Observation 107373: Amanita muscaria (L.) Lam.

When: 2012-08-24

Collection location: Echo Summit, El Dorado Co., California, USA [Click for map]


Who: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)

Specimen available

This single mushroom was found in a mixed conifer forest within 10 ft of a small group of B. edulis. In the crossection there is little pigment. When first cut there was the slightest hint of yellow at the very apex of the cap. When later checked, I could see no color. The photos were taken directly after cutting. Because of the color, such as it was, I did not call it A. muscaria var. alba.


This image shows another section cut to double check for pigment. At this point the specimen is partially into the drying process. Even with a hand lens I see not pigment at this time.
The issue with the last photo showing a section of the partially dried specimen with no sign of pigment is that the cut is not through the center of the mushroom, and therefore would miss showing any pigment at the apex of the cap.
This very light Amanita muscaria was found two weeks later, but only a matter of inches from the button that had only a hint of yellow at the apex of the cap in section. It is a given that separate species can fruit in close proximity of one another, but since I often find groups of A. muscaria, I ...

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There’s another possibility.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2012-08-28 19:30:08 CDT (-0400)

That possibility is that you triggered a staining reaction when you cut the very fresh specimen; but when the specimen aged, somehow the effect was not the same.

I guess we can’t sort this out with photographs. Nevertheless, it is interesting that the photographs raised our awareness of multiple possible explanations of what you saw.


To qualify
By: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)
2012-08-28 17:15:43 CDT (-0400)

my previous comment, I said that no pigment was visible after the new cut, as though I knew exactly what to look for. Let me change that to say that my eyes don’t notice pigment, but understand that well trained eyes might.

Being curious that the pigment(s)
By: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)
2012-08-28 17:05:57 CDT (-0400)

faded, or disappeared in time, and that there is no image of that, I made another cut, perpendicular to the first in an attempt to re-create the circumstances. My assumtion was that pigment would be visible immediately after making the cut, and it would be possible to make a photo record of it fading.

In fact, no pigment was visible after the new cut. A variable in this would be that the specimen is partially dry at this point, but the context within remains moist.

By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2012-08-28 14:59:28 CDT (-0400)

I think that I see the warts as being yellow in cross-section. Given the geography and the molecular study for Dr. Geml et al., that doesn’t determine a species but it makes muscaria subsp. flavivolvata (some day to be named “amerimuscaria”) as likely a determination as muscaria subsp. muscaria. It is interesting to hear that the pigments were faded by exposure to light in both the warts and the developing pileipellis.


Created: 2012-08-28 03:27:01 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-08-28 18:58:30 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 80 times, last viewed: 2017-06-13 23:51:09 CDT (-0400)
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