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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bracket Fungi

They can be observed on the forest floor amongst the dead vegetation, usually growing on old rotting tree trunks. It survives on recycling nutrients, as they do not have chlorophyll nutrients are obtained by breaking down the tissues of other plants, commonly dead wood but not always the case. Encountering a species of the Bracket fungi in the Malaysian rain forest is common if you are observant, all of which reproduce by producing spores.

Bracket fungi have about 1000 species which generally consists of tough or woody fungi and are so named due to its bracket like shape of their fruiting bodies. There are also some species that are of bright orange or yellow color with annual growth rings visible. Please take note that not all Bracket fungi are edible some are poisonous.

The better known Bracket fungi would be the Ganoderma Lucidum cultivated to produce Ling Zhi, also called Reishi or Mannentake, a food supplement valued for its medicinal and tonic properties.

This species reputedly has been recognized as a powerful medicinal fungus having properties for promoting health and healing, strengthening the immune system, long life and even happiness. It was also mentioned that the Ganoderma Lucidum in medicine was considered so effective that its medicinal value has been written in ancient Chinese medical text.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Malaysia’s Butterfly – The Yellow Archduke (Lexias canescens pardalina)

I often see this species in shaded forest areas under tall trees and from what I have read is a forest-dependent species.

It belongs to the genus Lexias which are of large, fast flying butterflies.

The Yellow Archduke with its dark brown and yellow-spotted wings blends in well with the forest floor as it feeds giving it an effective camouflage against predators.

The strong body of the Yellow Archduke is capable of powerful flight, proven when disturbed, taking off rapidly with a few wingbeats.