You may not have heard about the Split-gill Mushroom (Schizophyllum commune), but you really should get to know them if you enjoy diversity. This little fungus has no less than 23,328 sexes. Some even say 28,000. A lot at any rate.
Mushroom sexes are different to animal sexes – they have what we call ‘mating types’. They have two points in their genetic structure that come in different forms leading to this staggering variation. Other fungi have multiple mating types too, but this creative little mushroom might be the most diverse. More mating types means less inbreeding which means greater genetic diversity and might explain why Schizophyllum commune is doing so well. They grow all over the world, except Antarctica, and might be one of the most widespread fungi in the world.
Unlike animals, many fungi can bump a bit of their body into another fungus’s body and exchange genes. Which is sexy and convenient. For split gills, while not every combination is fertile, each mating type still has 22,960 possible mates, so the chances of bumping into someone compatible are very good. Which must make using dating apps a whole lot easier.
Read more about queer fungi in our
Queer Animals and Plants colouring books
Lesbian lizards, gay giraffes, bisexual red deer and sex-changing clownfish. This colouring book celebrates the diversity of animals. We explore some of the ways in which our beautiful queer communities exist far beyond the realms of human culture.
Asexual dandelions, sex-changing willows, boundary-smashing lichens and a fungus with over 20,000 sexes (kind of).
This colouring book celebrates the beautiful queerness that exists even in the places we least expect.
Can animals be gay? Can plants be queer? Of course!
This coloring book celebrates the diversity of animals, plants, fungi, lichen, and coral. We explore some of the ways our beautiful queer communities exist far beyond the realms of human culture.
Bring your brightest colors to learn about and befriend some of the most colorful characters in nature. This entertaining and educational resource was created by trans author and ecologist Kes Otter Lieffe. This book is richly illustrated by Anja Van Geert.
The perfect gift for all your friends who love queer animals and plants!