Observation 188032: Coprinellus sect. Micacei (Fr.) D.J. Schaf.

Proposed Names

44% (2)
Recognized by sight: They’re not all C. micaceus in CA and the European keys are of questionable use here. We can’t even make out the stem texture and amount of caulocystidia…. Also, the caps are a bit pale.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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I agree
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-11-12 13:50:25 PST (-0800)

that work should be done to clarify what the other names mean, but whereas you see that as reason to doubt all Coprinellus sect. Micacei observations on MO, I take the approach that I have no reason to doubt that these typical urban collections ARE Coprinellus micaceus.

To frame it it in the context of the scientific method – establish a null hypothesis, and then seek out data that support that null hypothesis. In this case, the null hypothesis would be: This is NOT C. micaceus. My preliminary data have not turned up any data suggesting that null hypothesis is true, so I default to H1 – this IS C. micaceus (until evidence supporting the null hypothesis comes to light, which it very well may!).

Now, perhaps this particular flavor of the scientific method is not well suited to taxonomy, but that’s another argument.

By: Byrain
2014-11-12 13:25:33 PST (-0800)

I doubt the key too, but its all we have… The point being I think more work needs to be done. The process to make trees exists, I would try it now, but I need to work on fixing mega6 on my os first…

See these threads for more information.


I would guess there are several, some of them limited to certain areas and a few others cosmopolitan. Spore shape probably would be helpful at least, there are several different shapes illustrated in FAN6.

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-11-12 13:15:38 PST (-0800)

Looking at this chart that Pulk made:

The degree of overlap in concepts is high. The qualified “or scarce” “or sparse”, “sub” qualifiers and variation in spore shape makes me doubt the consistent utility of the currently used criteria.

Even if you were to make a tree that showed multiple taxa going by the same name, I would bet that most of them would be much less common, and one or two of them (specifically Coprinellus micaceus) would account for the majority of encounters with mica-cap coprinoids (especially those in urban/ruderal settings).

See this key
By: Byrain
2014-11-12 13:03:08 PST (-0800)


Also there were various comments from more informed users like Europe-Coprinologist that cast doubt and collections like obs 182031. Someone should make a tree with all the available sequences of every name in that key to see how many different species we are dealing with. I’d guess there will be more than one, I’m not really sure that key is useful at all for the states…. If it is, how many caulocystidia on the stem are important as well as spore shape.

Can you clarify
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-11-12 11:19:51 PST (-0800)

what the taxonomic significance of the stem pruinosity is? It disappears in age, but I’ve never found any Coprinellus micaceus fruitbodies in California that lacked a pruinose stipe when young (and usually at least a little still remains at maturity).

If I did, what other species with smooth stipes should be considered?
C. truncorum, right? If so:

“Preliminary DNA results from Ko and collaborators (2001) indicate the possibility that Coprinellus micaceus and Coprinellus truncorum are genetically identical—though this only becomes evident in Keirle and collaborators (2004), who reveal that two of the “Coprinellus micaceus” specimens tested by Ko and collaborators were initially identified as Coprinellus truncorum."

I checked this patch again today just to make sure, and like all others I’ve called C. micaceus, it had a pruinose stipe.

Created: 2014-11-11 10:30:34 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2014-11-30 10:27:56 PST (-0800)
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