<i>Chaenothecopsis schefflerae</i> (Ascomycota: Mycocaliciales): a widespread fungus on semi-hardened exudates of endemic New Zealand Araliaceae

<p>Ascomycetes specialised to live on hardened plant exudates occur worldwide, but the number of species so far described is relatively small (c.30). Particularly within the genus <i>Chaenothecopsis</i> (Ascomycota: Mycocaliciales), many species produce their ascomata on hardened but still relatively fresh outpourings of conifer resin or angiosperm exudate. Temperate rainforests of New Zealand provide habitat for several endemic <i>Chaenothecopsis</i> species, including <i>Chaenothecopsis schefflerae</i>, which was previously known from a single sample collected from the exudate of <i>Schefflera digitata</i> (Araliaceae) in the early 1980s. Here we show that <i>C. schefflerae</i> is neither lost nor very rare, but occurs sporadically throughout New Zealand. The fungus does not primarily grow on <i>Schefflera</i> but on exudate of several species of <i>Pseudopanax</i> (Araliaceae), also endemic to the region. We compare the morphology of the new specimens to the type specimen of <i>C. schefflerae</i> and provide a detailed description of the new material. Phylogenetic analyses based on nuclear ITS and LSU rDNA place <i>C. schefflerae</i> together with other morphologically similar <i>Chaenothecopsis</i> species growing on angiosperm exudates.</p>