Description: The Thelephores include the crust fungi and thin-fleshed bracket fungi with a smooth or irregularly textured spore-producing surface (i.e. no pores, gills, or spines). There are about 80 genera reported from New Zealand. Many of these have few species, are taxonomically poorly understood, and are often difficult to distinguish. The only genera listed here are those with an image available of the fruiting body. Many more have descriptions and microscopic images on the NZFungi website.
The Cyphelloid fungi are similar in having smooth fertile surface, but are distinguished by their cup-shaped fruiting body.
Most species grow as saprobes on bark and decorticated wood of dead trees and fallen branches. A few cause destructive rots of construction timber (e.g. the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans).