Ixechinus minor is a fungi of the Boletaceae family known from Madagascar. It has only been documented once, in 1939, and very little information on the species is available. The type specimen was found in a Taipa forest, a threatened ecosystem in Madagascar with high rates of deforestation. While it is possible that this species is rare and subjected to habitat loss, targeted search efforts and research on its habitat and ecology are needed to determine whether this is a truly uncommon, or if it has been overlooked. The species is therefore assessed as Data Deficient (DD).
Ixechinus minor, originally as ‘minus’, is the only species currently accepted as part of the Ixechinus genus, of the family Boletaceae. Other species are no longer accepted as part of this taxon and now belong Fistulinella and Boletus genera (Index Fungorum, 2022)
Guzmán (1974) considered Fistulinella minor a synonym of Ixechinus minor, but it is not included in Index Fungorum (2022).
Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?
Only known from the Ambatofinandrahana district in Madagascar.
Population and Trends
Ixechinus minor has only been documented in 1938 in Madagascar, from one specimen (Heim 1939). There have been no further records or information on search efforts since, so it is not possible to calculate an updated estimate of population size.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Habitat and Ecology
The specimen used for the original description (Heim 1939) was found in a Tapia forest, a forest type characteristic of Madagascar, under the endemic tree Uapaca bojeri. It was described as ectomycorrhizal (Horak 1968).
Subtropical/Tropical Dry Forest
Even though Tapia (Uapaca bojeri) has been assessed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Rabarijaona, 2019), Madagascar’s Tapia forests are subjected to deforestation due to human influence (through charcoal production, timber collection, grazing and fire). It has suffered an estimated loss of 70% to 90% of its area since 1750 and was therefore classified as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems (Keith et al. 2013). This habitat reduction may in turn lead to a reduction in population size and constitute a threat to Ixechinus minor, especially if it is exclusive to this habitat.
Unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]Suppression in fire frequency/intensity
Search efforts are needed to understand the ecology and current distribution and population size of this species. Moreover, the synonymy of Fistulinella and Ixechinus has been discussed in the past, and authors have considered Fistulinella minor a synonym of Ixechinus minor (Guzmán 1974, Wolfe 1982). Given that Ixechinus minor remains as the only species in the genus, while other species now have other currently accepted names, further research should be done to understand the phylogeny of the species and whether this truly is a monotypic genus.
TaxonomyPopulation size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecology