Playback speed
Share post
Share post at current time

Mushrooms and Monkeys

A fungi foray on the Monkey Trail in Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand

Before leaving Scotland for Bangkok and down south to Krabi, I do what I usually do before arriving in a new place. I search iNaturalist to see what fungi observations have been made (a virtual foray).

One mushroom that immediately grabbed my attention was a bright orange-colored spikey mushroom, aptly called the Scaly Tangerine Mushroom, Agaricus trisulphuratus, or in Mandarin 三硫色蘑菇 (Trisulfur mushroom). I was instantly reminded of a similar-looking species found in the North Island of New Zealand, the Golden Scruffy Collybia or Cyptotrama asprata.

scaly tangerine mushroom
A. trisulphuratus has an umbrella-shaped cap and long stalk, an outer surface covered with bright yellow, irregular, easily peeled off, and a white inner surface.

Walking from Ao Nang beach to the Monkey Trail that connects to Pai Plong Beach, you’re met by mangroves and wooden steps made of rickety old boards haphazardly nailed together that make you feel like they’d break at any moment. Bamboo poles twined together with metal wire make for loose handrails, and you’re drenched in sweat before you’ve even begun the steep climb. But it’s worth it!

The gills are a dark purplish brown color, and when taken home to do a spore print - the next morning, the gills deliquesced, leaving an inky black stain.

A young Scaly Tangerine Mushroom

Halfway along the walk, heaps of Ramaria sp. or coral fungus pop up around the base of a tree. Some are frayed at the tips and dried out, turning a rust color. The younger ones appeared grey and somewhat mauve. Here a family of monkeys hang out in the trees and hop back and forth from the bamboo handrails. A baby monkey rappels down his mother’s tail, and others walk along the bamboo - following me to the start of the walk.

Ramaria coral fungus
Ramaria sp. / coral fungus

Velvety stalked polypore found growing out of the soil on the side of the track. I suspect Coltricia sp.

These were but a few of the mushrooms spotted along the trail. Whilst on the Interwebs I came across the Thailand Nature Project which is an excellent site - the fungi section has great photos and expanded my bucket list. I hope to find some of these species in Thailand to share with you.

Joseph Pallante