Anthracoidea Bref.


Anthracoidea caricis (Pers.) Bref. on Carex pilulifera L.


Cintractia Cornu
Cintractiomyxa Golovin


Sori in ovaries, globose to elongate-ovoid, composed of nutlets surrounded by black firmly agglutinated spore masses, originally covered by a thin greyish or silvery fungal membrane.

Spores solitary, dark brown, globose, ovoid to ±irregular, subpolyhedral, often flattened, relatively large (mean length 13–31 µm). Spore wall usually ornamented with spines, warts or granules, rarely smooth, often with internal swellings or light-refractive areas.

Spore germination resulting in a 2-celled basidium forming 1 or more basidiospores on each cell.

Host-parasite interaction by intracellular hyphae coated by an electron-opaque matrix.

Septa poreless at maturity.

Anamorph: Crotalia Liro, present in some species.


Anthracoidea contains about 80 species that parasitise hosts in at least seven genera of the Cyperaceae. While most species occur in the Northern Hemisphere, four are known in Australia, three of which have also been found in New Zealand. Molecular DNA analysis of Anthracoidea (Hendrichs et al., 2005) has supported the traditional classification of species based on morphology of the teliospores and a narrow host species concept (Vánky, 1979, 1994). Begerow et al. (2006) used such analyses to demonstrate that species of Anthracoidea, Cintractia, Dermatosorus, Farysia, Heterotolyposporium, Moreaua, Planetella, Schizonella, Stegocintractia, Tolyposporium and Trichocintractia formed a monophyletic clade. They considered that Ustilaginales on Cyperaceae and Juncaceae were best placed in the Anthracoideaceae. However, a comprehensive molecular study towards an internal classification of Ustilaginaceae sensu Bauer et al. (1997) has yet to be carried out (Begerow et al., 2006).

Species in Australia
Anthracoidea carphae
Anthracoidea caryophylleae
Anthracoidea heterospora
Anthracoidea sclerotiformis

Key based on host taxonomy
On Carex1
1.  Spores 16-24(-27) µm long, 11-13 µm wideAnthracoidea caryophylleae
Spores (10-)13-21(-24) µm long, 8-12 µm wideAnthracoidea heterospora
On CarphaAnthracoidea carphae
On UnciniaAnthracoidea sclerotiformis