Observation 189282: Amanita Pers. subgenus Amanita

When: 2014-11-18

Collection location: Manchester, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)

Specimen available

Growing scattered on the ground in a primarily Bishop pine habitat.
Caps up to 8.2 cm across, dry and glabrous.
Spore print white and spores not amyloid.
Spores (8.1)8.9-11.1(12.0) X 7.0-9.0 microns, broadly ellipsoid to ellipsoid.
Q(range) = 1.13-1.41 : Q(ave) = 1.26 N=34
First time I’ve seen this color Amanita, although there were plenty of gray Grisettes(Amanita Vaginata types) in the area.
There were other scattered specimens of the same type as these, but none in younger or better shape.

Species Lists


Spores in Congo red + KOH @ 1000X.
Spores in Congo red + KOH @ 1000X.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
I have some data from a large single gene tree of the Amanitaceae.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2016-03-12 14:14:06 CST (-0600)

The tree was created solely for the purpose of detecting which species correspond to nrLSU sequences that are represented by particularly long branches that may distort trees (making them unreliable). In order to make the tree with nrLSU sequences derived over a twenty year period using primers that yield widely differing parts of nrLSU. The sequences were trimmed to approximate a common length at a common position in the gene.

The tree is not definitive; however, it is one interpretation of relatedness that is not just a set of pairwise comparisons with percentages.

The tree is not a phylogeny; however, for the branchlet of the tree including A. muscaria and the dominant North American muscarioid, the earliest diverging taxon is breckonii.

Very best,


I still don’t quite “get it” …
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-03-12 10:08:40 CST (-0600)

but how very interesting to learn that our little gemmata exannulata/breckonii is indeed more closely related to gemmata/pantherina than muscaria. I seem to recall a cort expert claiming otherwise …

Also, I have been calling another commonly encountered species (not breckonii at all) gemmata var. exannulata. It was never stocky like the true breckonii, and had a membranous UV that extended up the stipe form the basal bulb. Here’s a link to the drawing of my original collection of that exannulate gemmatoid amanita from Salt Point, that you “illustration IDed” as exannulata at the time, Rod.


I had no reason to disagree with you. It was Darv who eventually wore me down and convinced me that maybe it was merely breckonii, instead, from his Humboldt collections:


and the evidence from the Agaricales of CA (if it’s published in a book, it must be correct!). At that point in time, I bowed to those with more experience than I. Funny how things come round full circle.

Please look at the edited version of my last comment.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2016-03-12 07:48:13 CST (-0600)


If one sorts one’s BLAST response only on pairwise ID, … >>>EDITED<<<
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2016-03-12 07:41:47 CST (-0600)

one can be misled. You can have 100% pairwise ID and have 10% grade (which is a measure of the amount of the two compared sequences from which the pairwise ID was derived). It is important to look (minimally) at both of these columns in a BLAST result. In nrITS (in Amanita anyway) BLAST is comparing characters (and gaps and ambiguities) at between about 550 and about 700 positions in two sequences. “Closeness” is being measured in hundreds of “dimensions” and reduced to a few numbers. There is nothing simple about the process.

Alan, thank you for your comments on the data we deposit with sequences.

Very best,


Debbie and Rod
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2016-03-12 01:07:50 CST (-0600)

Rod: I see the isotype status in the notes field now, thanks! The LSU results are confusing because there aren’t a lot of gemmatoid / pantherinoid LSU sequences in GenBank. Looking at the top LSU BLAST matches, it would be easy to conclude that this is in the muscaria group, which is what happened to Debbie. More ITS sequences of gemmatoid / pantherinoid sequences are in GenBank, and ITS gives better resolution at species level, so that is the best locus to look at for answering the question of what this is closely related to. The ITS sequences clearly show that this is closer to A. gemmata and A. pantherina than it is to A. muscaria.

Debbie: The location is usually in the “Country” field – Rod does a really good job of filling out GenBank fields when he uploads sequences, and I model my submissions after his. Some people (not naming names) sometimes don’t fill out this field, which is annoying. When there is insufficient location information in the Country field, the next place I look is at the title of the paper. Sometimes it is a title like “Inocyboid Fungi of Oakland, California”, so you know where it was collected by looking at the title. Other times you can get access to the paper (http://sci-hub.io is a popular semi-legal website which has most scientific papers) and the locations for each sequence are listed in a table. If that doesn’t work, I email the person and ask where it was collected. Ignore the LSU blast results, they will confuse you – just use the ITS blast results from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore/KJ535439.1, sort by ident and you’ll get a pretty good idea what this is related to.

thanks alan.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-03-11 18:28:08 CST (-0600)

I did the blast on both, altho now I am more confused than ever!

how does one determine the location of the original specimens being tested? obviously breckonii came from the West coast, but what about all of the other amanitas that it is being compared to? the location seems to be the lab or researchers location, not the collection location.

the original breckonii voucher “appears” more closely related to muscaria than gemmata (99 vs 98), but the opposite seems to be true of Rod’s material (93 vs 96). and quite a few of these disparate species have the very same values, so how can one really tell species from only the DNA?

are we looking in all the wrong places?

I have heard that amanitas are tough to get good reading on. But I really don’t get the DNA analysis, yet. I saw some tutorials linked to, but no time for that before OZ.

no easy answers, I fear.

Alan, what is confusing about the LSU results?
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2016-03-11 15:29:28 CST (-0600)

Very best,


As to other sequences, I reported the data I have.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2016-03-11 15:26:11 CST (-0600)


Both sequences are from the isotype and that is noted in the GenBank records.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2016-03-11 15:25:23 CST (-0600)

We give the type status in the “notes” field.


Debbie and Rod
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2016-03-11 14:36:16 CST (-0600)

Debbie: Click “Run BLAST” on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore/KJ535440.1 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore/KJ535439.1. Actually just look at the latter sequence, the LSU locus gives confusing results.

Rod: These sequences are of the holotype or isotype, but they are not marked that way in the GenBank records.

exannulata etc.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-03-11 11:49:32 CST (-0600)

so, exannulate material that you personally collected in SF thirty years ago was DNA determined to be the same as the originally described breckonii. I looked at your webpage, Rod, and your photos of a rimmed bulb and the quite stocky nature of the fb and even the bulb staining that your photo shows (but is not described in your description) do not resemble the more elongated and loosely UVed “pseudobreckonii.”

What was breckonii’s closest amanita relative? Is it muscaroid or gemmatoid?

Have you gotten back DNA results on Noah’s material, which is what most of us have been collecting here in the west for years? It really does not resemble what you collected at Land’s End at all, IMO.

BTW, seems as tho these amanitas do get around. Here’s a report of one very similar to our “pseudobreckonii” from NZ in a pine plantation!


I agree with Ron that this sighting is not typical for “pseudobreckonii” in its unusual color. I think we should reserve judgement until we know more.

I think that it is worth noting on this observation that…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2015-06-12 13:58:03 CDT (-0500)

we’ve made an attempt to sequence all the Land’s End (SF) material that I believed to be gemmata var. exannulata in the sense of Breckon, Thiers, etc.—-until I got the data back.

The data revealed another story. Every single sequence obtained is a very, very good match to the holotype and isotype of A. breckonii.

I can’t speak for Breckon’s material that originally got identified as the European gemmata var. exannulata. However, I used the information from Breckon’s thesis and Thiers’ loose leaf book to determine the Land’s End material (which was exannulate when it was collected by me during a walk with MSSF about 30 years ago). The data from the type material is available from GenBank. The sequences from the Land’s End collections have GenBank received accession numbers, but the sequence pages are not yet posted by GenBank’s editors.

To download what is available, go here (below) and look n the “GenBank nos.” data field on the technical tab:


So… breckonii can be exannulate and can fit the descriptions for gemmata var. exannulata that were provided by Breckon and, later, Thiers.

Maybe this data will help add up to a better visual or, at least, morphological concept of breckonii…and, hence, also may provide some benefit for understanding “__pseudobreckonii_.”

I have some of Noah’s collections of the latter and they are part of an upcoming sequencing “batch” that might tell us something useful…maybe.

I imagine that some folks in California may already have such sequences, and I am curious to know about that data if it is available.

Very best,


This may be a case of having to be there or
By: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)
2014-11-25 16:28:28 CST (-0600)

actually seeing and handling them in real time.
In my opinion these are not A. pseudobreckonii or really that similar to a typical gemmanoid species we normally see around this area, although they could well be related in the broadest sense.
The cap color is very tawny and not like the more yellowish/tan gemmatas we run across here. Even the cap texture looks and feels different.
They didn’t appear to have any annulus and what is seen in the third single specimen is what I believe is the collar of an indistinct volva, which tears loose rather easily as also seen in the first photos.
Then again, I could be wrong, which does happen occasionally.

according to RET, their original name was ….
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2014-11-25 10:54:23 CST (-0600)

gemmata var. exannulata. They are now being called “pseudobreckonii” due to some folks thinking this recognizable species was breckonii. But breckonii, as originally collected at the SFSU campus, looks nothing like this species. There is another species that has also been called “breckonii” that has a differently colored cap (not yellow) and is also exannulate.

Until you showed that the spores were inamyloid, I though that you had found a patch of phalloides! The volva and bulbous base and yellowish cap color are quite similar to phalloides.

So many cryptic species, so little time!

Created: 2014-11-22 20:24:59 CST (-0600)
Last modified: 2016-03-11 11:34:56 CST (-0600)
Viewed: 203 times, last viewed: 2017-06-19 08:58:03 CDT (-0500)
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