Tremella mesenterica is a jelly fungi, many of which are surprisingly tough. All of the jelly fungi are members of the Basidiomycota, although there are also jelly-like Ascomycota.
The jelly fungi are found in three orders: the Tremellales, Auriculariales and the Dacrymycetales. All have unusual types of basidia; the Tremellales have vertically septate basidia, the Auriculariales have transversely septate basidia (these are both types of phragmobasidia-- phragmo means fragmented) and the Dacrymycetales have tuning fork basidia. Most mushrooms that you are familiar with have basidia that are not septate (holobasidia-- holo means whole or entire).
Tremella mesenterica and other members of the Tremellales have vertically septate or cruciate septate basidia, depending on what angle you look at them. "Cruciate" means in the shape of a cross
Typically you can find Tremella mesenterica on woody substrates, but that's really quite deceiving. All members of the genus Tremella are reported to be parasitic on wood decay fungi, such as Stereum or Aleurodiscus. Most of the time Tremella species are parasitic only on the mycelium (the hyphae) of these wood decay fungi, but in rare cases you can actually see the two fungi fruiting together, with the Tremella appearing to grow right on the Stereum fruiting body.
- Tremella mesenterica group, Wingelo State Forest, June 17, 2006 on pine.
- Tremella mesenterica, 1cm across, on bark of fallen Nothophagus moreii log, Notophagus forest, Upper Allyn July 7 1997.
- Tremella mesenterica group (Fungi Down Under p84), Barraga Swamp walk, on fallen timber. ref 2007122306. Barrington Tops
- Tremella mesenterica group (Fungi Down Under p84), Barraga Swamp walk, Barrington Tops National Park, NSW Australia, Dec
- Tremella mesenterica group, Blue Gum Loop walk, Barrington National Park, December 2008