|Copyright: Laszlo Kaposvari (Hormon_Manyer)
|Date Taken: 2020-03-01|
|Camera: Sony DSC HX400V|
|Exposure: f/8, 1/40 seconds|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2020-03-08 8:39|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha austriaca (Beck ex Sacc.) Boud.) and the closely related species are always signs of spring here in the Northern hemisphere, and because at least this species from the complex is widespread and very photogenic, you can find many pics of it here on TN. This is my 10th image of this early spring beauty shared here, so please click to this one of mine for further species info. God knows why, I didn't manage to find this common species since 2015 (until last Sunday).
As microscopic analysis is a must in the genera to separate the closely related species, here's a list of the lookalikes:
- Sarcoscypha coccinea (Gray) Boud., "Ruby Elf Cup", type species of the genus: may fruit in winter (December), too, but the cups remain closed until warmer temperature arrives. In Europe it has apparently Western / Southern distribution, in America it's limited to the Pacific West / Midwest. External hairs on the stem of the cup are smooth, not corkscrew-shaped as in S. austriaca.
- Sarcoscypha macaronesica Baral & Korf, "Canary Elf Cup" is living in the Canary Islands and Madeira, there are yet unconfirmed records from Southern Spain also. Macroscopically indistinguishable from the above S. coccinea.
- Sarcoscypha humberiana F.A. Harr.: much smaller fruitbodies, Taiwan.
- Sarcoscypha knixoniana F.A. Harr.: smaller fruitbodies, but on longer stem, Japan.
The above 5 species form a distinct clade within the genera, as per DNA/RNA analysis they're closely related. Other, macroscopically similar, accepted taxa of the genera in Europe / North America are
- Sarcoscypha dudleyi (Peck) Baral, "Crimson Cup", common in Eastern North America and very rare in Europe, macroscopically indistinguishable, but serious differences in microscopic characters;
- Sarcoscypha jurana (Boud.) Baral, "Lime Scarlet Cup": a Central / West European species only growing on lime (Tilia sp.) twigs;
- Sarcoscypha occidentalis (Schwein.) Sacc., "Stalked Scarlet Cup" is having much longer stem and North American distribution. Not known from Europe.
There are several other, similar taxa known from the tropics, for a - definitely incompelete - list please click here.
Photo was made in the Doneraile Wildlife Park closed to the same named village, in north Co. Cork in Ireland. ISO 80, f/8 and 1/40 sec. in manual exposure mode.
Title was inspired by the song Leave That Thing Alone! from the Canadian progressive rock band Rush (from their album Counterparts, 1993), whose drummer and lyricist Neil Peart died from cancer 2 months ago. This post is my special dedication to him and the band.
Thanks for looking and reading.
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