Xylria Minimize

A fungus fruiting body growing out of the base of a dead tree was sent from Guam, and posted at:

http://www.guaminsects.net/uogces/kbwiki/index.php?title=Mystery_fungus

It was identified as Xylaria polymorpha (Xylariaceae), Dead Man's Finger. There should be small urn-shaped asci containing ascospores of the fungus just below the black, brittle crust. It might be possible to see small, possibly raised spots on the surface with the eye, or with a hand lens. These are the openings of the asci that release the spores.
 
A good description of the fungus can be found at:

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/images/xylaria.jpg&imgrefurl=http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/apr2000.html&h=301&w=400&sz=33&hl=en&start=2&tbnid=rYA_I13kKXHlNM:&tbnh=93&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dxylari

Original:
tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/pestnet/message/4484

Replies:
tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/pestnet/message/4485
tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/pestnet/message/4486
tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/pestnet/message/4487