Fungi of New Caledonia
In line with our enduring commitment to celebrating New Caledonia’s outstanding natural heritage, OPT-NC presents a new series of stamp issues dedicated to fungi, a basket full of surprises and delights.
This first diptych designed by Denis Vigier, in partnership with the New Caledonia Mycological Society (Société Mycologique de Nouvelle-Calédonie), features two striking species belonging to the Polyporaceae family: Panus lecomtei and Ryvardenia campyla, photographed respectively by Christian Lauderau and Philippe Bourdeau.
The first fungus is densely hairy from base to cap and is beautifully coloured in shades ranging from purple to lilac. The second is recognisable by its many-layered caps and cottony surface; it exudes reddish amber droplets of moisture when it is fresh.
These two specimens are saprophytes, fungi which feed on dead or decomposing organic material, extracting the elements (polysaccharides, sugars, alcohols, organic acids, lignin, proteins, amino acids...) they need for their metabolism and nutrition.
Along with bacteria, fungi play a vital role in the balance of ecosystems, breaking down decaying debris left by dead plants and animals and releasing nutrients and minerals which help to maintain soil health. Found all around the world in a wide range of habitats, estimates put the global number of fungal species at 5 to 10 million. The species growing in New Caledonia are estimated at 30,000, with currently just 500 species having been officially identified by specialists.
Founded in 2008 by fungi enthusiasts, the New Caledonia Mycological Society is committed to increasing and disseminating knowledge about fungi. The Society conducts frequent surveys aimed at identifying new endemic or non-endemic species.
For further information, please contact the SMNC by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook: Société Mycologique de Nouvelle-Calédonie.