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I already read Pliny but forgot about it!
I’m not sure when the term “gastronomic species concept” was first published, but the habit of classifying things by their edibility surely predates history.
It is among the many species concepts employed by Pliny in this first century treaties on truffles.
“Among the most wonderful of all things is the fact that anything can spring up and live without a root. These are called truffles (tubera); they are surrounded on all sides by earth, and are supported by no fibers or hair-like root-threads (capellamentis); nor does the place in which the they are produced swell out into any protuberance or present any fissure; they do not adhere to the earth; they are surrounded by a bark, so that one cannot say they are altogether composed of earth, but they are a kind of earthy concretion; they generally grow in dry sandy places which are overgrown with shrubs; in size they are often as large as quinces and weigh as much as a pound. There are two kinds: one is sandy and injures the teeth, the other without any foreign matter (sincera); they are distinguished by their colours being red, or black, or white within; those of Africa are most esteemed. Now whether this imperfection of the earth (vitium terrae) – for it cannot be said to be anything else – grows, or whether it has at once assumed its full globular size, whether it lives or not, are questions I think cannot be readily explained. In their being liable to become rotten these things resemble wood.
…peculiar beliefs are held for they say that they are produced during autumn rains, and thunderstorms especially, which are the main reason for their growing, and that they do not last more than a year, and are best for food in the spring. Some think they are produced from seed, because those which grow on the shore of the Mityleneans only appear after floods, which bring down seed from Tiara where many truffles are found. They grow on the shore where there is much sand (Naturalis historia, book XIX, sect II)."
—G. C. Ainsworth’s Introduction to the History of Mycology page 12.
An old concept Gerhard, but you might be the first to apply it to Kuehneromyces :)
Of course all species concepts ultimately reduce to morphology.
so I have advanced to a creator of a new species concept then :)
from the inventor of gastronomic species concept ^^
Gastronomic genus concept in this case. Species are mutually exclusive categories of biological entities; so are genera and all other taxonomic ranks, including clade. Species concepts consist of criteria for category division. In the case of Ernst Mayr’s Biological species concept, for example, the criterion is mating compatibility. In the present case, as Gerhard pointed out, the criterion seems to be edibility, hence, a gastronomic species concept. Kuehneromyces mutabilis is a little brown, brown spored, mushroom that is good for food.
The gastronomic species concept can accommodate subtle distinctions, like suitability for use in a recipe.
An economic species concept usually follows the gastronomic species concept, ie. the choicest truffles are also the most highly prized.
is that Kuehneromyces mutabilis is a good choice for mycophagous persons whereas all the others mentioned are ranging from bitter to deadly poisonous or hallucinogenous … I think you will have to learn the distinctive features of K. mutabilis by heart :)
great info douglas, thanks for clearing that up
Kuehneromyces is basically a Pholiota that doesn’t have a viscid cap, instead it has a dry, hygrophanous cap.
In the A. H. Smith monograph, Kuehneromyces is a section of Pholiota. But… just to add trouble to your world, in the Watling monograph of Corticiacea (how do I spell that?), he puts Kuehneromyces as a section of Galerina. Although these differ from Galerina by having smooth spores with a germ pore. But wait, section Sideroides of Galerina has smooth spores, except no germ pore. And smooth spores with a germ pore and dry or viscid hygrophanous caps kinda define Pheogalera, so the question really is how is Pheogalera different from Kuehneromyces? (And in the Smith and Singer monograph of Galerina, Pheogalera is a section of Galerina (although there they call is section Porospora).)
And in other studies, Pheogalera might be linked to Psilocybe (the true branch of Psilocybe, not that funny branch), so they just might be Psilocybes with thin-walled spores.
So, really, Kuehneromyces is one of those kinda problem genus in the brown spores genera, that might survive, or might get stuck under some other genus, just no one is sure which at this point.
vs say the similar looking pholiota?
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