Collection location: Nehantic State Forest, Lyme, Connecticut, USA [Click for map]
Who: Bill (boletebill)
This reminds me of A. praecox but I don’t usually think of that as having veil remnants on the cap? Also A. russeloides? Beautiful Amanitas.
[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:03:40 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Nehantic State Forest, Lyme CT’ to ‘Nehantic State Forest, Lyme, Connecticut, USA’
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In the upcoming season I’ll look closely at the group in CT and at the least photograph specimens, write up a macro-description, measure some spores and preserve the material. I’ve been looking for an opening into expanding my very basic understanding of Amanita and this looks like a good place for me to begin. The most common type of the A. gemmata group that I find here (CT) has more coppery tones than the fine yellow of this current observation. Also the usual host for that type is conifer and this current observation was with hardwoods, probably oak.
More data has been posted for the relevant taxa and possible taxa, and more comparisons of spore data in graphical form are also being posted. Those interested can keep track of one person’s current (changing) understanding of the gemmatoid material collected in eastern North America at this page (also cited below):
In summary, the groups of macroscopically similar collections numbers 6. Some of these “groups” contain only poorly documented, single collections. When the spore data from these “groups” is compared, two distinct clusters of the “groups” appear. One is made up of collections with spores most similar to RET’s current understanding of A. russuloides; and the other, of collections most similar to RET’s current understanding of A. agglutinata.
You can see these groupings for yourself on the technical tab of the above cited page.
The important point is that we can now say (at least with some justifying evidence) that the taxa in the picture could belong to either of two clusters (instead of one of six groups). Therefore, I’m going to get rid of the term “russuloides group” and use what I suggest is a broader term (it can be applied all around the world with an assumption of some understanding)—“gemmata group.”
The fact that we have an accepted name in each of the clusters mentioned above suggests to me that there is a good chance that all the numbers involved may (someday) be done away with…leaving us two species names that already exist. I think no one would be unhappy about that.
So, Bill, look what your observation has provoked.
The group would make a good study project.
The simplest project would be to take a goodly bunlde of gemmatoid material that is well annotated from my herbarium along with additional collecting. This materia should include all numbered taxa that fall into the gemmatoid group and have collections with dominantly ellipsoid spores…say, “bold Q” (average of all length:width ratios of all spores measured from a single specimen) > or = 1.30 and < or = 1.60. This will remove A. praecox and similar taxa from the pool of material to be studied. These taxa should all have yellowish caps, have clamps only appearing infrequently at the bases of basidia (if at all), and should have a limbate (flap-like) and more or less membranous volva attached to a distinct bulb at the base of the stem (not an ocreate or “rolled sock” type volva as in the pantherinoid group). Such species would include A. russuloides, possibly A. agglutinata, sp-S01, and at least one other numbered “possible taxon” that I don’t think I’ve posted on the web yet because it might just be a group of northern collections of sp-S01. I’m not sure if there are other taxa that should be added as well. I remember getting photographs of yellow-capped material from various people in the past and not knowing exactly where to place them (among such photos, I believe I recall one such from Roger Phillips and one such (from Erie, PA, I think) from Emily Johnson).
[I want to stop here to gratefully acknowledge all the friendly correspondence, specimens, and photographs that I received over nearly 30 years from both Roger and Emily.]
A similar project grouping could be made of the several differently colored specimens that are collectively called “gemmata” in western Eurasia.
A third grouping could be assembled from what I think are at least three or four gemmatoid taxa from the Pacific coast of North America.
This work would definitely require a firm knowledge of modern techniques of morphological taxonomy of Amanita. For a person with free weeknights and/or weekends, access to a very good quality microscope with oil immersion objective and top magnification in the range of 1000x to 1250x, I think the elapsed time of such a project would be 1-2 years post a period of familiarization with the requisite methodology, in turn, following at least one year of experience with mycological microscopy in an advanced undergraduate or (say) a masters level program…or the equivalent experience obtained elsewhere (let’s face it…in today’s world, the latter category threatens to be the norm).
A person or a team with the above described pre-amanita-specific experience and equipment access, willing to work under the direction of me and/or Cristina Rodriguez Caycedo, and living close enough to central New Jersey to make use of my herbarium should contact me via MO.
Background reading: (1) the recent articles in Mycologia by Menoli et al. (description of the new species A. viscidolutea) and by Wartchow et al. (description of the new species A. lippiae) and (2) the workshop materials prepared for the 2010 NEMF Amanita workshop (Kerhonkson) which are available on request from me in a PDF (please, contact me via MO).
was my first thought when I collected these and usually I would have left it at that but since I couldn’t find partial veil AND I happened to have Yves Lamoureux’s book with me the photo of Amanita praecox in Yves book gave me pause in terms of making a field ID, hence my waffling ID comments of either A.praecox or A. russeloides. The whole cluster of A.gemmata-like mushrooms that I find in CT are so interesting partly because they occur with a wide variety of hosts: White pine, Eastern Hemlock, Norway spruce, Oak.
Mary Macher, who helps David and me with development of the new -Amanitaceae_ site, drafted a starter brief tab for Amanita sp-S01 that is now up. To move the ID for this taxon into the ellipsoid spored group of gemmata-like taxa of North America, I’m going to propose “russuloides group” as an ID for this observation.
The smaller unexpanded caps do appear to show a uniformly yellow color.
I think the ratio of the striation length to the cap radius is too small as you note; but the reason that I didn’t consider albocreata is that the cap in that species seems to me (1) to be predominantly white or whitish and (2) to have a yellow tint in the middle that is often distinctly off-yellow…a little bit of tan is mixed into the color. This taxon has a cap that is predominantly a slightly pale, but rather pure, yellow…to my old eyes.
because the cap striations are too short?
For the most part A. praecox occurs with hemlock. I believe I have one collection that was found with Balsam Fir on the Island of Newfoundland. This increases the probability even higher that you have something here that is close to A. russuloides (if not exactly russuloides…which, as I said before, could bite me, and I wouldn’t no for sure what it was…at this point in my education).
This collection is from an oak-beech-birch forest with few conifers. The occasional White Pine is there but these were from the side of a gravel roadbed with only hardwoods in sight.
Can you tell us if there was hemlock in the collecting site, Bill?
I am also inclined to think of the russuloides-like stuff that I’ve seen in the east…including at COMA forays in Connecticut. The August time frame is not unheard of for praecox, but [the time of year] does a “likelihood” boost to an ID near russuloides (I admit that I have a few numbered species that must include russuloides, but I haven’t figured out which one it is yet.)
Here’s what I think that you have in these pics:
Created: 2010-08-04 18:37:45 PDT (-0700)
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