Observation 117016: Gomphidius subroseus Kauffman
When: 2012-11-16
Herbarium specimen reported

Notes: Under douglas fir, near Suillus.

Herbarium specimen will be tested for radiation with a nuclear analyzer since these mushrooms might concentrate Cesium-137 from the Fukushima reactor.

The nuclear analyzer uses a sodium iodide crystal doped with Thallium, which not only detects the presence of radiation, but also tells us what kind of radiation it is.

Proposed Names

29% (1)
Recognized by sight
56% (1)
Recognized by sight: Smaller size, white above veil on stipe, tapering stipe near base, mostly yellow stipe under veil, and apparent smaller stature point towards Gomphidius subroseus.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Send them to me
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2014-09-02 04:08:04 AST (+0300)

And I will run them by the nuclear analyzer we have at the house, which consists of a sodium iodide crystal doped with thallium, attached to an arduino to interface it to a computer. It’s like a gieger counter, except a whole lot more sensitive, and it gives a graph that shows the type of radiation it is picking up.

As for my specimen, it got lost and was never tested for radiation. Probably would have come up negative though, as almost no radiation from Fukushima reached the US.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-08-31 21:16:14 AST (+0300)

Battelle Laboratories might be the only lab in the US that could handle this. Also, analysis requires at least a pound of material to be tested. Even then, the results could be questionable.

Gomphidius and Cesium
By: Kelly Neu (kneu)
2014-08-31 20:12:15 AST (+0300)

Dear Alan, I have collected some Gomphidius subroseus from whidbey Island, WA. I am curious to get it tested for C-134/137. Do you have any recommendations for labs? Also, what were your results for cesium concentrations in your specimen? Thanks for all of your work.

E. granulatus
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-11-18 01:30:16 AST (+0300)

and E. muricatus very common in NA. Alexander H. Smith called it the most common hypogeous fungi of the Northern Hemisphere, and I have no reason to doubt him. They can be found with pine, fir, spruce, larch, oak: almost any northern tree species is like to host Elaphomyces. Japan has a native Elaphomyces, but I’ve forgotten which species it is. It would be interesting to see if it too concentrates radioactive elements.

BTW, I misspoke. I should have said E. granulatus is known to concentrate radioactive cesium-137 from the Chernobyl nuclear accident. It is also concentrated in wild pigs, which apparently eat Elaphomyces granulatus.

No, I didn’t see that
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2012-11-17 21:27:44 AST (+0300)

I will get some Elaphomyces granulatus. I have some but I left it in Mexico. It would be interesting to run a nuclear analyzer in a herbarium.

Did you see
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-11-17 18:49:40 AST (+0300)

that the highest concentration of Cesium-137 from Fukushima was in Elaphomyces granulatus?

Created: 2012-11-17 11:56:22 AST (+0300)
Last modified: 2012-11-17 18:48:26 AST (+0300)
Viewed: 88 times, last viewed: 2016-10-28 17:32:30 AST (+0300)
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