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Observation 102938: Russula earlei group

When: 2012-06-24

Collection location: Big Thicket National Preserve, Tyler Co., Texas, USA [Click for map]

Who: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)

No specimen available

Caps up to 8.6 cm across and slightly tacky.
Spores were white and inamyloid.
Spore size was ~ 4.0-6.0 X 3.8-4.9 microns and appeared somewhat roughened.
With the rather thick Hygrophorus like gills and sl. rough spores, I’m not sure where to put these.

Species Lists


Spores in Melzers @ 1000X.

Proposed Names

48% (2)
Recognized by sight
55% (1)
Recognized by sight
55% (1)
Recognized by sight: as per Bart’s comment
45% (2)
Recognized by sight: as per Bart’s comments.
Based on microscopic features: fair match to microscopy done by D. Lewis on vouchered, older “lewisii” specimen:
4.5-5.2 × 3-4 microns, faintly amyloid, subglobose to short ellipsoid, covered with short spines about 0.1 micron high.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
The taste was mild and I did not
By: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)
2012-07-30 09:58:40 EDT (-0400)

get any strong odor from them.
The soil in most of these Big Thicket units is quite sandy and these were found fairly near the creek in about the middle of the Turkey Creek unit.
As is typical, it is difficult to say which tree might be host as there is great variety within short distances. This area is heavier in hardwoods, with a smattering of pines.
Thanks for the comments Bart.

taste and ecology
By: Bart Buyck (notoleuca)
2012-07-30 05:33:10 EDT (-0400)

Hi Ron, did you taste this specimen ? And do you remember its ecology (type of soil, possible host trees) ?
My guess is that it might be R.lewisii which is still only known from the type locality in Newton Co. and found only once. I guess there is no dried specimen now, but if you come across this one again, then I would be very interested in having a closer (microscopical) look at this rare species. Anyway, a very interesting find for the Big Thicket !

Russula earlei group for sure
By: Bart Buyck (notoleuca)
2012-07-29 07:27:05 EDT (-0400)

Hello Debbie, this is certainly the earlei group (Archaeinae), but not earlei itself I presume. In USA, there are also R. lewisii and R. glutinosa that are close allies and might more likely correspond to your fungus.

The Melzers that I’ve been using
By: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)
2012-07-26 22:01:48 EDT (-0400)

is the same as the one I’d used to check other Russulas, Lactarius and Amanitas from this trip and in the same time frame. However, just to be sure, I just now rechecked some spores from MO# 99341(Amanita canescens) and the positive reaction was rapid.
These spores are a little small for a Russula and the shape is a little atypical but the size is very close to what is reported for Russula earlei, which is not a typical Russula. Michael Kuo’s website does have a spore photo of this species on his website. Difficult to see the shape but the spores do seem to show a normal reaction to Melzers.

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2012-07-26 18:26:38 EDT (-0400)

just looking at the photo I thought russula, but the micro threw me.
now it’s warted…maybe it’s “bad” Meltzers?
Can you check for a rxn. on a known sample, like one of the amyloid-spored amanitas?

Walt; yes, they do have many characteristics
By: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)
2012-07-26 18:09:59 EDT (-0400)

of Russula earlei. The gills did have a yellow tint which didn’t show up in the photos. Spore size is close also as well as the Hygrophorus like gills.
So, thinking I may have misread the Melzers reaction, I repeated the test and looked at them under the microscope, in case the reaction is weak and not easily seem by the naked eye. The last photo shows what I found and it still doesn’t look like any positive reaction to Melzers, but the small warts are still discernible.

Looks like
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2012-07-26 13:20:58 EDT (-0400)

Russula earlei with white gills.