Mesophellia is a genus of truffle fungi, growing below ground with their spores found on the inside. Because of this, animals (such as bettongs, bandicoots & portaroos) play an important role in digging for and consuming them. This aids in spore dispersal and allows the fungi to reproduce. I included a Rufous Bettong in this artwork, and if you look closely you can see he’s holding a little chunk of the truffle fungi in his paws.
In this artwork, the fungi are depicted underground on the left hand side of the page and look like little stones or pebbles. The leftmost example displays a cross-section of the fungus.
The reason I’ve left it open to just the Mosphellia genus is because the reference images and texts available were limited, so I wanted to keep it somewhat open, rather than listing a specific species and it being depicted incorrectly.
Below are some links to papers that discuss mycophagy (the consumption of fungi by animals) of truffle fungi amongst Australian mammals:
And some more general info about the Mesophellia genus:
- ‘A Field Guide to Tasmanian Fungi’, Genevieve Gates, David Ratkowsky, p 173