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The process whose specific outcome is the progression of a perithecium over time, from its formation to the mature structure. Peritheicum is a flask-shaped fruiting body of certain molds and ascomycetous fungi having a pore for the escape of spores. In the ascomycetous fungi such as Neurospora crassa and Sordaria macrospora, these perithecia are formed in the sexual phase and they discharge ascospores through the ostiolum at the tip of the perithecial neck.