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When: 2008-10-04

Collection location: Forest near Elgin St., Pembroke, Ontario, Canada [Click for map]

Who: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)

No specimen available

These resemble fly agarics, but have dingier patches and shade to white at the cap edge, sometimes with virtually no yellow or red present.

They are definitely from Amanita section Amanita, to judge by the stem bases, and the apical, pendant rings found on some specimens.

Photo 1: A tall, stately specimen with some red in the cap center.
Photo 2: One of those super-fungi-associated pines, with three Amanitas under it.
Photos 3 and 4: Cap of largest specimen from that group of three.
Photo 5: Side view of uprooted mushroom, same as in 3 and 4. Place where ring was is focused.
Photo 6: Same one, upside down, gill closeup.
Photo 7: Same one, stem base, focus on bulb.
Photo 8: Same one, stem base, focus on rings of universal veil remnants.
Photo 9: Same one, sectioned, core of stem is made of looser/different material than rest.
Photo 10: The mushroom from photo 1, from a distance. Look at the size of it!
Photo 11: A young one, and a couple of mature caps from nearby.
Photo 12: An “adolescent” one.
Photo 13: Another mature one.
Photo 14: Same one as in 13.
Photo 15: A cluster of these under a very young “super pine”. This bunch was almost pure white, cap surface and warts and all.

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Add Comment
creativity is cheap…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-09-16 18:31:23 CEST (+0200)

If your lightbulb has a lampshade, just stick an old metal screen grease-catcher over it…like for frying bacon. maybe you can borrow one from a neighbor, or find one in a second hand store? An old window screen would work, too, altho the balance could be tricky…scavenge something, then cut it up to size!

muscaria is not a controlled substance. sending herbarium material around the country is not a crime.

mushrooms don’t weigh very much, but postage can still be expensive (esp. from cananda to the US). if you really want to expend the effort to dry material, then perhaps you can contact the person who wants said material to chip in for the postage?

all problems have a solution, if you put your mind and efforts to it.

That leaves…
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-10-08 07:22:34 CEST (+0200)

That leaves getting specimens home without them turning to mush. Unfortunately, the travel distance and lack of wax paper bags poses a problem here.

dryer on the very cheap….
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2008-10-08 03:39:50 CEST (+0200)

You can dry on any surface with holes in it. The more holes the faster (& better) the drying. A piece of paper or cardboard with lots of holes in it, with no frame at all, can be balanced over a light bulb while it is in a light fixture. The specimen may need to be cut in smaller pieces to keep the drying as fast as possible.

The thoroughly and crisply dried material can be put in a plastic or wax paper bag. The bag can then be placed in the smallest available cardboard box in which it will fit. Some kitchen towels crumbled up or plastic peanuts that came with something you received by mail or UPS can serve as packing.

Place my address on a card in the box.

Seal the box thoroughly. On the outside of the box, address as you usually would. In a corner or on the back, write (it can be on a slip of paper taped to the box, for example), “Contains dried and disinfected botanical material for scientific study only. No commercial value.”

I hope that provides enough information. There used to be a “herbarium rate” for mailing such things by USPS, but for a package with only feather-weight dried mushrooms, there is now no difference from ordinary rates until the pack has an awful lot of stuff in it (weighs enough). The video-tape-size box sold by the post office should work for you, if you don’t have a small box around the house.

I don’t want you to undertake a hardship in helping me.

By the way, I’ve noticed the slow down in response from MO for some time. Also, I have been experiencing very slow response on the internet in general for several weeks. Making an FTP connection while editing the Amanita Studies site is now taking as long as 2 minutes for a simple change of directory. I haven’t changed by tools or procedures.

Very best,


Specimen transport
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2008-10-07 17:34:39 CEST (+0200)

There are several problems here, unfortunately.
1. Specimen transport out of the woods. I haven’t found a decent local supplier of wax paper bags.
2. Where would I get “screening” to use for drying? Or a support frame to elevate this above a lamp? I’m not about to spend $300 at Home Depot just to satisfy someone’s curiosity about a mushroom’s DNA. :)
3. Specimen transport to your address. I’m unfamiliar with shipping that sort of material, and concerned that it would be expensive, especially if special transport requirements are needed to keep a specimen dry and preserved. I also don’t know what the local law would have to say about someone sending probably-poisonous and possibly-hallucinogenic materials through the mail! I wouldn’t want to get sent up for possession with intent to distribute just for trying to help your research project. :)

On a side note, why am I having to click a link, hit stop, click again, and sometimes hit stop and click again here today? About 50% of the time when I click a link at this site today my browser doesn’t appear to do anything — after several seconds no page has loaded and no progress is even apparent in the bottom right corner of the browser window. This normally only happens with the image uploader, where the lack of progress indication is bothersome but everything ends up working fine. But this is with ordinary links, and they don’t seem to load by just waiting, nor by clicking repeatedly without hitting “stop” in between.

If you’d help on this, we could check the DNA…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2008-10-07 13:45:57 CEST (+0200)


On the chance that we’re looking at a population related to the muscaria-like taxa of sect. Amanita, I’d very much like to see some dried material from around this pine or pines.

I’m sorry, but I can’t recall if it was you who mentioned in the past that you were not experienced with drying mushrooms: Mushrooms can be dried on a piece of screening over a 100 watt bulb in a dryish place. Don’t put the screen too close to the lamp (give a separation of 5 – 8 cm. Cut a cap into multiple pie shape slices…say one for each 2 cm of cap circumference. Slice a stipe lengthwise once (at least). The stipe is over 7 or 8 mm diameter, then slice it lengthwise a second time. Additional lengthwise-slicing may help if it is particularly bulky.

For my purposes, I need about 3/4 cap and about 1/2 stem at a minimum. The cap should be mature enough to produce spores, but not old or watersoaked.

Material from different localities (say, more than 15 m apart) should be treated as SEPARATE collections.

I’d really like to find out what you have in these nice photos. If I understand, I think I agree with you that this is a muscarioid entity. From what is known so far about the “muscaria”-group in North America, it may be a curious, local color variant of what Jozsef Geml and I plan to call “amerimuscaria,” but we don’t know unless we check it out.

My home address can be found at

under my name in the listing of editors near the top of the page.

Very best,

Rod Tulloss