The Stachybotrys are imperfect filamentous fungi belonging to the class Deuteromycetes. The perfect form belongs to the class Ascomycetes (Melanopsamma). This genus contains about 15 species, some of which are important pathogens.

Their velvety colonies are generally black to greenish black. The erect and well-differentiated conidiophores are black, single or branched, smooth or warty, bearing at the top a bouquet of 6 to 8 large phialides. The conidia are brown to blackish, elliptic, and initially smooth before becoming echinulate upon aging. They are produced in mucilaginous mass and disperse poorly in the air.

The Stachybotrys are cosmopolitan and grow on plant debris and all substrates rich in cellulose. Some species produce a variety of extremely toxic metabolites (verrucarin, roridin, satratoxin, cyclosporin, stachybotryolactone, etc.) and are responsible for several diseases grouped under the name stachybotrytoxicose.


List of species