SPIROMYCES R.K. Benjamin, 1963 (Aliso 5:273) emend. Benny & R.K. Benjamin, 1998 (in O’Donnell, Cigelnik, and Benny , Mycologia 90: 636); 2 spp. (Benjamin, 1963; Mikawa, 1975; O’Donnell et al., 1998).

Sporangiophore septate, simple, fertile region more or less straight or coiled. Sporocladia unicelled, arise along the sides of the sporangiophore, sessile or stalked; producing merosporangia. Pseudophialides not produced. Merosporangia unicelled, globose to obovoid; dry at maturity. Zygospores globose, wall with small depressions, pale orange brown; suspensors undifferentiated.

Type species: S. minutus

Species of Spiromyces:
S. aspiralis Benny & R.K. Benjamin, 1998 (in O’Donnell, Cigelnik and Benny, Mycologia 90: 634).
S. minutus R.K. Benjamin, 1963 (Aliso 5:273).

Spiromyces spp. are coprophilous and in all reports in the literature (Benjamin, 1963; Mikawa, 1975; O’Donnell et al., 1998) these fungi are found on dung. Colonies of Spiromyces are no higher than 0.5 mm high, the relatively slow growing colonies, are probably rapidly over grown by other fungi. Spiromyces minutus grows optimally on YGCH agar and S. aspiralis on MEYE agar (O’Donnell et al., 1998). Scanning EM photographs have been published by Young (1968), O’Donnell (1979) and O’Donnell et al. (1998).


Benjamin, R.K. 1963. Addenda to “The merosporangiferous Mucorales” II. Aliso 5:273-288.

Mikawa, T. 1975. Materials for the fungus flora of Japan. (18). Trans. Mycol. Soc. Japan 16:146-148.

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

O’Donnell, K., E. Cigelnik E, and G.L. Benny. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships among the Harpellales and Kickxellales. Mycologia 90:624-639.

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

Updated Feb 27, 2007