When: 2011-09-09

Collection location: Akademgorodok, Novosibirsk, Russia [Click for map]

Who: Tatiana Bulyonkova (ressaure)

Specimen available

The second observation to complement observation 82957.
I found this Amanita not far from my home, 1000 km to the southeast and 4 years after the first observation.
Unfortunately I didn’t photograph the fungus in situ but the habitat was just the same – forest bog with Sphagnum pads and birch (Betula pubescens).


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molecular data
By: Tatiana Bulyonkova (ressaure)
2012-04-26 13:57:26 CDT (-0400)

from sequencing D1/D2 segments of this mushroom and Nina’s find observation 82957

(done pro bono by one wonderful biochemist)

showed them to be 100% identical between each other (yay!!!), and the closest match available in GenBank turned out to be… A. friabilis (97% affinity). Representatives of A. sect. Vaginatae were signigicantly further down on the affinity list.

What are we looking at here? An important and obvious microscopic distinction from A. friabilis (which I haven’t examined “in real life” yet, still looking for a specimen) are its globose to subglobose spores.

P.S. answering the questions from Rod’s post:
the fruitbody was about 11-12 cm tall. The stem base was thick (15 mm or so), but didn’t give a “bulbous” impression. It’s practically undisturbed in the picture – I took the fruitbody out of the substrate carefully (it grew on a tussock at the base of a birch standing in an eutrophic forest swamp with Sphagnum): some fragments remained in the substrate and some stayed attached loosely to the stem. The impression is, the volva is a bit less elastic than that of A. submembranacea yet not as pulverulent as that of A. friabilis.

There are some other factors… [edited]
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-11-23 13:43:00 CST (-0500)

I have had to travel because of family issues, and am not always near a computer.

I think there are a couple of items to take into account that aren’t yet on the table in this discussion.

Amanita friabilis has a volva that long remains attached to the pileus surface by interconnecting hyphae. In this way, friabilis is similar to other taxa with small basal bulbs, lack of annulus, powdery volvas, lack of clamps, and lack of bright colors…such as A. farinosa, A. nehuta, A. basiana, etc. In older material (such as is depicted), the bulb can be very reduced as in the present case; however, the powdery (or at least friable) volva will remain attached to the pileus for some time. These taxa are in sect. Amanita. The spores of A. friabilis are (on average) ellipsoid.

See Http://www.amanitaceae.org?Amanita+friabilis

The present species seems to me to be more likely to be placed in sect. Vaginatae as we now have it on MO. I think it is not an absolute certainty, but it is probable, There is a near-continuum of volval forms from white and membranous to very gray and very friable in such taxa as A. sinicoflava, A. submembranacea, A. castaneogrisea (nom. inval.), A. mortenii, A. groenlandica, and the many taxa more or less similar to A. ceciliae (of which we have several that are unnamed in N. Amierica). In my experience, northern taxa of sect. Vaginatae associated with Sphagnum bog vegetation usually have spores rounder than those of friabilis.

The present species seems(!) to have a totally elongating stipe. Can you give us an idea of the scale in the images? The volval material seems to have a color other than pure gray. The cap color is not strongly similar to the cap color in the Greenland material of groenlandica that I have revised. While I don’t claim to be able to determine species of sect. Vaginatae from half the world away, I suggest that Tatiana should consider the possibility that she has a new species. The microscopy is going to be important, of course. Have you tried comparing its spore data with that of groenlandica (and other taxa) using the following web page?


? You can save the resulting .PNG file and post it here for us…so that we can drool over the data from your interesting amanita.


Very best,


The volva is there
By: Tatiana Bulyonkova (ressaure)
2011-11-23 09:04:54 CST (-0500)

in the picture. Those small grayish fragments are the volva :) The rest I had to pluck out with litter and moss because even though I tried to remove the fruitbody carefully most of the volva just crumbled off – I’ve saved that volva+dirt mix in the specimen bag, too :)
That’s why I think it’s not A. groenlandica since the latter has a decent sac-like volva. The volva of this little Amanita is like that of A. ceciliae and related species, so A. friabilis is more promising morphologically.

There’s also
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2011-11-23 03:49:29 CST (-0500)

Amanita groenlandica, maybe a better match if it actually has a volva and grows with birch.

Rod, Irene, thank you!
By: Tatiana Bulyonkova (ressaure)
2011-11-23 00:41:41 CST (-0500)

friabilis is a very good epithet for this mushroom indeed, the volva is exceptionally fragile and glittery (BIG inflated cells!).

No Alnus definitely. The place is a patch of indigenous forest, so the choice of hosts for this area is rather narrow: Betula pendula, Betula pubescens, Populus tremula, Pinus sylvestris, Salix caprea (Salix cinerea) + Sorbus aucuparia and Prunus padus. I guess it’s more or less the same with Nina’s observation, but I’ll make sure.

My guess
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2011-11-22 11:41:00 CST (-0500)

would have been Amanita friabilis.. No Alnus around? I don’t know if Betula is a possible host as well.

Interesting material, nice photos.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-11-22 05:03:26 CST (-0500)

Hello, Tatiana.