Unsure of which Amanita. Open to suggestions. Further to: Apart from not checking out the root system , I have had NO success with contacts to send dried specimens to in OZ! Even the CSIRO and Melbourne Botanical Gardens mycoligists aren’t keen on receiving specimens. It is not a good idea for me to keep sending dried specimens to the USA because of Customs. (Unless you have some special agreement on receiving dried specimens from overseas.) Looks like at present I need to do some real fast specialised learning.
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It is not just that one person or another may not know a name or may not be able to recognize a named species in a photograph. There are many unnamed species. In Amanita by the two most recent estimates, the number of undescribed taxa ranges from about 350 to about 450…for the world as a whole. I would expect that those names will come largely from North and Central America, Africa, east Asia, and Australia. The Europeans, too are still finding apparently new taxa. Even in Brazil, which is thought to have few undescribed amanitas, there is a very good chance that a student currently writing a PhD on Amanita will double the number of known taxa…there are so many ecological zones or niches that can harbor one or two amanitas here and there. A new Amanita from a semi-arid area will be published soon. Then there are the amanitas that grow in beaches!
I applaud your commendable efforts towards making your collections and photos that much more valuable to our community. You have a lot of folks eagerly riding on your mycological coat-tails! Keep using that fine “Photographers Eye” of yours, and send those images back to your eager audience…at the very least, they are cheap thrills during our Western North American dry season…and with your continued efforts, could help illuminate a number of Southern Hemisphere myco-mysteries…
Sorry. I made several little mistakes in the post discussing possible names. I have corrected the howler and those others I could find…i.e., the post has been edited. The really substantive problems were a wrong name and a misspelled name.
Amanita stirps Roanokensis is a group within sect. Lepidella that has a weakly membranous volva. I meant to say “Ravenelii.”
I’m still catching up on all of my mail and once again say thanks for the relayed info on mailing dried fungi. The last parcel I sent (to Todd Osmundson) was received in-tac. When I post from Australia using Express Delivery I have to sign a statement that the envelope only contains paper!! In future I will use Registered or ordinary mail but dont know how long it will take to arrive. I did prepare the parcel I mailed to Todd in a similar manner suggested by Rod.I even made up a type written address for the front of the package as he suggested. (you havent been reading my mail have you Rod?) Talked with the local Forestry (Wildlife) Rangers, and there doesnt seem to be a problem with them about removing fungi. (They just dont wont to know about it. ) Looks like I’m having some minor successes.
Wow, I dont know what to say Rod. Thank you for such a excellent determination, and especially as you are so far away. I have saved and printed out your description so I can try to properly absorb and digest it, and then put your hard work to practice and to do you justice. I was really in trouble with trying to put a name to this fungi. I didnt realise that it was going to be such a testing exercise. If I had known more about what to do at the time of photographing it, I could have saved you a lot of time, patience and probably headaches. Unfortunately I do have quite a lot of images that are not well prepared for identifying. As Deb had said, nice pictures if you know what they are! I will not be too dissapointed if there are times when a decision is inpractable with the given data and I now know what a finicky world Mycology can be. Your interpretation has given me the prod to improve my understanding of mycology and I thank you for that.
If the species does belong in sect. Lepidella (and there are some tricky fellows that look very much like Lepidellas, but belong in sect. Amanita…see, A. concentrica), then we could take the available modern literature that includes material from NSW and see what could be eliminated and what would be left uneliminated.
Taking a look at two papers of the last thirty years…
Reid, D. A. 1980. A monograph of the Australian species of Amanita Pers. ex Hook. (Fungi). Austral. J. Bot. suppl ser. 8: 1-96. Quick check of illustrations of taxa of section Lepidella: none with sharply pointed warts.
Wood, A. E. 1997. Studies in the genus Amanita (Agaricales) in Australia. Austral. Sys. Bot. 10: 723-854. Quick check of illustration of taxa of section Lepidella: The following are illustrated by simple sketches with markedly pointed warts on the cap (Wood created many very similar sounding names, sorry):
(a) pyramidiferina A. E. Wood, (b) conicoverrucosa A. E. Wood, © pyramidifera D. A. Reid, (d) alboverrucosa A. E. Wood, (e) effusa (Kalchbr.) D. A. Reid., and (f) ochraceobulbosa A. E. Wood. He places the first 5 in Bas’ stirps Ravenelii [error on this name in original posting] (I doubt this is correct in all cases) and the latter in Bas’ subsection Gymnopodae Bas (which is undoubtedly wrong).
If you look these species up on the Amanita Studies site, you will see that Wood’s descriptions sometimes contradict his choice of which of Bas’ stirpes he chose to select as “home” for a species. [previous sentence made clearer] For example, pyramidiferina and conicoverrucosa fail to satisfy Bas’ criteria for placement in stirps Ravenelii.
I can’t see the detail clearly in your picture; however, each pyramid seems to sit on a white “pad” at its base. If you get a chance to look at this pad (on fresh material) with a magnifying glass, you could compare it to the bases of the warts of A. ravenelii shown on the Amanita Studies site. If you have the time, you might read the wart description for A. ravenelii and see if there is any similarity. I don’t mean to imply that the species we’re discussing is closely related to A. ravenelii…I simply can’t tell from a chair in New Jersey.
Taking the most striking characters in Ian’s photos…
Strikingly prominent, approximately white, pyramidal warts, off-white cap (maybe very pale grayish between warts?), bands of universal or partial veil material on the stipe,….
Amanita ochraceobulbosa is completely off on colors of cap and volva (which have tints of orange and yellow). Hence, I think it can be eliminated.
Amanita pyramidiferina is said to have warts that are “fairly small.” Hence, it could be eliminated from our set of possibilities.
Amanita conicoverrucosa seems a possibility.
Amanita effusa seems a possibility.
Reid’s pyramidifera [misspelling in original post] seems a possibility. This is the only one of the remaining three that is said to LACK an annulus. Unfortunately, we don’t know if Ian’s material had an annulus.
From the available literature, the above three might be separable based on the shape (length:width ratio) of their spores.
Unfortunately, I don’t know of existing photographs of any of the three taxa in consideration…in cases in which the material was identified with thoroughness. [I’d love to know of such photos.] All three were named after 1969 and, hence, were not reviewed by Bas in his magnificent thesis on sect. Lepidella.
I’ve forgotten how to add an author citation. For someone who knows how to do that. The citation for A. grossa is“(Berk.) Sacc.”
There follows the description of A. grossa from the Amanita Studies website.http://eticomm.net/~ret/amanita/species/grossash.html
I wonder if Cleland had the right species in mind. Bas’ description is based on his study of the Tasmanian type and the original description of Berkeley.
Amanita grossa (Berk.) Sacc.
“Tasmanian Thick-stemmed Lepidella”
Technical description (t.b.d.)
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The following description is based on that of Bas (1969).
The cap of Amanita grossa is about 100 – 140 mm wide, convex to plano-convex, soon with flattened or somewhat depressed center, fleshy, white, with nonsulcate, appendiculate margin. The cap is scattered with thin, white, irregularly shaped, crust- to patch-like, rarely wart-like, vaguely delimited, subfelted-subpulverulent remnants of volva.
The gills are adnexed to adnate, very broad, and probably white.
The stem is about 75 – 100 × 20 – 30 mm, equal or slightly tapering upward, solid, white, exannulate, with some thin, subfelted patches of volva on a transitional zone between the stem and the bulb.
The spores measure 11 – 12.5 (-13.5) x (6.5-) 7 – 8.5 µm and are amyloid and ellipsoid to elongate. Clamps are present at bases of basidia.
Amanita grossa was originally described from Tasmania. Bas (1969) knew it only from the type, but considered that it might occur on the mainland of Australia.
Bas (1969) defined his stirps Grossa based on the present taxon. This stirps also includes A. ananaeceps (Berk.) Sacc., A. farinacea (Cooke & Massee) Cleland & Cheel, A. ochroterrea Gentilli ex Bas, and A. subalbida Cleland. Recently described species that can be added to this stirps with some confidence include the unusual greenish species, Amanita austroviridis O. K. Mill. and A. chlorophylla A. E. Wood. All the taxa of stirps Grossa appear to be of Gondwanan origin.
In 30 years I’ve never had a packet turned away in the process of coming to me.
The box should be robust to discourage crushing. The mushroom should be in a separate container within the box. The interior container should sit loosely in packing material that otherwise fills the outer box. The outer box should be very presentable…wrapped in brown paper if your local post office permits it. It should not look like you are mailing your dirty clothes home to mom for a washing.
The customs declaration should say: “Dried, disinfected botanical material for scientific study only.” It doesn’t hurt if you make up a computer-printed label saying the same thing in very legible type. Put such a label on top and bottom of the box. If the person who is receiving the material has a title, (e.g., “Dr.” or “Herr Dr. Prof.”), then use the title in the address. Don’t make any statement about the box (or written on the box) that is not true. You are using the word “botanical” in an old fashioned way, but that is because the reader will understand from it that you are sending dried, once living, but now unthreatening material incapable of reproduction when it is received. It is not an insect or an insect egg or an animal skin, etc. that might violate a CITES treaty provision.
Tony Young sent me material from Queensland (it was some years back), and there was no problem…then.
At any rate, I wish you and all the possibly excitable US mycologists good luck.
As you can see, it is not so easy to put names to mushroom photos! No one is born with all of this information, you have to learn it, and you have to be motivated to take the time to do so. I hope that we have planted a seed…
Your photos and experiences in the bush become very valuable to science if you are willing to put out a bit more effort to carefully collect and bring home the specimens, and take careful notes. Without a local mentor, tho, it can be a real walk in the wilderness!
Good photos (you have that part down), good general descriptions of unusual things, good habitat notes and well-dried material are all part of the mix. Then, you are not only getting a name to your pictures (a fine first start) but you are also contributing to the general pool of mycological knowledge.
Yup, you might have to mail them far, far away, but at least the dried ones don’t weight much! And you have quite a pool of eager taxonomists to choose from here on MO, with their various sub-specialties.
Or, you can just keep taking lovely pictures and posting them, but we can’t always promise to get you a valid name… :)
Debbie, It must be truly frustrating dealing with me in the fact that I have always only taken my “Fungi Photos from the eyes of a photographer.”. The so important information that is necessary for a true and correct identification has really hit me like a ton of bricks. I do apologise for the lack of information accompanying some of my images and I hope to change that in the future. You ask about dried specimens. I had to send the last dried specimen to America as there is little or no help here in OZ. (unless you know of someone here.) I have contacted Pam (re- your reference to information by J Cleland) and am waiting a reply. She is in South Australia which is several thousand klms from where I live. I did attempt to converse with FungiMap with the intention of joing but that was a fiasco. The Agarics in the photo are near several trees, (Tallow wood, Gums, and She Oaks) but the area is also grassed and open to average sunlight. I didnt remove the fungi from the ground, but will in future. Some photo’s I took here yeterday I managed to get three stages of growth and also show the root system. See I am trying. What is your opinion about Amanita ananiceps for a ID? (on the above.) I had a look at that site (S.A. Pam) but had difficulty navigating it. Apart from the forword, which really explains my situation, I had trouble finding the actual fungi info. Kept getting the Flora Section?.
Or any habitat notes?
It was apparently originally described from Tasmania, and Bas postulated that it might be found on mainland Australia. BTW Ian, if indeed this is Amanita grossa, I’m sure that Rod Tulloss would love to have your beautiful image up on his A. grossa description (photo lacking) on his website.
Could be a couple of things here…an amanita, section lepidella (are there any trees nearby?). From your photo, it looks like it could be saprobe/wood-rotting species. There are a very few amanita species, section lepidella, that are non-mycorrhizal, or mycorrhizal with grass. Another possibility is one of the “lepiotas” or Leucoagaricus or Cystolepiota or whatever Else and her colleagues are calling them these days. Did you dig one up?
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