Observation 192367: Coprinopsis lignicola Rockefeller nom. prov.

Proposed Names

-19% (2)
Recognized by sight: I’ve been told for another collection that DNA places these in Coprinopsis and the P. uliginicola description still doesn’t fit (Not that anyone ever reads it)… Photograph the spores and then compare them with the description if you don’t believe me.
-1% (2)
Recognized by sight: The west coast version of Psathyrella ulignicola has been sequenced and the ITS region is 91% similar (647/710) to the holotype of P. uliginicola. See http://scmycoflora.org/sequencing/specimen.php?project=6 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nucleotide/557116293. This species falls within Coprinopsis.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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cross section added
By: Jacob Kalichman (Pulk)
2014-12-20 21:50:02 CET (+0100)
By: Byrain
2014-12-10 22:03:47 CET (+0100)

Just to show the difference.

Check out Alan’s img 292092, now look at some more typical Psathyrella spores closer in pigmentation to what is recorded in the P. uliginicola description, img 314497 (P. subnuda var. velosa) & img 230719 (P. thomii?).

“apical pore rather inconspicuous, shape in face view elliptic to oblong, in profile more or less bean-shaped, in KOH sordid cinnamon to pale cocoa-color but soon with a dark-chocolate cast”
His illustrations clearly show a small apical pore, the spores I observed had nothing even close to a dark-chocalate cast.

Edit: And to compared to P. luteopallida.
“apical pore none, shape in face view elliptic to obscurely ovate, in profile somewhat bean-shaped to obscurely inequilateral, color in KOH grayish hyaline, not darkening appreciably”

I will see
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-12-10 21:40:49 CET (+0100)

what we can do about accessing the type specimens. I just requested a paratype from Patricia Roberts at U Michigan Herbarium. (Collected by Smith in Idaho).

I definitely can’t (and don’t) rule out that we have something different. The ecology and range are certainly suggestive of potential difference.

But I disagree that “[I’m] missing the biggest difference = the microscopically hyaline spore” – I am noting it, but interpreting it differently.

By: Byrain
2014-12-10 21:23:22 CET (+0100)

It was not only Smith that noticed these hyaline spored Psathyrella, European mycologists also did, see this pdf.


It even says, “A missing or existing germ pore is a useful feature, though not without problems. Are indispensable, fully mature spores under examination in potassium hydroxide (KOH) due to the better contrast is recommended.”

You’re missing the biggest difference
By: Byrain
2014-12-10 20:39:40 CET (+0100)

The microscopically hyaline spores, they are pretty different from normal pigmented Psathyrella spores, I have seen both first hand. Of course there are difficulties distinguishing germ pores in species like this, but that doesn’t matter because the difference is clearly visible germ pore vs. non-visible germ pore in light microscopy. Or you going to suggest we throw out the Pholiotina aporos observations and all the hyaline spored taxons in Psathyrella subgenus Homophron too because they probably have a germ pore we can’t see? And it would still be 100+ (?) mountain ranges away for P. uliginicola which is a swamp loving montane species in the Rockies which just suddenly is growing in coastal CA and a little bit in in the Central Valley? My guess is that Smith got the descriptions right and we have something new, but I don’t have the means to test that hypothesis…

Not really either way
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-12-10 20:18:28 CET (+0100)

It’s a much bigger range expansion for P. luteopallida, and a much poorer match.
It is a smaller range expansion for P. uliginicola, and the characters that differ are slighter, and there are known issues in detecting them (ie. germ pores).
As far as I can tell, on the balance, more evidence points towards P. uliginicola.

By: Byrain
2014-12-10 20:09:09 CET (+0100)

That was my point exactly, P. luteopallida a very poor macroscopic match, P. uliginicola is a poor microscopic match, but if you mixed and matched the descriptions a bit… Either way these CA observations are a bit of a range expansion.

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-12-10 20:07:01 CET (+0100)

P. luteopallida is a very poor match macroscopically (caps 0.8-2 cm wide for starters), so I’m not sure why we should place much emphasis on the microscopy being similar.

The description of P. luteopallida is here:

And you can use the arrows at the top of the page to navigate to P. uliginicola, which is one page prior.

I think the P. uliginicola description matches this taxon very well macroscopically, and is not seriously divergent with regards to microscopic characters.

Hyaline microscopically
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-12-10 20:01:52 CET (+0100)

is a fuzzy concept – the color is strongly dependent on the type and quality of your optics, the mounting medium, the diaphragm and light settings, etc.

By: Byrain
2014-12-10 19:57:12 CET (+0100)

Christian, the spores are pigmented en masse, they are hyaline microscopically, cool, right?! :)

Also, for the record, P. luteopallida is a better microscopic match.

The spores
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-12-10 19:53:30 CET (+0100)

of CA material are pigmented, at least the large majority of the ones I’ve seen.

Also, the fruitbodies of this taxon are often gregarious in CA – I often find clumps of 5, and at least twice, in swarms of hundreds.

Here’s an observation with some cross-section fruitbodies, pigmented spores (with odd-for a Psath reddish-brown deposit photographed), and gregarious growth.

It is vouchered, so I will look for a germ pore when I get a chance. We have a sequence for these that I will post sometime before February. My guess is that the germ pore is easy to overlook, as is typical for mushroom spores that are not very dark under the scope.

observation 190650

Except for the spores.
By: Byrain
2014-12-10 19:42:36 CET (+0100)

The spores do not match at all, its not a matter of how literally I am taking it or not. This is a very binary difference which can only mean one of two things, we have something new or Smith’s book has a misprint and some descriptions got mixed up. Smith was very clear in the description and illustrations about the spores (I wonder how he would have even mixed up both the illustrations and description when he saw several collections?), the species that has been scoped in CA does not have the same spores (They are not pigmented and they do not have an apparent germ pore which P. uliginicola is clearly described as having, Smith was aware of the hyaline spored Psathyrella as there is a taxon in the same section that has those spores and also several others in subgenus Homophron. There is also at least one Conocybe that has spores like this too). Also why assume a species known to be gregarious in the Rockies is a non-gregarious species in CA? Who even first made that “discovery” and how? I have a hard time imagining that they both scoped it and looked at the description…

It might help if you read about Smith’s methodology in his book before you assume there are mistakes, he was ridiculously meticulous in his work and when he did have mistakes, it was for the taxons he did not know so well and missed some details. P. uliginicola was not one of these. An example would be how he missed the yellow pins for P. atrospora, but then he only saw one collection of that.

Also, Pulk, if you see these again, making a cross section would be helpful. :)

Microscopically this matches the description for P. ulignicola very well
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2014-12-10 18:37:39 CET (+0100)

except for a couple minor things. I think you are taking the description too literally. Descriptions are full of errors.

By: Byrain
2014-12-10 15:39:32 CET (+0100)

Maybe you should read the description instead of disregarding all the evidence?

By: Byrain
2014-12-10 00:15:10 CET (+0100)

First sorry, I meant P. luteopallida, I should look these names up instead of relying on memory…

I’m not really that knowledgeable, its just that so few others seem willing to learn and share about Psathyrellaaceae… If these are the same as Alan’s collection both he and I have scoped, then these will key out towards the end of subgenus Candolleana section Fragilissimae where there is only P. uliginicola & P. luteopallida and the spores will be hyaline without a distinct germ pore. Smith was very clear in his description that P. uliginicola has pigmented brown spores and his illustrations clearly shows visible germ pore. ALso its supposed to be gregarious in the rocky mountains. P. luteopallida has hyaline spores that match what I have seen, but the macro is very different and is known from Tennessee. I guess if the descriptions were mixed up we could end up with something like this… Or its simply another dead end that needs revision in Smith’s keys. Also I sent you a pdf.

By: Jacob Kalichman (Pulk)
2014-12-09 17:57:34 CET (+0100)

Lots of details! Thank you for sharing chunks of your vast bank of knowledge.

- Why leptocephala specifically for a description mixup?

- Where is the leptocephala description?

- Where in NASOP are the text figures?
- – - Text description 1
- – - Text description 2
- – - macro photo Plate 1
- – - macro photo Plate 2

- more details in obs 130292, obs 119603, obs 6789

- I will definitely scope these! If (and I guess this is sounding likely) they’re a bad match for the uliginicola description and not a great one for leptocephala, I’ll create a “Psathyrella uliginicola sensu lato” name to call these.

By: Byrain
2014-12-09 17:38:01 CET (+0100)

That’s the problem, either Smith somehow mixed up the descriptions with P. leptocephala (Getting at Smith’s types is not easy) or its undescribed. This species was not known from CA until someone who apparently neither scoped it and/or read the description started calling this that. I suspect there is more than one of these in CA too, but once again the specimens that may exist are not accessible to me…

It would be great if you could scope these, a look at the spores (I suspect they will be hyaline), cheilocystidia, and pleurocystidia (Probably absent) would help a lot. I’d always suggest a look at a pileipellis cross section with lbms and caulocystidia might be helpful, but those are probably not essential here.

To know the best name for these, we will need details from Smith’s types and assuming he didn’t mix them up somehow we will need more DNA for confident genera placement and then probably a new description. In the mean time you could go with Psathyrella knowing that may eventually change, go with what I heard about Coprinopsis which would not be a first for this section (Coprinopsis marcescibilis), or just do Psathyrellaceae for lack of certain placement. Short answer, there is no good name for these yet…

By: Jacob Kalichman (Pulk)
2014-12-09 17:10:54 CET (+0100)

Thank you for at least acknowledging there’s a “these”. What useful name would you like to call them on MO for now?

Created: 2014-12-08 07:41:50 CET (+0100)
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