Steph Jarvis’s Description of Calvatia booniana A.H. Sm.

Title: Monograph Of The Lycoperdaceae Of California By Steph Jarvis (Default)
Name: Calvatia booniana A.H. Sm.
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 Monograph Of The Lycoperdaceae Of California By Steph Jarvis (Default)
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Description status: Unreviewed
 (Latest review: 2019-10-20 15:08:57 CDT (-0400) by jason)

Taxonomic Classification:

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Agaricaceae

General Description:

Calvatia booniana A.H. Smith, in Zeller and Smith, Lloydia 27: 164. 1964.
FIGURE 10, 39, 50

TYPE—The holotype is located in the University of Michigan herbarium (MICH 65191), from Prineville, Oregon, collected by AH Smith, July 1962.

Diagnostic Description:

GASTEROCARP 135-300 mm tall x 270-600 mm broad, depressed globose to ovate or cushion-shaped with a broad flat base; RHIZOMORPH composed of mycelium threads forming a tuft or mat that anchors the fruitbody; OSTIOLE lacking, cracks forming a wide opening from the sloughing off of peridial walls; EXOPERIDIUM white when young (5A1-2), turning yellowish cream to pink buff (4A2-3, 5A3), pyramidal scales large, up to 50-60 mm tall x 80-155 mm broad, polygonal to hexagonal-shaped base, with areolate rings circling each scale in very large specimens, striations along the areolate ring pattern, striations forming ridges of scurfy hair-like projections, scales covering the entire exoperidium surface with the largest on the upper most surface, tips of the scales appressed and turning brownish gray (6C3) to brownish orange (5C4) with sun exposure and age, scales eventually sloughing off with desiccation and maturation to reveal the gleba, subfloccose or somewhat delicately cottony when young, adhering to soil and vegetal debris at the base with glass-like hairs protruding from the exoperidium, entangled with crystallized web-like formations, the base cracking into a semi-random circle pattern, exoperidium remaining adherent to the endoperidium; ENDOPERIDIUM cream-white (4A1-3) when young, becoming dull brownish gray with age (6C3), parchment-like and thin, 1-2 mm thick, persistent and remaining attached to the exoperidium, sloughing off with the scales throughout maturation; GLEBA cream white when young (4A1-3), becoming grayish yellow (4B5), then olive-green with age (4E5), maturing from the center outwards, firm and solid when young, becoming chunky to pulverized powdery with age; SUBGLEBA absent; DIAPHRAGM absent.

BASIDIOSPORES globose to broadly ellipsoidal, 3.9-5.4 X 3.9-4.7 µm [xmr = 4.9-4.9 X 4.6-4.7 µm, xmm = 4.9 ± 0.1 X 4.6 ± 0.1 µm, Q = 0.8-1.4, Qmr = 1.1-1.1, Qmm = 1.1 ± 0.0, n = 20, s = 3], spores of various shape in light microscope and SEM, some spores of uneven shape, golden brown in water mounts, amber brown in KOH, spores do not stain blue in cotton phenol reaction, spores smooth to very finely roughened under light microscopy, under SEM spores asperate with rounded knobby bumps, no oil drop, spores thick-walled; PEDICEL up to 1.6 µm long, broken cleanly, walls up to 0.8 µm thick, hyaline in wet mounts; free-floating STERIGMATA not present in wet mounts; EUCAPILLITIUM Calvatia-type, capillitium threads 3-9 µm broad with walls 0.8-1.0 µm thick, threads golden brown in wet mounts, fragile, becoming short strands as threads disarticulate, threads glabrous, dichotomous branching common, knob-like projections absent, straight threads, attenuate to round and blunt terminus; PORES present, very small, round, clustered on larger capillitium threads; SEPTA and pseudosepta present; PARACAPILLITIUM absent; EXOPERIDIUM textura globulosa, composed of hyaline, thin-walled, irregular-shaped sphaerocyst cells; ENDOPERIDIUM textura intricata, composed of a network of intertwined hyphal elements.


DISTRIBUTION—Known from many parts of the United States, and previously reported from Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Utah. Also reported from Northern regions of Mexico.

MATERIAL EXAMINED—CALIFORNIA, Alameda Co., Oakland, Castle Wood Country Club, under live oak, 14 April 1905, Det. By E.E. Morse in 1933 (UCB506612)(UC): Glenn Co., Mendocino National Forest, 29 October 1993, D. LeFer (HDT 043): Inyo Co., Crooked Creak Research Station, 10,000 ft. elev., Pinus longaeva (Bristlecone Pine) habitat, 19 April 2012, T. Bruns (TDB 3185)(UC): Marin Co., Bolinas, scatted on ground in pasture, October 1981, D.E. Desjardin (DED 512); Audubon Canyon Ranch, Volunteer Canyon, solitary in grass open area, March 1980, C. Calhoun (Calhoun 80-1606): Santa Clara Co., Henry Coe State Park, scattered in open grassy meadow, April 1986, H.D. Thiers (HDT 49529): Stanislaus Co., Turlock, Junction of Sante Fe Road and Keyes Road, gregarious in soil in pasture, 29 May 1976, R. Halling (Halling 1382).


HABITAT—Terrestrial. Often found growing solitary or in small groups of 2-3 individual fruitbodies. A rare species, coming up in late spring in wet years after heavy winter snowfall. Collected along mountain dirt roads in compact soil, along cow trails, in grassy meadows, at lower coastal elevations in wet fall years, and at higher Sierra Nevada elevations in spring. Collected among Bromus tectorum (cheat grass ), Salix spp (under willows), with Juniperus spp. (Juniper), under Populus tremuloides (poplar trees), with conifers, found in Pinus longaeva (bristle pinecone) habitat, and recorded to be growing with Swietenia mahagoni (West Indies Mahogany). Among the Geographic Subdivisions of California, this species is found in the Great Central Valley, in Central Western California, and in the high elevations of the Desert Province.


The Lycoperdaceae of California, Thesis by Steph Jarvis


COMMENTS—Calvatia booniana is the largest species recorded from California. In some wet years, Calbovista subsculpta may grow to enormous size and could be confused with Calvatia booniana due to similar exoperidium characteristics. However, checking the eucapillitium under a microscope will quickly resolve any questions associated with confusing these two species. Calbovista has ramified branching appendages on the capillitium threads, and C. booniana does not. Calvatia sculpta is another large puffball with exaggerated scales. This species is easily ruled out of a possible misidentification, since it has a prominent subgleba where C. booniana does not. Checking the spores of these species can also aid in correct identification. Calvatia booniana has asperulate spores, Calvatia sculpta has echinulate spores, and Calbovista subsculpta has verrucose spores. The ITS data here strongly supports this species within the Calvatia clade with both 100% bootstrap and 100% PP support.

Calvatia Fr., Summa veg. Scand., Section Post. (Stockholm): 442. 1849.
TYPE—Calvatia craniiformis (Schwein.) Fr., Summa veg. Scand., Section Post. (Stockholm): 442. 1849.

Elias Magnus Fries contributed extensive taxonomic work to the Gasteromycetes. In 1849 he published the genus Calvatia in Summa vegatabilium Scandinaviae, Section Post. (Stockholm): 442. Andrew Price Morgan (1890) amended the genus to accommodate species whose peridium breaks apart in patches from the top downward. The original concept of Calvatia remains relatively unchanged in works published by Zeller and Smith (1964) and Kreisel (1989, 1992, 1994), however various workers have transferred some species to other genera. For example, Kreisel (1989) transferred some species of Calvatia into Handkea. These species have since been re-evaluated with molecular phylogenetic data and are being moved into Lycoperdon based on evolutionary relationships.

Most species of Calvatia can be found in xerophytic, or mesophilic grasslands, in arctic-alpine regions or with semi-desert vegetation, in gardens with cultivated soils, or in temperate forests with shade (Kreisel 1992). Calvatia has a worldwide distribution, recorded by Lange (1977, 1990, 1993) in the Antarctic zone, and studied in the moist and arid tropics by many mycologists.

The genus Calvatia currently has eighty-eight species recorded in Index Fungorum, 136 including all varieties. The type species is Calvatia craniiformis (Schw.) Fries. There are six species recorded in California: C. booniana, C. fragilis, C. fumosa, C. lloydii, C. pachyderma, and C. sculpta.

Description author: Steph Jarvis (Request Authorship Credit)
Description editors: Jason Hollinger, Joseph D. Cohen