Rank: Group or Clade
Name: Hygrocybe conica group
“According to Kühner(1977: 84) the name Hygrocybe conica (Scop.: Fr.) Kumm. sensu stricto should be restricted to a blackening species with a yellow pileus at first. Such ‘forms’ have usually been described as Hygrocybe tristis (Pers.) Moell. (e.g. Moser, 1978: 86) or H. conica var. chloroides (e.g. Bon, 1976b: 5).
Fries (1821: 103) at first had a very wide concept of Agaricus conicus, including blackening and non-blackening forms with a colour of the pileus varying from yellow, orange and red to dark brown (‘fuligineus’). The name must be applied to a blackening agaric since Fries (l.c.) wrote: ‘Color variat; sed fractus nigrescit! quod nulla in affini specie vidimus.’ He simultaneously described four forms (a) with yellow pileus, (b) later blackening, © with dark brown pileus, (d) with orange or scarlet pileus. In Epicrisis (1838: 331) Fries mentioned the yellow form as the most widespread form of a variable species (‘Valde versicolor (etiam laete coccineus!), vulgo flavus, ’)• If Agaricus conicus is typified with Fries’ description from 1821 it seems reasonable indeed to restrict this name to the yellow taxon. The fungus with an orange to red pileus should have a different name, e.g. Hygrocybe pseudoconica J.Lange as suggested by Kühner (l.c.).
However, Fries (l.c.) listed numerous references in his protologue. In my opinion this name is typified by Agaricus conicus Schaeff. (1774: 2). His description and plate agree with the current use of the epithet conicus (‘pileo croceo-coccineo ; in senio totus nigrescens’). The authors are usually quoted as Scop.: Fr. It is true that Agaricus conicus Scop. (1772: 443) is an older valid name, but I reject this as type of A. conicus Fr. since Fries (1821) indicated Scopoli’s description only by page number, not by name, under form d. (Voss & al., 1983, ICBN, art. 37.2). Under the main text he gave only a direct reference to A. conicus Schaeff. Schaeffer (l.c.) refered to A. conicus Scop,with a ?. This is quite understandable since it concerns a different species with a dark red (‘coccineus’), conical pileus and yellow lamellae, without any suggestion of blackening.
Consequently I regard Agaricus conicus Schaeff. as the name sanctioned by Fries in 1821 and therefore this name can be maintained in its current concept. See also conicopalustris, pseudoconica and tristis."
Arnolds, E. (1986). Notes on Hygrophoraceae—VIII. Taxonomic and nomenclatural notes on some taxa of Hygrocybe. Persoonia-Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi, 13(2), 137-160. http://repository.naturalis.nl/document/569837
Hygrocybe conica group is more specific than Hygrocybe subsect. Hygrocybe because not all the species in subsect. Hygrocybe look macroscopically like H. conica. For example H. nigrescens sensu Largent.
in the H. conica group. But since many of these are actually quite distinctive species, we often push them out of the group by consensus vote and identify them as particular species. I don’t have a strong opinion about the conspecificity or synonymy of H. olivaceonigra with any of the others, but more work is needed.
Thanks Christian. H.olivaceonigra is clearly a black bruising Hygrocybe species – that to my observations is very different from either H.conica or H.singeri. So it is now identified as a synonym to H.conica – but not the H.conica group. Suggesting as I said earlier that H.conica group is more restrictive than just the H.conica category.
In herbarium practices (that MO refuses to accept but it’s trying to mimic), the uncertainty of ID is expressed by abbreviations such as cf., affin. or a simple question mark. MO sets a straitjacket on itself by requiring precision where the precision cannot be achieved. Make the MO gurus happy and use the the Hygrocybe subsect. Hygrocybe instead of something that would have an indefinable degree of uncertainty, such as Hygrocybe conica group. Hygrocybe subsect. Hygrocybe also sounds more scientific than a simple question mark.
This is especially frustrating for me. The new book California Mushrooms list H.singeri and says ….. “this specie is commonly found associated with Monterey cypress and redwood forest” …… They suggest H.conica is a “Missapplied name”. But then in Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, the authors list H.conica and kind of kiss off the idea that H.singeri is much different. But then of course in the Pacific Northwest we don’t have redwood. So for people trying to place their observation in the right place here on MO, it is confusing.
And to add confusion; I don’t see a mention of H.olivaceonigra here whereas H.olivaceonigra is listed as synonym to H.conica. That would suggest to a person looking for the proper place to put an observation that H.conica group is MORE restrictive that H.conica. Won’t that just be confusing to people?
You’ll have to define Hygrocybe conica group. The group is much more diverse than previously thought.
Created: 2010-08-08 13:34:41 PDT (-0700) by Eric Smith (esmith)
Last modified: 2019-02-04 17:33:24 PST (-0800) by Joseph D. Cohen (Joe Cohen)
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