PHYCOMYCES Kunze: Fr., 1821 Syst. Mycol. 3:308; nomen conserv., Art. 13.1(d) of the ICBN (Greuter et al., 2000; see Korf, 1982, 1983)]; 3 spp. (C. R. Benjamin and Hesseltine, 1959—illus. and KEY TO SPP.); Bergman et al., 1969—illus.; O’Donnell et al., 1976—illus., 1978—illus.; Mikawa, 1979—illus.).
? Phycomyces Kunze, 1823 (In Kunze and Schmidt, Mykol. Hefte 2:113).

Members of Phycomyces produce very large, globose, nonapophystate deliquescent-walled sporangia at the apex of unbranched, bluish or metallic sporangiophores. Zygospores are very large with rough, pigmented zygosporangia, and tongslike suspensors that each produce dichotomously branched, dark and stiff appendages; all species are heterothallic.

Type species: P. nitens

Species of Phycomyces:
P. blakesleeanus Burgeff, 1925 (Flora, n.s. 18:42 [Allg. Bot. Zeit. 118:42])
P. microsporus van Tieghem, 1875 (Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., Sér. 6, 1:64)
P. nitens Kunze: Fries, 1821 ( Systema Mycologicum 3:308)

Benjamin and Hesseltine (1959) recognize three species in Phycomyces. Two species of Phycomyces are currently in culture, P. blakesleeanus and P. nitens. The third species is P. microsporus but it may be a depauperate form of P. blakesleeanus (Benjamin and Hesseltine 1959).


Benjamin, C. R., and C. W. Hesseltine. 1959. Studies on the genus Phycomyces. Mycologia 51:751-771.

Bergman, K., P.V. Burke, E. Cerdá-Olmedo, C.N. David, M. Delbrück, K.W. Foster, E.W. Godell, M. Heisenberg, G. Meissner, M. Zalokar, D.S. Dennison, and W. Shropshire Jr. Phycomyces. Bacteriol. Rev. 33:99-157.

Greuter, W., J. McNeill, F.M. Barrie, H.M. Burdet, V. Demoulin, T.S. Filgueiras, D.H. Nicolson, P.C. Silva, J.E. Skog, P. Trehane, N.J. Turland, and D.H. Hawksworth (Eds.). 2000. International code of botanical nomenclature ( St. Louis code ). Reg. veget. 138:1-474.

Korf, R. P. 1982. Citation of authors’ names and the typification of names of fungal taxa published between 1753 and 1832 under the changes in the Code of Nomenclature enacted in 1981. Mycologia 74:250-255.

Korf, R.P. 1983. Sanctioned epithets, sanctioned names, and cardinal principles in “: Pers.” and “: Fr.” citations. Mycotaxon 16:341-352.

Mikawa, T. 1979. A taxonomic study on Japanese sporangiferous Mucorales (5). J. Japan. Bot. 54:193-203.

O’Donnell, K.L., S.L. Flegler, and G.R. Hooper. 1978. Zygosporangium and zygospore formation in Phycomyces nitens. Can. J. Bot. 56:91-100.

O/Donnell, K.L., G.R. Hopper, and W.G. Fields. 1976. Zygosporogensis in Phycomyces blakesleeanus. Can. J. Bot. 54:2573-2586.

Updated Mar 13, 2005