COEMANSIA van Tiegh. & Le Monn., 1873 (Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot., Sér. 5, 17: 392); 19 or 20 spp. (van Tieghem and Le Monnier, 1873—illus. Linder, 1943—ILLUS. and key to spp.; Benjamin, 1958—ILLUS., 1959—ILLUS., 1966—ILLUS.; Kurihara et al., 2000—description and ILL.; Kwaśna et al., 2002—new taxa).

Sporangiophores septate, simple or branched, fertile region more or less straight or coiled. Sporocladia produced at the apex of the sporangiophore and arises from the side, and on the outside of the coil, of the fertile region as the tip grows. Sporocladium multicelled, producing pseudophialides from the lower surface. Merosporangia unicelled, variously shaped, one produced from each pseudophialide; released in a droplet of fluid at maturity. Zygospores more or less globose; suspensor hyphae undifferentiated, formed in the substrate hyphae.

Type species: C. reversa.

Species of Coemansia:
C. aciculifera var. aciculifera Linder, 1943 (Farlowia 1:65) (Linder, 1943; Benjamin, 1958; Young, 1973b; Kwaśna et al. 1999).
= C. aciculifera Linder var. suhagensis B.R. Mehrotra & R.K. Kakkar, 1970 [1971] (Sydowia 20:39) (Mehrotra and Kakkar, 1970).
? C. almaatensis Shvartzman, 1957 (Uchen. Zap. Kazakh. Univ. 29:83) (Shvartzman, 1957).
C. asiatica Kurihara & Surkarno, 2008 (in Kurihara et al., Mycoscience 49:251).
C. bainieri Kwaśna, M.J. Richardson & G.L. Bateman, 2002 (Mycological Research 106:255).
= Martensella spiralis Bainier, 1879 (Bull. Soc. Bot. France 26:245: no figures) (Bainier, 1879).
Coemansia spiralis Bainier, 1906 (Bull. Soc. Mycol. France 22:216) [NOTE: this is a later homonym of C. spiralis Eidam] (Bainier, 1906).
C. braziliensis Thaxter ex Linder, 1943 (Farlowia 1:64) (Linder, 1943; Benjamin 1958).
C. breviramosa Linder, 1943 (Farlowia 1:62) (Linder, 1943)
C. ceylonensis Linder, 1943 (Farlowia 1:60) (Linder, 1943; Prasad, 1966).
C. erecta Bainier, 1906 (Bulletin de la Societe Mycologique de France 22:220) (Linder 1943).
[C. formosensis C.-Y. Chien, nom. nud. (recently described as C. furcata )]
C. furcata Y. Kurihara, S. Tokumasu & C-Y Chien, 2000 (Mycoscience 41:579) (Kurihara et al., 2000).
C. guatamalensis Thaxter ex Linder, 1943 (Farlowia 1:65) (Linder, 1943).
C. interrupta Linder, 1943 (Farlowia 1:62) (Linder, 1943).
C. javaensis Sukarno & Kurihara, 2008 (in Kurihara et al., Mycoscience 49:253).
C. kamerunensis Thaxter ex Linder, 1943 (Farlowia 1:63) (Linder, 1943).
C. linderi Kwaśna, M.J. Richardson & G.L. Bateman, 2002 (Mycological Research 106:255) (Kwaśna et al., 2002).
C. spiralis Eidam sensu Linder, 1943 (Farlowia 1:49; Holotype Thaxter 6395; Benjamin 1979; Young 1968; 1990).
= Coemansia sp. Kwaśna et al., 1999 (Mycological Research 103:898).
C. mojavensis R.K. Benjamin, 1958 (Aliso 4:156) (Benjamin 1959, 1966; Young 1968, 1990).
[ C. nantahalensis C.-Y. Chien (a synonym of C. spiralis fide Kwasna et al., 2002)]
C. pectinata Bainier, 1906 (Bulletin de la Societe Mycologique de France 22:216) (Bainier, 1906).
C. reversa van Tieghem & Le Monnier, 1873 (Annales Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Ser. V, 17:392) (van Tieghem and Le Monnier, 1873; Bainier 1906, Linder 1943; Young 1968; 1973a).
C. scorpoidea Linder, 1943 (Farlowia 1:66) (Linder, 1943; Kwaśna et al. 1999).
C. spiralis Eidam, 1887 (Jahresbericht der Schlesischen Gesellschaft für vaterländische Kultur 64:262) (Eidam, 1887)
= C. nantahalensis C.-Y. Chien, 1971 (Mycologia 63:1046) fide Kwaśna et al. (2002) (Chien, 1971) [Type of C. nantahalensis declared the neotype of C. spiralis Eidam but place of deposit of the neotype cited wrong; specimen probably at GAM]
C. thaxteri Linder, 1943 (Farlowia 1:67) (Linder, 1943; Kwaśna et al. 1999).

Coemansia can be found on dung, soil, and less commonly on dead insects. Coemansia appears to be the most common member of the Kickxellales encountered in nature Some species can be relatively common, such as C. aciculifera, and, therefore, may be isolated in several localities whereas other taxa, including C. mojavensis, have only been reported in the literature one time (Benjamin, 1958, 1959). Coemansia is the largest genus in the order with 16 or 17 described species and possibly as many undescribed taxa. Scanning EM photographs of Coemansia sporocladia, pseudophialides, and merosporangia have been published by Cole and Samson (1979) and O’Donnell (1979).


Bainier, G. 1879. Note sur le Martensella (Coemansia) spiralis. Bull. Soc. Bot. France 26:245-246.

Bainier, G. 1906. Mycologique de l’Ecole de Pharmacie. – VIII. Recherches sur les Coemansia et sur l’ Acrostagmus nigripes sp. nov. Bull. Soc. Mycol. France 22:216-223.

Benjamin, R.K. 1958. Sexuality in the Kickxellaceae. Aliso 4:149-169.

Benjamin, R.K. 1959. The merosporangiferous Mucorales. Aliso 4:321-433.

Benjamin, R.K. 1966. The merosporangium. Mycologia 58:1-42.

Chien, C-Y. 1971. A new species of Coemansia. Mycologia 63:1046-1050.

Cole, G.T., and R.A. Samson. 1979. Patterns of Development in Conidial Fungi. Pitman Publishing Limited, London, United Kingdom.

Eidam, E. 1887. Coemansia spiralis. Jahresb. Schleis. Ges. vaterl. Kultur 65:262-263.

Kurihara, Y., N. Sukarno, M. Ilyas, E. Yuniarti, W. Mangunwardoyo, J.-Y. Park, R. Saraswati, Y. Widyastuti and K. Ando. 2008. Indonesian Kickxellales: Two species of Coemansia and Linderina. Mycoscience 49:250-257.

Kurihara, Y., S. Tokumasu, and C.-Y. Chien. 2000. Coemansia furcata sp. nov. and its distribution in Japan and Taiwan. Mycoscience 41:579-583.

Kwaśna, H., G.L. Bateman, and W.A.J.M. Dawson. 1999. Coemansia species from the rhizosphere of wheat and barley in the United Kingdom. Mycol. Res. 103:896-900.

Kwaśna H, M.J. Richardson, and G.L. Bateman. 2002. Morphological variation in the Coemansia spiralis complex. Mycol. Res. 106:252-256.

Linder, D.H. 1943. The genera Kickxella, Martensella and Coemansia. Farlowia 1:49-77.

Mehrotra B.R, and R.K. Kakkar. 1970 [1971]. Coemansia aciculifera Linder var. suhagensis var. nov. from India. Sydowia 24:39-41.

O’Donnell, K.L. 1979. Zygomycetes in Culture. Palfrey Contributions in Botany No. 2. Department of Botany, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

Prasad, R. 1966. Coemansia ceylonensis Linder from India. Mycopath. Mycol. Appl. 29:207-210.

Shvartsman, S.P. 1957. On a new fungus Coemansia almaatensis sp. nov. Uchen. Zap. Kazakh. Univ. 29:83-93 [In Russian.] (From Bibliography of Systematic Mycology 1958:15)

van Tieghem, P., and G. Le Monnier. 1873. Recherches sur les Mucorinées. Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique, Séries V, 17:261-399.

Young, T.W.K. 1968. Electron microscopic study of the asexual structures in Kickxellaceae. New Phytologist 67:823-836.

Young, T.W.K. 1973a. Ultrastructure of the sporangiospore of Coemansia reversa (Mucorales). Trans. Brit. Mycol. Soc. 60: 57-63.

Young, T.W.K. 1973b. Ultrastructure of the sporangiospore of Coemansia aciculifera (Mucorales). Ann. Bot. 37: 973-979.

Young, T.W.K. 1990. Ultrastructure of the sporangiospores of Coemansia mojavensis and C. spiralis. Microbios 63:187-202.

Updated Jan 31, 2009