Observation 13426: Lepista saeva (Fr.) P.D. Orton
When: 1999-09-25
Collection location: Gotland, Sweden [Click for map]
No herbarium specimen

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Here’s bad news..
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2008-11-03 08:16:03 CST (-0500)

You can’t possibly know what names are really synonyms if they aren’t followed by the author’s name, his or her collections and/or very good photos or descriptions, so they can be compared.
Other synonyms will only be guesses (good or bad), and actually, a lot of our “knowledge” about mushrooms is based on that. It is not uncommon that an original description has been interpreted differently by different later authors.

“Just because lots of different places and authors list two species names as synonyms doesn’t mean they are synonyms”?

Exactly, there are many examples of misunderstandings that have been widely spread, and they tend to do that even more now, when it’s so easy to copy information on the web. We are not being strict about quoting the whole information, only parts of it, or we are spreading our own interpretations.

No matter how much we want to, we can’t beleive everything we read.

Now, I’ll change the name to Lepista saeva to avoid further mistakes ;-)

By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-11-03 05:53:06 CST (-0500)

In short, “Just because lots of different places and authors list two species names as synonyms doesn’t mean they are synonyms”?

Then what, pray tell, WOULD mean they are synonyms? You seem to be saying that we can’t trust anything we read. Taken to a logical conclusion, we can’t trust that the same species name used in two different books or sites means the same actual species, either. Arora’s Amanita brunnescens, Lincoff’s Amanita brunnescens, G. F. Atk.‘s Amanita brunnescens, Peterson’s, Ret Tulloss’s, and so forth could all be different species then, even though the system was supposed to be set up so that every reference to Amanita brunnescens G. F. Atk. at least (by whatever other author) is supposed to refer to the same one.

That would be bad news.

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2008-11-03 05:23:54 CST (-0500)

Unfortunately, there are many who are presenting names as synonyms without mentioning whose interpretation they are referring to. Arora is one of them (and I’m not satisfied with his description of Lepista nuda either). This is an example that shows what a mess that can create.

If the name “Tricholoma personata sensu auct.” is mentioned somewhere as a synonym to Lepista nuda, and also to Lepista saeva, it doesn’t mean they ARE synonyms, just that some people for a period have used the name personata on those species. And it does certainly not mean that nuda and saeva are the same. Closely related, yes, but not synonyms.

By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-11-03 04:34:54 CST (-0500)

I’ve seen all of the following indicated as synonyms of Lepista nuda in various places: Clitocybe nuda, Tricholoma nudum, Tricholoma personatum, and more, including Rhodopaxillus something. (The blewit sure has been bounced around among several different genera by various authors!)


links two of those as synonyms to Lepista nuda.

Lepista personata looks like it belongs with the others. Which would make them all the same species.

At the very least, it would be VERY odd if Lepista nuda were synonymous with Tricholoma personatum while Lepista personata was something else entirely.

A very interesting question!
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2008-11-03 03:32:36 CST (-0500)

Lepista personata is a broadly accepted name in Europe on this species, not the same as Lepista nuda.

Paul, I would be very interested to know where I can read about conclusions that they are the same species, because when I try to read the original Friesian description of personata, it doesn’t fit this one at all..!

Instead he describes two forms or varieties (at different occations) that both could have meant this one: saeva and anserinus. Later some other authors made anserinus a variety of saeva..

Following this history, I think the name personata is based on a misunderstanding (but used in every scandinavian checklist), while saeva may be be the proper name to use..
The British Mycological Society does use Lepista saeva in their checklist.
IndexFungorum and MycoBank have Lepista personata as the currently used name, with Lepista saeva as a synonym – are they the ones that aren’t quite up to date?

By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-11-02 23:23:55 CST (-0500)

Isn’t that a synonym of Lepista nuda, and isn’t the latter preferred?

Created: 2008-11-02 14:41:57 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2008-11-02 14:41:57 CST (-0500)
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