Anthracocystis crypta (McAlpine) McTaggart & R.G. Shivas


Sorosporium cryptum (McAlpine) McAlpine
Sorosporium turneri McAlpine
Sporisorium cryptum (McAlpine) Vánky
Ustilago crypta McAlpine


Sori infecting all spikelets of an inflorescence, leaving the outermost floral envelopes intact, ovoid to cylindrical, 1–15 mm long, 0.5–1.5 mm wide (depending on the host species), at first covered by a pale brown peridium that ruptures from its apex exposing the dark brown semi-agglutinated to powdery mass of spore balls and spores surrounding a stout simple tapering columella.

Spore balls globose, ellipsoidal, elongate or irregular, 40–160 × 30–100 µm, dark brown to opaque, composed of tens to hundreds of readily separating spores.

Spores subglobose, subpolyhedrally irregular, mostly ellipsoidal, 8.0–10.5 × 6.0–9.5 µm, yellowish brown; wall uniformly c. 0.8 µm thick, finely punctate to verruculose; spore profile smooth, in SEM finely verrucose-echinulate, the spores often appearing mamillate.

Sterile cells not seen.

Host family: Poaceae
Host species: Brachiaria holosericea (R.Br.) Hughes
Brachiaria polyphylla (R.Br.) Hughes
Panicum bicoloratum S.T.Blake
Panicum capillare L.
Panicum decompositum R.Br.
Panicum effusum R.Br.
Panicum queenslandicum Domin
Panicum simile Domin
Panicum trachyrhachis Benth.
Walwhalleya subxerophilum (Domin) J.J.Bruhl & K.E.Wills
Yakirra australiensis (Domin) Lazarides & R.D.Webster
Yakirra nulla Lazarides & R.D.Webster
Yakirra pauciflora (R.Br.) Lazarides & R.D.Webster


States & Territories: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, WA


Anthracocystis crypta is the most frequently collected smut on native species of Brachiaria and Panicum in Australia. It is readily identified by the ruptured sori that occur in all spikelets in an inflorescence and the conspicuous, stout, persistent columella.