Observation 191623: Melanoleuca evenosa (Sacc.) Konrad
When: 2014-08-01
(46.4422° 13.6373° 2030m)

Notes: Code: Bot_820/2014_DSC2416

Habitat: east inclined moderately steep alpine grassland, calcareous ground, open place, full sun, exposed to direct rain, average precipitations ~ 3.000 mm/year, average temperature about 0 deg C, elevation 2.030 m (6.600 feet), alpine phytogeographical region.

Substratum: soil.

Place: Mangart’s flats, just below Čez jezik pass, east of Mt. Skala, 2.133 m (6.996 feet), East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia EC

Comments: At least three names can be found in literature in connection with relatively large, more or less whitish Melanoleuca species growing at alpine elevations – Melanoleuca subalpina, Melanoleuca evenosa and Melanoleuca strictipes. Taxonomy of these taxa seems to me messy; to my knowledge no monograph dedicated to this genus is available. Some authors, including Index Fungorum, consider these names as separate species; some consider them as synonyms (for example Breitenbach (1991)). Ref.: 1. considers Melanoleuca subalpina and Melanoleuca evenosa synonyms and Melanoleuca strictipes a separate species. Ref.:3. considers Melanoleuca evenosa and Melanoleuca strictipes as synonyms. In literature data about spore dimensions also contradicts.

The find shown corresponds excellently to the description of Melanoleuca subalpina given in Dähncke (2009), hence I decided for it. Since pilei diameters of this observation in average equal or exceed stipe length this should be Melanoleuca alpina and not Melanoleuca strictipes (ss. Ref.4) (assuming both are separate species). However measured spore dimensions of this find do not fit to data given in Dähncke (2009), but they fit well to Breitenbach (1991) and Bresinsky (1977) and also to other sources (assuming Melanoleuca strictipes and Melanoleuca subalpina are synonyms). More and more I value Arora’s advise that ‘… exact identities of closely related Melanoleuca-s are best left to Melanoleuca-masters…’.

Growing in a group of about 10 pilei in an area of about 4 × 4 m; pileus diameter 6-8(16) cm, hygrophanous to some extent; stipe shorter or equal to pileus diameter (see Ref.3.); taste mild; smell mild but characteristic, may be slightly on vegetable or turnips?; flesh brittle and watery, fibrous in stipe, SP abundant, beige, oac851.

Nikon D700/Nikkor Micro 105mm/f2.8 and Canon G11, 6.1-30mm/f2.8-4.5

Proposed Names

57% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: Lrge, whitish Alpine Melanoleuca above 2.000 m
Used references: (1) R. M. Dähncke, 1200 Pilze in Farbfotos, AT Verlag (2009), p 299.
(2) J. Breitenbach, F. Kraenzlin, Eds., Fungi of Switzerland, Vol.3. Verlag Mykologia (1991), p 252.
(3) G.J. Krieglsteiner (Hrsg.), Die Grosspilze Baden-Württembergs, Band 3., Ulmer (2001), p 376.
(4) A. Bresinsky, J. Stangl, Beitragezur Revision M. Brizelmeyrs: Hymenomyceten aus Süd-Bayern, 13. Die Gatung Melanoleuca, Z. Pilzkd. (1977) 43: pp 145-173 (cited in Ref.:3.)
(5) D. Arora, Mushrooms Demystified, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley (1986), p 171.
(6) G.L. Bue, F. Montacchini, A.Ceruti, Macromycetes of the Alpine Belt: Mycocoenological investigations in the Western Italian Alps by Multivariable Methods, Coenoses (1994) 9(3), pp103-155.
Based on microscopic features:
Spores smooth. Dimensions: 8.4 [9 ; 9.3] 9.8 × 4.3 [4.6 ; 4.8] 5.1 microns, Q = 1.8 [1.9 ; 2] 2.1; N = 32; C = 95%; Me = 9.1 × 4.7 microns; Qe = 1.9. Olympus CH20, NEA 100x/1.25, magnification 1.000 x, oil, in water. AmScope MA500 digital camera.
Based on chemical features: Taste mild; smell mild but characteristic, may be slightly on vegetable or turnips?

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
M.subalpina depreciated?
By: amadej trnkoczy (amadej)
2014-12-04 06:33:42 PST (-0800)

Index Fungorum and MycoBank consider this name as valid. MO considers it depreciated. Curious to know on what arguments?


Created: 2014-12-04 06:16:59 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2014-12-04 06:28:09 PST (-0800)
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