New fungi named after Duke biology professor

Biologist Rytas Vilgalys' work on fungi is being recognized with a new species bearing his name.

This new species of lichen is named after biologist Rytas Vilgalys. Credit: Richard C. Harris, Duke.

Mentees of biology professor Rytas Vilgalys have named a new fungus in his honor.

The species, Lepidostroma vilgalysii, has only ever been collected once, by Vilgalys, and is described in an upcoming issue of Mycological Progress.The new species, found in Mexico, is a lichen, and comprised of a fungi and algae that work cooperatively to survive. It is only the second lichen of the family Lepidostromataceae that biologists have documented in the New World.