Eight species of Descolea, four of which—D. pallida, D. majestatica, D. phlebophora, and D. pretiosa —are new, are keyed out and fully described. The area of distribution today stretches from S. America over New Zealand and Australia to India and Japan. According to present knowledge the specific centre of the genus seems to be in New Zealand (three species), but it is presumed that more species occur in the surrounding Pacific area. The generic range of Descolea is discussed and compared with closely related genera belonging to the Cortinariaceae.