Observation 11250: Mycena subcaerulea (Peck) Sacc.
When: 2008-09-15
No herbarium specimen

Notes: Another “tiny pleated parasol”, and the last one from the 15th. The light was fading fast by this time, but the autofocus did a good job on this little guy.

Mushrooms seem to have different strategies to avoid being eaten before they can disperse spores. Some employ bitter or acrid compounds, bad odors, or outright toxins. More are simply woody and indigestible to most things, as is the case with many polypores. Yet others have very specific fruiting-trigger conditions and so there’s always either no fruit-bodies or a glut some of which will typically survive (a strategy also employed by 11-year and 13-year cicadas, insect species). Many appear to be camouflaged, drab-colored and blending with their environment.

Then there’s ones like these tiny parasol mushrooms that are just plain too small to be of interest to much of anybody, and that can pop up and drop their spores very quickly. Even against things small enough to find them worthy of consideration as at least a snack-sized item, they have the advantage of speed.

(And of course some notorious fungi are known to employ bad odors to actually attract agents of spore dispersal.)

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Created: 2008-09-16 23:23:21 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2008-09-16 23:23:21 CDT (-0500)
Viewed: 7 times, last viewed: 2016-10-20 16:48:37 CDT (-0500)