Mycena illuminans

Photo: Johnny Wee
Photo: Johnny Wee

NameMycena illuminans

Classification: Fungi > Basidiomycota > Agaricomycetes > Agaricales > Mycenaceae > Mycena illuminans

Description: Mycena illuminans is just one of the more than 70 species of bioluminescent fungi, all of which are mushroom-forming species of the order Agaricales. These white rot fungi can break down lignin in wood, constituting a critical component in the nutrient cycle of the forest. The ecological functions of the dim green light emitted by the fruiting body are not clear, but it has been suggested to attract grazing arthropods to help with spore dispersal at night in closed-canopy tropical forests. Biochemically speaking, bioluminescence provides anti-oxidant protection during wood decay.


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