• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • VUPreliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Gloeocantharellus aculeatus Linhares, P.P. Daniëls & M.A. Neves

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Scientific name
Gloeocantharellus aculeatus
Linhares, P.P. Daniëls & M.A. Neves
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Preliminary Assessed
Preliminary Category
VU C2a(ii)
Proposed by
Maria Eduarda de Andrade Borges
Maria Eduarda de Andrade Borges, Nelson Menolli Jr, Denis Zabin, Thiago Kossmann, Maria Alice Neves, Altielys Magnago
E. Ricardo Drechsler-Santos, Kelmer Martins da Cunha, Gregory Mueller

Assessment Notes


Gloeocantharellus aculeatus is a possibly ectomycorrhizal species growing solitary to scattered, sometimes forming fairy rings, on the ground in preserved fragments of forest. This species has conspicuous basidiomes with a remarkably vibrant color but has only been found a few times, even in frequently surveyed sites, thus G. aculeatus is considered a rare species. This species is known only from two sites in Brazil distributed in the Atlantic Forest, and it is expected that the species is restricted to the Atlantic Forest from Southern to Southeastern Brazil. The Atlantic Forest is home to the largest urban centers in Brazil and showed a habitat decline of more than 72% by the year 2020. The fragmentation and high loss of habitat in the Atlantic Forest are due to urbanization, industrialization, and agricultural expansion. Considering the rarity and conspicuity of G. aculeatus , the total population is estimated at 9000 mature individuals. Based on the severe habitat loss of area and habitat quality, we suspect a population decline of around 26% within the last three generations (50 years). It is assessed as Vulnerable C2a(ii).

Taxonomic notes

Gloeocantharellus aculeatus Linhares, P.P. Daniëls & M.A. Neves, in Linhares, Reck, Daniëls & Neves, Phytotaxa 268(3): 196 (2016).

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Gloeocantharellus aculeatus is a conspicuous species, with basidiomata with a vibrant color. As the species is conspicuous but has only been found very few times, even in sites that are frequently sampled, G. aculeatus is considered rare. This species occurs in preserved fragments of the Atlantic Forest, however, this biome holds the largest urban centers in Brazil, and has had a historical habitat decline of over 72% by 2020. Therefore, the species should be assessed regarding its extinction risk.

Geographic range

This species is known from the Atlantic Forest of Brazil (Ombrophilous Dense Forest), where it was collected in two sites: one in southern Brazil, in Santa Catarina State (Pântano do Sul, Lagoinha do Leste Municipal Park trail) and one in Southeastern Brazil, in Espírito Santo (Santa Teresa, Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserve). It is expected that the species is restricted to the Atlantic Forest from Southern to Southeastern Brazil. The Northeastern Brazilian Atlantic Forest is a well-sampled region for macrofungi, considering the large presence of mycologists surveying several areas in the region over decades. As there are no records of the species for this area, coupled with the species conspicuity, we expect that G. aculeatus does not occur in the Northeastern Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

Population and Trends

This species is known to occur in preserved fragments of the southern and southeastern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Gloeocantharellus aculeatus is a conspicuous species with a remarkably vibrant color, giving it a high detectability. There are only six collections of the species, one from Santa Catarina state (Linhares et al., 2016) and five from Espírito Santo state (speciesLink, 2021). Since the species is conspicuous and has only been found a few times, even in frequently surveyed sites within the Southern and Southeastern Atlantic Forest, through the decades, it is considered a rare species. It has also not been found in Northeastern Brazilian Atlantic Forest, despite the sampling of macrofungi by local mycologists in the region. Considering the rarity and conspicuity of the species, its population is estimated to be distributed in around 300 additional sites, each holding up to 30 mature individuals, with a total of 9000 mature individuals.

The Atlantic Forest holds the largest urban centers in Brazil, housing more than 70% of the Brazilian population, thus urbanization, industrialization, and agricultural expansion have led to high loss and fragmentation of this forest. There has been a habitat decline of the Atlantic Forest of over 72% by the year 2020 (Rezende et al. 2018). Therefore, we precautionarily inferred a population decline of at least 20-26% within the last three generations of this species (50 years) (Rezende et al., 2018; da Silva et al. 2020), inferred in light of the extensive loss of suitable habitat (da Silva et al. 2020) and the putative influence that habitat degradation has on species occupation in a given environment (Berglund & Jonsson 2002, Haddad et al. 2015).

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

This is a possible ectomycorrhizal species growing on the forest floor. It is found growing from solitary to scattered, sometimes forming fairy rings. It is expected that the species is restricted to the Southern and Southeastern Brazilian Atlantic Forest, where its habitat requirements are met.

Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland Forest


The Atlantic Forest is considered a global hotspot and therefore a priority area for conservation (Myers et al., 2000). There has been a habitat decline of the Atlantic Forest of over 72% by the year 2020 (Rezende et al. 2018), and most forest remnants are smaller than 100 ha and are isolated from each other (Ribeiro et al., 2009), permeated by degraded areas, urban areas, pasture, agriculture, forestry. Comparing the period from 2017-2018 with 2018-2019 there was an increase of about 27% of deforestation in the Atlantic Forest remnants (Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica and Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, 2020).

The site where the species was found in Santa Catarina state is a Municipal Park within environmental protection areas, but it is open for recreational activities and tourism, in addition to being constantly threatened by illegal residential construction. The site in Espírito Santo state is a Biological Reserve, it is an area of ​​well-preserved forest, open for visitation and ecological trails. This pattern is commonly observed along the Atlantic Forest, even in conservation areas.

Housing & urban areasUnintentional effects: subsistence/small scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]Unintentional effects: large scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]Recreational activities

Conservation Actions

Required conservation actions include mainly the management and maintenance of the protected areas where the species is found, along with developing conservation plans.

Site/area protectionResource & habitat protectionSite/area managementNational levelSub-national level

Research needed

Due to the current disjunct distribution of this taxon, more sampling is required to better understand its distribution patterns. The genus is considered possibly ectomycorrhizal, so studies to understand the trophic mode of this species are needed, as well as studies to elucidate its possible symbiotic plants.

Population size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecology

Use and Trade

There is no known use/trade of this species.


Berglund, H. and Jonsson, B. G. 2003. Nested plant and fungal communities; the importance of area and habitat quality in maximizing species capture in boreal old-growth forests. Biological Conservation 112 (3): 319-328. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00329-4

Dahlberg, A. and Mueller, G. 2011. Applying IUCN red-listing criteria for assessing and reporting on the conservation status of fungal species. Fungal Ecology 4: 1-16.

Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica and Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais. 2020. Atlas dos remanescentes florestais da Mata Atlântica - Período 2018-2019. São Paulo. 61 p. Available at: http://mapas.sosma.org.br/site_media/download/2020_Atlas_Mata_Atlantica_2018-2019_relatorio_tecnico_final.pdf. (Accessed: 18 September 2021).

Haddad, N. M.; Brudvig, L. A.; Clobert, G.; Davies, K. F.; Gonzales, A.; Holt, R. D.; Lovejoy, T. E.; Sexton, J. O.; Austin, M. P.; Collins, C. D.; Cook, W. M.; Damschen, E. I.; Ewers, R. M.; Foster, B. L.; Jenkins, C. N.; King, A. J.; Laurance, W. F.; Levey, D. J.; Margules, C. R.; Melbourne, B. A.; Nicholls, A. O.; Orrock, J. L.; Song, D. X.; and Townshend, J. R. 2015. Habitat fragmentation and its lasting impact on Earth’s ecosystems. Science Advances 1 (2). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500052

IUCN. 2020. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2020-2. Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 17 September 2021).

Linhares, F. T. F.; Reck, M. A.; Daniëls, P. P.; and Neves, M. A. 2016. Gloeocantharellus aculeatus (Gomphaceae), a new neotropical species in the gomphoid-phalloid clade. Phytotaxa 268(3): 193-202. http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.268.3.3.

Myers, N.; Mittermeier, R.; Mittermeier, C.; da Fonseca, G. A. B.; and Kent, J. 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853–858. https://doi.org/10.1038/35002501

Rezende, C. L.; Scarano, F. R.; Assad, E. D.; Joly, C. A.; Metzger, J. P.; Strassburg, B. B. N.; Tabarelli, M.; Fonseca, G. A.; and Mittermeier, R. A. 2018. From hotspot to hopespot: An opportunity for the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation 16 (4): 208-214. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2018.10.002

Ribeiro, M. C.; Metzger, J. P.; Martensen, A. C.; Ponzoni, F. J.; and Hirota, M. M. 2009. The Brazilian Atlantic Forest: How much is left, and how is the remaining forest distributed? Implications for conservation. Biological Conservation 142: 1141-1153.

da Silva, R. F. B.; Millington, J. D. A.; Moran, E. F.; Batistella, M.; and Liu, J. 2020. Three decades of land-use and land-cover change in mountain regions of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Landscape and Urban Planning 204: 103948. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2020.103948

speciesLink. 2021. Available at: https://specieslink.net/. (Accessed: 17 September 2021).

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted