Observation 11494: Agaricomycetes Doweld
When: 2008-09-21
No herbarium specimen

Notes: This was growing in a somewhat more open, pine-dominated part of the woods. I’d previously seen russulas, false morels, and Phyllotopsis nidulans there (and the latter were still growing undisturbed).

Second through fourth photos taken four days later. It hadn’t changed much. I picked it, photographed the little “crown” at the attachment point, and broke it in half.

Proposed Names

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Recognized by sight
46% (2)
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28% (1)
Recognized by sight
28% (1)
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56% (1)
Recognized by sight

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2011-05-18 02:43:05 PDT (-0700)

though I checked for this to recur in two subsequent years, it didn’t, and then that area got destroyed by loggers or developers of some sort.

By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-09-27 01:08:34 PDT (-0700)

It’s clearly not the same species, after all, as the fungi found in the sandy-soil area. Those look like Sclerodermas, cracking apart to reveal a brown spore mass and having a thick skin.

This had the white interior shown on the fourth day after its initial discovery. It could easily have been growing for somewhat less than seven days at the time of the later photographs.

Until another one shows up in the same general area, a mature specimen with final spore color won’t be forthcoming. There’s also the problem of recognizing it — this one actually was uprooted accidentally when I tried to break a small piece off the side to expose some of the interior to settle the question of its identity. They apparently are not very strongly attached. Any attempt to be sure what one is is liable to interrupt its further development.

If I see something new with a similar enough looking exterior in the same vicinity, I will keep an eye on it and take the odd photo trying not to disturb it until it bursts, or has been there for over a week, then perhaps poke a hole in it. However that might not occur for a full year, if this species doesn’t care to fruit more than once each fall.

Patience seems to be indicated.

(The area in question sees a moderate amount of human traffic, too, so another one might not go undisturbed despite my intentions.)

Gymnomyces, Cystangium, or Rhizopogon species
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-09-27 00:59:40 PDT (-0700)

Having reviewed the possibilities, I’m still stumped. We need to examine spores of a mature specimen, which this probably isn’t. It does have a thin peridium, and is definiately NOT Scleroderma: the peridium (outer shell) is not nearly thick enough. The porous gleba suggests Rhizopogon, Gymnomyces or Cystangium, which is further suggested by the presence of pine nearby. (All these species are often mycorrhizal with pine, and may become erumpent under certain conditions.) Mature specimens will have a brownish, golden, reddish-brown or even greenish-gray gleba when mature. Usually Rhizopogon matures within 7 days of formation, so I’m guessing this is not likely a Rhizopogon, UNLESS the temperatures there have been in the 40-50 degree range, which can slow formation considerably.

New photos prove not Scleroderma
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-09-26 23:01:04 PDT (-0700)

But we’re still left with what is it? I’m not positive it is a Rhizopogon either, with that basal tuft of mycelium. It could be a species novum or even genus novum. One photo of the exterior seems to indicate areas that were munched on. Looks like a latex present in some of those holes. Have to wait until later to check my theories. Gleba seems to have small chambers, similar to Rhizopogon. But I don’t see any exterior rhizomorphs, which are pretty indicative of the genus. That and the epigeous nature have me a little stumped.

Probably not
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-09-26 04:14:59 PDT (-0700)

I now think it is probably not a Scleroderma. The skin does seem too thin.

Rhizopogon vs. Scleroderma
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-09-26 01:18:56 PDT (-0700)

It may well be Scleroderma. But without a base or a slice through the gleba it’s impossible to tell.

A Rhizopogon would have a relatively thin peridium (usually less than 1mm, sometimes the gleba can be seen through erosions of the peridium). What appear to be scales on the peridium could also be an indication of a species novum, since of the 350 species of Rhizopogon that Snmith originally described, only about 150 are conserved today, and more are constantly being found.

Finally, the base in most Sclerodermas has a strong rhizomorphic attachment, often mistaken for a stalk. In Rhizopogon, there may be a single strong thread, but nothing resembling a stalk. Were the collection sectioned through the center, this discussion would not be taking place. Nor would the species be in question in anyone’s mind.

By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-09-24 23:44:18 PDT (-0700)

Does it look like it’s in “sandy conditions”? That’s fairly damp soil with pine needles in that there photograph. :-)

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-09-24 23:39:43 PDT (-0700)

Often not hypogeous in sandy conditions. I have seen both R. rubescens and R. occidentalis nearly completely epigeous in such conditions. Also, its hard to tell whether a Rhizopogon was eroded out of a sandbank or just grew out of it.

By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-09-24 15:37:41 PDT (-0700)

Aren’t Rhizopogons normally completely hypogeous?

Regardless, this thing’s surface color and texture looked much the same as the Sclerodermas I’ve seen elsewhere in the general area.

May not be Scleroderma
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-09-24 01:38:42 PDT (-0700)

While it has aspects which may indicate Scleroderma, there are others that I would question that identification. Would need to cut it through the base and lay it open to be sure. In other words, would need to see at least part of the gleba, if it has one. If it is a Rhizopogon, for instance, it will be porous inside instead of solid.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2008-09-24 01:37:14 PDT (-0700)

I agree with you. I don’t think this is S. citrinum. The way to indicate that is to put only the name Scleroderma. It should create an observation under Scleroderma species or sps.

Wacky site bug
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-09-23 19:55:10 PDT (-0700)

I wanted to label this “Scleroderma sp.” as I’m not sure whether it’s S. citrinum, but the site just went into an endless loop of saying the name is not recognized, is it a misspelling or create it? The name is not recognized, is it a misspelling or create it? etc.

The site must have logic that normally tracks whether you have already gotten this message once for the same naming, and if not it asks you if you’re sure and if yes it just goes ahead and uses the name you typed. That logic apparently has broken down, and it just endlessly repeats itself as if it’s the first attempt to use the name even when it isn’t.

There seem to be some related naming bugs. Several genera produce the “new name” behavior when you use “genus sp.” as a name, even though that name is already in use elsewhere on the site, but most of them correctly accept your naming if you say “yes I’m sure I haven’t misspelled it, use this name dammit” aka “create”. And for a while any use of “Amanita sp.” or any specific Amanita species name jumped to the user notifications page, even if there were no new notifications, instead of to the new observation (or whatever), but that quit happening a few days ago. (This one would have been more amusing if the notifications page had come up with the message “Don’t eat any!” when this happened. :-))

Created: 2008-09-23 19:48:43 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2011-05-18 07:45:53 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 495 times, last viewed: 2016-10-21 09:24:03 PDT (-0700)
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