Helvella atra J. König : Fr.
Leptopodia atra (J. König : Fr.) Boud.
Conservation status. Vulnerable [VU B1ab(iii,iv)+2ab(ii,iii)].
Morphology and biology. Fruit-body 3–5 cm high. Cap saddle-shaped or composed of irregular lobes, 1–2 cm wide. Upper (fertile) surface black; lower surface grey to dark grey. Stipe cylindrical or thickened at base, with 1–2 shallow chambers; 2–4 × 0.2–0.4 cm, grey to grey-brown, sometimes even black on its upper part, yellowish grey to whitish at base. Spores broadly ellipsoid, 17–19 × 10–11 µm, smooth, arranged in a line. VII–XI.
Habitats and populations. On the ground in coniferous and deciduous forests.
Distribution in Bulgaria. Black Sea Coast (Southern – between Vlas and Slanchev Bryag, Elenite), Northeast Bulgaria (Karakuz locality), Vitosha Region (Vitosha Mt, between Zheleznitsa and Kovachevtsi), Pirin Mts (Northern – Bansko), Rhodopi Mts (Western).
General distribution. Europe, Asia, North and South America.
Threats. Habitat loss/degradation caused by stock breeding, wood plantations, logging, development of tourism/recreation and transport infrastructure; soil pollution.
Conservation measures taken. Included in the Red List of Fungi in Bulgaria. One of the localities is within the borders of Pirin National Park. Some localities are in sites of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.
Conservation measures needed. Study of the population numbers and range; better understanding of the species biology and ecology; conservation of the habitats; regular monitoring.
References. Hinkova et al. 1979; Kuthan & Kotlaba 1989; Dimitrova & Assyov 2004.
Authors: Roumyana D. Petrova & Cvetomir M. Denchev