Confirmation of the taxonomic status of this would then confirm whether the species has the potential to be widespread across miombo woodland in Africa.
Population and Trends
Ongoing threats to miombo woodland (e.g. Abdallah and Monela 2007) are likely to be causing a population decline. With the potential for this to have a wide distribution range, it is assumed that the population size would be large; despite the paucity of published, documented records so far.
Population Trend: Decreasing
Habitat and Ecology
This is a species that is only found in miombo woodland (Buyck et al. 2012), and has been recorded in woodland containing a variety of potential extomycorrhizal host plants (Brachystegia spiciformis, Combretum molle, Dalbergia nitidula, Markhamia obtusifolia and Ptelopsis myrtifolia) (Buyck et al. 2000).
There is ongoing loss of miombo woodland, in particular for agriculture and logging for charcoal (e.g. Abdallah and Monela 2007), and the loss of its ectomycorrhizal hosts will impact the fungal species.
Small-holder farmingUnintentional effects: subsistence/small scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]
Further research is required to ascertain the true range of the species, in particular to investigate to what extent it can be found in miombo woodland outside of Tanzania. This should involve taxonomic and genetic study of potential specimens collected outside of the country.
TaxonomyPopulation size, distribution & trends
Use and Trade
This species is thought to be edible (Kabacia and Muchane 2023), although some local communities may consider it inedible (Chelela et al. 2015). It also has antioxidant properties (Tibuhwa 2014).