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Two similar fungi, one from Cameroon and one from China, turned out to be members of a genus that has never been seen before. We named it Regiocrella for its crown-like fruiting bodies clothed in pointy orange perithecia. Molecular sequence data tell us that Regiocrella is a member of the family Clavicipitaceae, and a sister to the genus Hypocrella, which we also admire. The Cameroon specimen at left is only about a millimeter long. We don't know too much about it yet, but we think it's a parasite of scale insects. This is the ultimate in alpha taxonomy--find something never before described, and give it an apt name. As time passes we'll develop a better and better idea of what Regiocrella is, where it lives, and how many species it has.

See: Chaverri, P., J. F. Bischoff, H. C. Evans, and K. T. Hodge. 2005. Regiocrella, a new entomopathogenic genus with a pycnidial anamorph and its phylogenetic placement in the Clavicipitaceae. Mycologia 97:1195-1207.