Observation 208568: Amanita sect. Amanita

When: 2015-07-02

Collection location: Franklin Parker Preserve, Chatsworth, New Jersey, USA [Click for map]

39.8137° -74.5503°

Who: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)

Specimen available

> A single fruiting body growing in the North Gate section of FPP under pitch pines along the red-blaze trail leading to Bertha’s Canal.
> Appeared to have a faint floral odor when collected.
> The spores looked ellipsoid/broadly ellipsoid when viewed at x400.

Inamyloid in Melzer’s;
[20/1/1]: L x W = (8.4-) 8.8-10.2 × 6.0-7.0 μm;
L x W = 9.7 × 6.7 μm;
Q = (1.33-) 1.36-1.58 (-1.69); 19 spores are ellipsoid and one is elongate;
Q = 1.48


Cap colors look bleach out due to a flash
No flash
No flash — colors very accurate; disk is pinkish-tan
The brownish discoloration was there prior to collection
Remnants of UV are visible just above the “bulb”
Viewed at x400 with no mounting agent; 1 div. = 1.2 microns
Mounted in Melzer’s and viewed at x1000; 1 div. = 0.465 micron

Proposed Names

61% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
21% (3)
Based on microscopic features: spore size, shape, and Q ratio range
Based on chemical features: ITS sequence — see Rod’s comment below

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
I agree with you on all points.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2017-02-14 11:13:53 CST (-0500)

Amanita sp-S01 is a problem taxon. The nrITS does not really operate as a barcode because the ribsomal RNA repeat is far from homogenized, as I noted before. Our attempt to get a large sample of nrLSU from the purported species was caught up in the 2015 sequencing problem that really put a great delay on our gaining a better understanding of section Amanita. So, at the moment, we’re stuck. I hesitate to create any firm hypothesis.

Very best,


Hello, Rod
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-02-13 23:38:11 CST (-0500)

Thank you for the two comments regarding the DNA of this critter. So, basically, ITS strongly suggests sp-SO1, but the LSU data are not conclusive. I guess we can say the same about the morphology: the spores measurements are a pretty good match to sp-SO1, but the gestalt morphology is kind of vague, not a dead ringer for that species. In particular, the bulb shape and the structure of the UV on it (lack of collar) is unusual for sp-SO1. What do you think?

We tried a second set of data from nrITS and got…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2017-02-13 22:10:08 CST (-0500)

a very good match to sp-S01. Remember this species produces quite a variety of nrITS sequences and the nrITS has been demonstrated (by Dr. Hughes) to be heterogenous. This may be a better shot at an ID than the previous data. In sufficient nrLSU data for comparison is still a problem.

Very best,


In the first comment on DNA, I was referring only to the results of BLASTing …
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2017-02-10 14:34:15 CST (-0500)

a very good quality nrITS against the GenBank database. We get a somewhat different picture from a good quality nrLSU of 1428 characters. In this case the best matches are to material that I didn’t identify. I’m somewhat concerned that we may have something to which other folks have given existing names when the species you collected is not named (or some other common confusion).

This time we get close-ish matches (five or more character differences, excluding “gaps” caused by adding adding or subtracting characters of a multicharacter repeat (e.g., making 5 “A’s” into “7A’s”. This sort of change can occur during PCR as well as in nature and is often discounted when checking for differences. The North American names applied to the closest matches are praecox and crenulata. Because the material seems to be in section Amanita. I checked against GenBank first. I also checked against my in-house database. In that case, I did not get a closer match than those from GenBank.

Very best,


Thanks for the news, Rod
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-02-09 19:37:24 CST (-0500)

So, according to DNA this one belongs in sect. Amanita. How about that! Certainly not the typical gestalt look for a species in this section. Did you sequence ITS or LSU or both?

A first glance at the DNA sequences we just got back…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2017-02-09 15:50:54 CST (-0500)

suggest that the species is in the pantherinoid group. We are not getting further into the data today.

Very best,


Thanks Igor,
By: groundhog
2015-08-04 16:39:15 CDT (-0400)

This material has arrived and has been accessioned to Rod’s herbarium. We have scheduled it for DNA sequencing.

Thank you, Rod
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2015-07-07 13:52:24 CDT (-0400)

I did cut the mushroom lengthwise for drying, but that was several days ago. Examination of the dried material was inconclusive as everything just shriveled up and looked unremarkable. I do recall the stem having a central channel when fresh, but I don’t think I paid any attention to the “bulb” area. Perhaps at that time I had made up my mind with regard to the section (i.e., Vaginatae), so my examination of fresh material was very cursory… This specimen will definitely be included in this month’s package.

A nice job on the spore images and the spore data.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2015-07-07 08:28:58 CDT (-0400)

If you cut the stipe in half lengthwise, perhaps you’ll see evidence of a volval sack.

I looked at the stem base again. The sand obscures the detail around the stem base.

The shape of the spores would be a little unusual in the Vaginatae, but we do have such species with ellipsoid spores (in the Vaginatae) in New Jersey and they exist in the sandy coastal plane down the east coast of the US to the Gulf Coast and into the sandy forests of eastern Texas.

Even if the physical evidence continues to be somewhat ambiguous, there are distinctive features in the DNA of section Vaginatae. If we are so lucky as to get a sequence or sequences from this material, we will be very likely to know in which section this mushroom belongs.

Very best,


By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2015-07-07 02:18:40 CDT (-0400)

I just posted the spore measurements and a picture of the spores at x1000 in the notes section.
By the way, the spores are definitely inamyloid in Melzer’s. So, even though this species might not actually be in sect. Vaginatae, it definitely resides in subgenus Amanita.

Yes, I think the striate cap would normally point away from the Validae
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2015-07-04 10:59:40 CDT (-0400)

although, I’ve seen a few exceptions. Considering the apparent sunburn and the cracking of the cap, the striate margin could be caused by drying. The base of the stem does look to me as though it is slightly bulbous.

I agree that the reaction of the spores to Melzer’s reagent is important.

Very best,


Wrong section?
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2015-07-04 00:38:00 CDT (-0400)

Rod, the stem was not rooting deeply in the soil and I used my short-blade knife to drive it out of the ground — it popped out right away. I don’t recall seeing any saccate volva remaining in the ground, but at the same time I wasn’t really looking for it. I thought that the virgate cap would eliminate sect. Validae, and the gestalt morphology pointed away from sect. Amanita. I will check spores for amylodity when I sit down to measure them. This material will be included in the package.

I couldn’t really see a clear saccate volva at the stem base.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2015-07-04 00:07:31 CDT (-0400)

Can you help me on that point?


Created: 2015-07-03 14:15:16 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2018-01-05 19:49:08 CST (-0500)
Viewed: 175 times, last viewed: 2018-01-05 19:52:38 CST (-0500)
Show Log