Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Order: Mucorales
Family: Cunninghamellaceae
Naumov ex R.K. Benj.
Type genus

Cunninghamellaceae is a family of fungi in the Mucorales order.[1]

Brief Taxonomic History

At one time, this family contained four genera.[2] At present, the number of genera in this family is under debate. [3] According to Benny and Alexopoulos, the family only contains the genus Cunninghamella. [3] [4] However, other (recent) authors have listed other genera, including Absidia, Halteromyces, and Hesseltinella. [5] The full list can be viewed at the webpage Cunninghamellaceae maintained by Gerald L. Benny.


Hyphae are coenocytic and produce sporangiophores covered in calcium oxalate. Sporangiophores give rise to pedicellate, unispored sporangia.[4] In many cases, the wall of the sporangium and the spore have fused.[6] Zygospores tend to be ornamented and reddish-brown with opposed suspensors.[4]


Cunninghamella species are commonly encountered in forest soils, dung,[4] and nuts from the tropics.[2] Species can be isolated using Czapek agar incubated for 3–4 days at 28-31C.[7] A few species are known human pathogens.[4]

Notable Species

Cunninghamella elegans

Cunninghamella bertholletiae

Cunninghamella echinulata

External links

  • Family page on
  • Doctor Fungus--Cunninghamella sp.


  1. ^ "Cunninghamellaceae". 
  2. ^ a b Hesseltine C. W. & J. J. Ellis. 1973. Mucorales. in: The Fungi: An Advanced Treatise. Volume 5B. A Taxonomic Review with Keys: Basidiomycetes and Lowr Fungi. Academic Press. New York. pg. 187-217.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b c d e Alexopoulos C. J., C. W. Mims, & M. Blackwell. 1996. Introductory Mycology. Fourth Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  5. ^ Walther, G., Pawlowska, J., Alastruey-Izquierdo, A., Wrzosek, M., Rodriguez-Tudela, J. L., Dolatabadi, S., ... & de Hoog, G. S. (2013). DNA barcoding in Mucorales: an inventory of biodiversity. Persoonia-Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi, 30(1), 11-47.
  6. ^ Kendrick, Bryce. 2000. The Fifth Kingdom. Third Edition. Focus Publishing & R. Pullins Company. Newburyport, MA.
  7. ^ Mycology Guidebook Committee, Mycological Society of America. 1981. Mycology Guidebook. Editor: Russel B. Stevens. University of Washington Press Seattle, Washington.