Observation 182883: Boletus auripes Peck

When: 2014-09-13

Collection location: Oconee State Park, Oconee Co., South Carolina, USA [Click for map]

Who: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)

No specimen available

Proposed Names

82% (3)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
-47% (2)
Used references: Based solely on location and comparison of photographs to the one in Boletes of Eastern North America

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2017-07-05 09:23:36 CDT (-0500)

It does look different but I can’t tell for sure. This was taken at a foray and maybe it was a mixed collection that I did not notice?

By: dario.z (dario13)
2017-07-04 22:30:12 CDT (-0500)

The last picture looks like different?

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-07-04 01:31:18 CDT (-0500)

This curious, very elusive and, above all, controversial entity is casually described by W.A. Murrill in a single adjunct sentence (!) to his publication of B. aureissimus: “A rare and beautiful variety… found laurel oaks has a brown-purplish surface appearing like rich velvet because of a fine tomentum”.1
R. Singer examined Murrill’s collection of this bolete less than a decade later and found it to be identical in all respects to B. auripes!2 Therein (p. 36-37) Singer writes: “The type form |i.e., B. auripesIGS| is unusual in Florida. The common bolete of this section in North Florida has been described by Murrill as B. aureissimus which is without any question conspecific with B. auripes. Murrill himself did not really intend to separate these forms specifically as is proved by the fact that he described the type variety under the varietal name B. aureissimus var. castaneus Murr. This arrangement finds an obvious explanation in the fact that Murrill still worked under the assumption that B. auripes Peck was a mere synonym of B. edulis.”
Singer’s unflattering remark bluntly implies Murrill’s outdated view of species concepts and taxonomic awareness of some boletes leave something to be desired! While Murrill soon rejected Singer’s view of conspecificity between B. auripes and B. aureissimus,3 it is still unclear if his position extended to var. castaneus as well. Grund & Harrison (1976) sided with Singer.4
While it is not known how the concept of var. castaneus managed to withstand the test of time and remain valid and unchallenged despite all the previous evidence to the contrary and lack of additional authentic vouchers reported by other mycologists over a course of decades, it’s possible that R.E. Halling provided the ultimate justification for its existence in his thorough review of Murrill’s species and infraspecific taxa in Agaricales and Boletales.5
With regard to the ostensible lack of later vouchers of var. castaneus, according to A.E. Bessette, this entity had been collected in West Virginia by W.C. Roody (AEB/IGS personal communication); however, it’s not known if Roody’s material is still available for a study.
Murrill’s two syntypes of var. castaneus are still in storage at Florida State University Herbarium (FLAS), so in theory it should be possible to examine this material and perhaps submit a sample for DNA sequencing. With regard to the latter procedure, however, the extant exsiccatae could be too old to yield intact genetic material. To compound this problem, photographic images of the FLAS voucher labels and annotations seen therein leave some room for doubt vis-a-vis the authenticity/attribution of the samples.6
In light of the presented facts, it is very much possible that we will never find out what organism hides behind Murrill’s collections of var. castaneus. Epitypification (both morphological and genetic) of trusted contemporary collections is likely to be necessary to solve this mystery.

1 Mycologia 30, p. 522
2 The American Midland Naturalist 1947(1), pp. 1-135
3 Lloydia 11, pp. 21-35
4 E.E. Both, The Boletes of North America: a Compendium 1993, p. 36
5 Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 40, pp. 1-120
6 http://mycoportal.org/...

Boletus auripes
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2017-07-03 23:15:57 CDT (-0500)

Is the name for now.

By: Scott Pavelle (Scott Pavelle)
2017-07-03 23:08:35 CDT (-0500)

Lost me.

By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2017-07-03 21:38:32 CDT (-0500)

Maybe if you recognize that variant.

Any chance this could be aureissimus var. castaneus?
By: Scott Pavelle (Scott Pavelle)
2017-06-04 11:57:31 CDT (-0500)

a/k/a Ceriomyces aureissimus var. castaneus.

I’ve been going through my new copy of BENA and was struck by the similarity of the photos. This photo might qualify as a “purplish brown cap,” and the collection was made in the region where Boletus aureissimus var. castaneus is supposed to exist.

M.O. has no photo of the castaneus mushroom, so I’m exploring the possibilities.

Created: 2014-10-14 19:20:08 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2017-07-04 22:19:08 CDT (-0500)
Viewed: 114 times, last viewed: 2017-12-23 21:07:45 CST (-0600)
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