Disco Eyelashes – The Common Eyelash Fungus

This small and attractive fungus is one of the ‘Discos’ (Disc fungi), an English description for one the groups in the genus of Pyronema (Pyronemataceae family) – but let’s not get too technical, we could be here forever!

Scutellinia scutellataAlthough widespread and common throughout the UK, I very rarely see the Common Eyelash (Scutellinia scutellata) on my travels but then again they can be extremely hard to spot, even with their bright colouring. I discovered these whilst kneeling down examining another fungus. Luckily they were in my line of sight.

They are often found in groups clustered together on rotting wood or soil, most of the time in damp places and sometimes lost amongst moss. They measure around 0.2 – 1cm across, so finding a solitary individual would be very hard indeed.

Apart from the bright orange/red colour and mini disc/shallow cup shape – the main distinctive feature are the tiny fine dark brown/black hairs (up to 20mm in length) on the margin. They look like tiny ‘eyelashes’ all around the edge, hence the English name. Depending on how good your eyesight is, these are just visible with the naked eye and look quite menacing through a lens. Fortunately these fine hairs are not sharp and cannot penetrate the skin.

Many cup shaped fungi have similar growing hairs around their edge and they differ in length and colour etc. Similar species to the Common Eyelash include Scutellinia umbrorum / S. olivascens which share the same colours and environment, but are larger in size (up to 2cm across) and with shorter, less conspicuous hairs.

Their season is late spring to late autumn, so keep a keen eye out and you could get lucky.

Orange Red coloured Disc fungi

Scutellinia scutellata – The Common Eyelash Fungus. Often found in groups on damp rotten wood sometimes amongst moss.


8 replies
  1. Varsha
    Varsha says:

    I was always under the impression they fruited at the end of summer/begining of autumn. Should really read my books properly.. Anyway, I’m the same, never seen any no matter where I explore. I hope that by making that statement, the powers that be somehow enable me with a chance encounter!

  2. J C Harris
    J C Harris says:

    I was also under the impression they were an autumn fungus, but I found some of these in early may. It has been the recent damp weather that has brought them out I think. All the best, John.

  3. Vivien Yap
    Vivien Yap says:

    Ohhh I’m so glad to have found this blog. I just moved here from Oregon to London and I mushroom hunt quite a bit back in Oregon. Since living here, I take long walks hoping to find mushrooms. Today, I finally came across puffballs, a few Agaricus that look like portobello, and Oysters! I’m going to read more of your posts, especially on morels! Oh there is one place in Oregon where I could fill a bucket of morels within just a couple hours – I hope to find such a place in England :)

  4. J C Harris
    J C Harris says:

    So glad you’re liking the blog Vivien. I have a backlog of new pictures and posts to add when I get the time. It hard to fit in the time though!!

    Anyway, it’s good to hear your finding some good stuff out there but I haven’t seen that many Morels as you describe in your comment yet. We’ve just missed the season though! Maybe next year

    All the best

  5. Charley
    Charley says:

    Hello, I have been reading your blog for a while and it has been quite useful to me. I remember reading you were based in Leicestershire? So am I. I just wondered if there were any areas you’d recommend more than others for foraging? (Well I don’t eat them buy i enjoy taking all kinds of photos)

    Thanks for your time. And keep up the good blog! (Its really useful as its so close)

  6. J C Harris
    J C Harris says:

    Hi Charley.

    Glad you are liking the blog. If I had to pick a couple of favourite places in Leicestershire, especially for diversity in species I think you can’t go wrong with Swithland Woods (even Bradgate Park nearby for grassland species) and Martinshaw Woods (Groby/Ratby) although you have to get into the thick of the scrub a bit more there.

    All the best


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