Sandy stiltball, Scaley-stalked puffball, Desert stalked puffball

Battarrea phalloides


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Not evaluated Data deficient Least concern Near threatened VULNERABLE Endangered Critically endangered Extinct in the wild Extinct
Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Battarrea phalloides


(Dicks.) Pers.


Lycoperdon phalloides Dicks.

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

Vulnerable B1ab(i,iii,iv)+2ab(i,iii,iv)

Date assessed

November 2020


Rusevska, K.


Kost, G.


Karadelev, M.


Miskovic, M.


The species has been recorded at six sites, whereof two are from Skopje area, one each from Golem Grad Island and Bogdanci area whereas for the sites in the Radika river valley and Dojran area, the species is considered extinct. In the majority of the sites, the species has been observed in the vicinity of cypress or Grecian juniper trees, which likely underpins that the fungus is associated with the cited ligneous species. Accordingly, this species is also suspected to occur on other localities with Grecian juniper trees or cypress plantations, which are fragmented and occupy small areas.


Current population trend



In N. Macedonia, the population size is variable dependent on the locality. Namely, this species is extinct from two localities (the Radika Gorge and the vicinity of Lake Dojran). The population on Golem Grad island is less than 50 specimens, and the same refers to the population at the remaining sites.

Habitat and Ecology


3 Shrubland
3.8 Shrubland – Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation

Habitat and Ecology

Battarrea phalloides is a saprotrophic fungus growing as follows:

1) In well-developed and old Greek juniper forest on Golem Grad island, where these trees form the association Pruno webbii-Juniperetum excelsae. At this site, the fungus occurs on sandy soil with huge concentration of guano from cormorants, whose bird colony inhabits and nests on the island. These unique conditions seem very favourable for species growth.

2) In soil under planted cypress trees on two sites in Skopje area. It is also known from two other oak associations, where it is now extinct.

At all sites, bar the Radika river, the species has been registered in close proximity to cypress or Grecian juniper, which most likely underpins the association of this fungus with the quoted tree species (scale-like leaves). The latter has also been ascertained in the recent paper by Ferretti et all. (2020), where it is indicated that this fungus species shares the same habitat with Myriostoma coliforme. Accordingly, the species may be expected to occur at other sites with Grecian juniper, such as the oak-Grecian juniper association in the vicinity of the abandoned village Gugjakovo in Mariovo, then in the Grecian juniper association in the surroundings of Calakli vill., and at the localities where the pepper-pot earthstar occurs, such as along the Pcinja river course.

Use and trade

Use and trade

There is no confirmed use and trade of this species in N. Macedonia.



The minor size of the area with refugial and isolated Greek juniper association on Golem Grad Island and the small size of the population in N. Macedonia. The upsurge in the number of tourists visiting the island in recent years although tourism is not massive due to the lack of organized water transportation.

Forest fires, more common due to climate change, may pose another major threat.

The habitat around Lake Dojran is now under severe anthropo­genic pressure, which is likely the main reason for species extinction.
Habitat loss/degradation caused by anthropogenic pressure. This chiefly applies to both sites in Skopje area. Specifically, at one of the localities (the tree nursery), there are regular activities for nursery maintenance while the other site (Gazi Baba), albeit being within the Botanical Garden, is impacted by occasional construction activities related to regular maintenance.

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

The species can be protected via prevention of forest degradation and by forest conservation. This includes e.g. avoiding intensification of logging practices in forests and plantations as well as in the adjacent areas.

Active prevention of forest succession and erosion is recommended. Designating key sites for protection is advised.



Ferretti, A., Saar, I., & Knijn, A. 2020. On two endangered species (Myriostoma coliforme and Battarrea sp.) sharing the same microhabitat. Italian Journal of Mycology 49(1): 1-7.

Fraiture, A and Otto, P (eds). 2015. Distribution, ecology & status of 51 macromycetes in Europe. Results of the ECCF Mapping Programme. Botanic Garden Meise, Meise.

Index Fungorum Partnership. 2021. Index Fungorum. Available at:

International Mycological Association. 2019. MycoBank database. Available at: (Accessed: 2019).

Karadelev, M. 2001. Fungi Macedonici – Fungi of Macedonia. Macedonian Mycological Society. Skopje.: 1-299.

Karadelev, M., Rusevska, K., 2013. Contribution to Macedonian Red List of Fungi. . 4th Congress of Ecologists of Macedonia with International Participation 28: 68-73. Ohrid, N. Macedonia.

Lindtner, V. 1931–1932. Battarrea phalloides (Dicks.) Pers. Aus Südserbien. Extrait du Bulletin de l’Institut et du JardinBotaniques de l’Université de Beograd 2((1/2): ): 104-105.

Martín, M. P., Rusevska, K., Dueñas M. & M. Karadelev. 2013. Battarrea phalloides in Macedonia: genetic variability, distribution and ecology. Acta Mycologica 48 (1): 113–122.

Perić, B., Karadelev, М. & Z. Tkalčec. 2001. Endenger and protection of fungi in Montenegro, Macedonia and Croatia. Mycological centar of Montenegro. Podgorica.: 1-105.