Anamorph: conidia produced in pycnidia (only known in culture) and sporodochia (in culture and on natural substrata).
Pycnidial anamorph: conidiomata 120-200 µm diam., brown to black, solitary or aggregated, intermixed amongst sclerotia, subglobose to globose, ostiolate. Peridium composed of several layers of compressed brown cells, heavily pigmented and thick walled on the outside. Conidiophores absent. Conidiogenous cells formed from the undifferentiated hyaline inner cells of the pycnidial wall, 2-5 x 2-3 µm, doliiform to obpyriform, proliferating percurrently. Conidia (3-) 4-8 (-10) x 1.5-3 (-4) µm, usually shortly cylindrical, sometimes slightly curved, hyaline, aseptate, thin- and smooth-walled, guttulate, without an epispore, gelatinous sheath or appendages. Sclerotia intermixed with the pycnidia, 200-400 µm diam., dark brown to black, smooth, composed of compressed brown cells.
Sporodochial anamorph: conidia produced in sporodochia developing from a small pulvinate basal stroma, individually mostly 100-250 µm diam. but very variable in size and frequently coalescing to form aggregates up to 2 mm diam., appearing as small black pustules scattered over the substratum surface, often associated with pinkish or purple pigmentation. Conidiophores 5-15 x 3-6 µm, in compact clusters, occasionally branched, straight or flexuous, hyaline to pale brown and usually becoming verrucose at the tip. Conidia (11.5-) 13.5-23 (-28.5) µm diam. (a broader range is given by Schol-Schwarz 1959), produced terminally, ± spherical to pyriform, dark golden brown, often with a pale protuberant basal cell and becoming muriform, although in mature conidia the septa are often obscured by the roughened and heavily pigmented epispore. Gelatinous sheath and appendages absent.
Teleomorph: not known.
Not formally assessed, but the species is very common and widespread (though certainly under-recorded) and would surely be assessed as of Least Concern.
Probably a species aggregate, but more research is needed.
Associated with a very wide range of dead plant tissues. Also commonly isolated from air, soil, dried foods, textiles etc., occasionally also from diseased animal tissues.
Throughout the British Isles and Ireland.
Epicoccum nigrum is primarily a saprotroph, but frequently appears as a secondary colonizer of tissues killed by other fungi, and some populations may be fungicolous; they have been investigated for use as biocontrol organisms.