Observation 22431: Panaeolina foenisecii (Pers.) Maire
When: 2009-06-21
No herbarium specimen
0 Sequences

The spores from this collection appear to be nearly identical to those seen in #47682. Black spore print showed just a hint of purple when viewed against the black background.

Proposed Names

-48% (4)
Recognized by sight: Caps show “girdled” color scheme.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
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spore color
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2009-06-26 13:42:01 EDT (-0400)

> I’m still not sure, I don’t really buy it yet.

Its true though. Panaeolina foenisecii has dark purple brown spores, Panaeolus has jet black. That is the best way to distinguish the two species without a microscope. The spores in this observation are clearly brown, and all Panaeolus prints are clearly black.

This subject comes up about five times a day on the shroomery. The answer is always the same. Make a spore print, try to determine if its jet black or dark purple brown.

> and for the genus Panaeolus the spores are smooth

Panaeolus has the section Verrucisporae which has roughened spores. The ornamentation is much finer than on Panaeolina, its hard to see with 1000x but not impossible.

nice to see that it’s not just amanitas getting over-analyzed to death…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-06-26 10:06:45 EDT (-0400)

and nice illustration, Dave, of how the background color of the paper used influences our perception of spore drop color.

Still not sure…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-06-26 05:17:54 EDT (-0400)

I’m still not sure, I don’t really buy it yet. That you can use the slight differences in spore color to separate species here. I’m not convinced that we really know these slight differences in spore color yet. And this little guy is common enough, just need to do it, get a few spore prints, and match them to warted or non-warted spores. I’m not convinced that we really know the spore colors of these species to this type of detail to be able to use this information correctly.

Just added
By: Dave in NE PA
2009-06-25 21:36:07 EDT (-0400)

a photo of a print from another collection taken at the same site. The brown is maybe a bit overstated when the pic is enlarged. But the overall effect is how I tell “brown” or “purplush.” Actually, to my naked eye the tint is more pruplish than the brown seen in the pic.

That link
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2009-06-23 07:54:06 EDT (-0400)

posted below by CureCat is very informative. If one has trouble loading it, then maybe the photo may be found by going directly to the Shroomery site. Without seeing the Panaeolus print alongside the Panaeolina print, one may be apt to call the Panaeolina “black.”

Maybe I’ll get lucky and find a few Panaeolus so that I may create a similar comparison. For me, the brown or purple or walnut (or whatever else you want to call the tint) shows up best when viewed against the black background. I picked a few more LBMs from my yard yesterday (22431) and got prints. tried to make a photograph this morning; still need to see how it came out. Took the spore board outside into the early morning light. Depending upon viewing angle and amount of sunlight allowed to reach the sporeboard, the purplish tint was variably observable. haven’t yet viewed the pics.

Today I’ll be back in the area where I picked the 22377, and I’ll look for another sample. Those are the ones for which i did not see the purple tint. But, I think CC may be correct that the print was not thick enough to get the color.

I think I have a few of this original 22431 up in my attic drying. If anyone wants to look at them, I’ll mail the sample. Also, I still have both of the 22431 and 22377 prints on my board. If anyone would like a spore sample, I can scrape some of them up and send them off.

I am well convinced that this batch (22431) is Panaeolina foenisecii… and since my scope is not good enough to see the clinching info, it’s really this print color stuff (as subjective as some aspects are apt to become) which has been the deciding factor for me. Thank you all for your input.

Can’t get link to work
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-06-23 03:24:27 EDT (-0400)

I can’t ever get your links to work to the shroomery. I click on the link, and all I get is a small shoomery icon that says bad. I’d like to see more evidence on this, the color of P. foenisecii spores has always confused me, and I’m not sure I buy it. The few times I’ve looked, and compared warted spores to spore color, I just see a black spore print. And I keep seeing it listed as brown spore print in guides and in discussion.foenisecii

But I wonder if it isn’t sorta, I meant shaggy but not that shaggy. That people that live with “black” spored species have to deal with the fact that for the most part, only most of the former Coprinus, and some of the Psathyrellas are really black (and some people want to split hairs there), and the rest are purple-black-brown, really dark brown, tobacco brown and so on. So, after looking at lots of “black” they start to list some as brown. Except they are really black with a little brown.

And in the end, again, I don’t care. I don’t think enough detail has been done to use any of this except in a general manner. If you get some purple out of the blackish-tobacco-brown, so what? What can you do with that? It would be interesting to prove that there is some significant detail there, but I wouldn’t buy it until you show me 2 dozen of so examples of each spore print color combined with necessary microscopic details to say which detailed color goes with which species.

And still I’m not sure what you would do with that, because then you have to give someone else a method to use this info without fooling yourself, so how to communicate, well I meant black, but not that black.

So, I prefer to use spore color as the blunt tool it should be, is it brown, some blunt medium brown, then you have Inocybe, Agrocybe, Galerina, Conocybe, Hebeloma, Cortinarius, Gymnopilus…, if it as dark as tobacco or darker, then it is “black”, and it is Psathyrella, Panaeolus, Panaeolina, Coprinus, Psilocybe, Stropharia….

So, in the end, I’m not convinced that Panaeolina has brown spores, or should be sited as having brown spores.

Or maybe we should come up with a better word than “black”.

black is no color at all
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2009-06-22 18:01:40 EDT (-0400)

You can have blue-black which is really just dark dark blue, or brown black which is really just dark dark brown. Brown is really just dark dark yellow, or the intersection between red and green. A perfect black body reflects no light at all, but no perfect black bodies exist in nature.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-06-22 17:51:43 EDT (-0400)

> Personally trying to split brown-black from dark-purple brown
> to pure black, yeah I don’t care. It is either clearly brown,
> or not. If not, then it is one of the “black” spores species,
> which many are just really dark brown.

Generally I would agree with you, however in these circumstances it IS the distinct difference between two different genera (arguably, some consider Panaeolina a section of Panaeolus- like Copelandia).

Panaeolus have JET BLACK spore prints, with no shades of purple or brown or purple/brown.

Any combination of purple or brown spore print colour- however dark- will suggest Panaeolina.

A great photo reference that my friend Gumby made:

The “belted cap colour” is the same in both species and cannot separate the two at all. The hygrophany of these closely related mushrooms is the same.

As Douglas pointed out, they will inhabit the same areas, with P. cinctulus preferring grass that is more well fertilized.
For instance, if fresh sod produces mushrooms, they are usually P. cinctulus and maybe some Panaeolopsis, perhaps with a few P. foenisecii here or there. The sod will produce P. cinctulus for approximately 2 years if the fertilizer is not replenished, after which the P. cinctulus will start to disappear and P. foenisecii will take hold and start fruiting more often.

By: Dave W (Dave W)
2009-06-22 14:42:51 EDT (-0400)

out the black background method. Colors do often emerge from prints that otherwise appear to be black. I’ll try to get some decent photos in good light so I can post something which shows this. I agree, for some browns like Agrocybe or Inocybe the black background doesn’t provide this advantage.

Need good mag.
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-06-22 13:12:18 EDT (-0400)

For spore orn. you pretty much need 1000x to be able to see the warts or if it is smooth.

As for the spore color, you can’t just brush aside things claiming white or not background. Take a spore print of an Agrocybe, Hebeloma, Cortinarius, and so on. Real brown spored species, it doesn’t matter how thick are the spores or how white the background those will still be brown, not black.

Personally trying to split brown-black from dark-purple brown to pure black, yeah I don’t care. It is either clearly brown, or not. If not, then it is one of the “black” spores species, which many are just really dark brown.

At least that is what I think…

Thanks Douglas
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2009-06-22 12:29:42 EDT (-0400)

for directing me toward your spore photo for P. foenisecii. Even at the better res (your pic) the “warted” profile is a bit ellusive. I had expected that one could detect warts along the perimeters in the spore profiles. So the spores in my photo may be warted; maybe it’s just not possible to detect this at this res, which is the best my scope will do. Given the overall similarities between Panaeolina foensecii and Panaeolus cinctulus, might we have here a situation similar to Strobilomyces floccopus vs. S. confusus?

A note on spore print color. I find that all very dark prints appear to be black when viewed against a white background. Subtler shades of brown or purple often appear only when viewed against black. A truly black print completely disappears when viewed against a black background. Similarly, a truly white print disappears against a white background, whereas subtleties such as “pinkish”, “cream”, or “yellowish” can often be seen only when viewed against a white background. Viewed against black, most light print colors appear as white.

Habitat the same, are the spores warted.
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-06-22 10:54:39 EDT (-0400)

I think all the ones you are asking about all have the same habitat, in grassy areas.

But the important thing is that for the genus Panaeolina the spores are warted, and for the genus Panaeolus the spores are smooth (Along with Psathyrella are smooth, except don’t get confused with Lacrymaria, where the spores are warted). The photo you post here is fairly low res and I can’t really tell if the spores are warted. What mag. do you have there?

Take a look at my obs. 7372 to see the warted spores.

As for the spore color, I don’t know. The “brown” some people say they have seen, and I haven’t myself. Smith’s Psathyrella monograph mentions a deep chocolate brown, and I wonder if this gets quoted through other sources as just “brown”. I’ve looked at a few getting the spore print and checking the spores in the scope (but only a few, so it doesn’t mean that much), and the spore print always looks rather black to me, and the spores were warted.

I’d like to see more obs. here where a good photo of the spore color in a nice spore print was made, matched to a photo of the spores at 1000×. Since there are number of little brown guys in grass that might look like this, I’m not convinced that I’ve seen actual separate species that can be separated by “brown” to “black” to “deep purple chocolate spicy brown” spore color.

Spore print
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2009-06-22 07:35:03 EDT (-0400)

that I got for this sample was pretty thick. Against the white background, it appeared to be jet black. Viewed against a black background, I noticed a subtle purple tone which my wife could not detect. Kuo lists foenisecii print as dark brown to purple brown, Phillips also mentions black. So my print colors for 22431 and 22377 each seem to fall within the foenisecii range. This sample (22431) shows a belted cap color scheme associated with cinctulus. But some foenisecii photos (in Kuo for instance) also show this pattern. However, the spores for each of 22431 and 22377 do not appear to show any roughening; although my scope may not be powerful enough to detect this trait, or perhaps my makeshift approach to photographing the spores misses the mark. The rough vs. smooth spore profile seems to be the determining factor here.

Habitat appears to favor the foenisecii hypothesis for each of 22431 and 22377.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-06-21 22:43:00 EDT (-0400)

The spores of both Panaeolus and Panaeolina are brown when viewed at a microscopic level.

If trying to discern spore colour from a print, it is important that the spore deposits are thick! It can be damn difficult to tell a light spore print of jet black spores apart from a light spore print of dark brown spores.

Created: 2009-06-21 21:42:02 EDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2013-12-16 18:40:37 EST (-0500)
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