When: 2008-09-08

Collection location: Madison Heights, Pasadena, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Douglas Smith (douglas)

Specimen available

I received a dried sample from Jason in the mail, and put it under the scope to see what there is to see. I was hoping that this could be a new Conocybe for me, but afraid not.

The first micro-shot is of the cap surface at 400x in Meltzer’s. Here the surface is cellular, and with no pileocystidia in this shot. I saw some in looking, but not much.

The second micro-shot is of the gill edge at 400x in Meltzer’s. Here the gill had folded over on itself, so the edge is in front of a gill face. The cheilocystidia can be seen fairly well here, and are the usual Conocybe lecythiform shape.

The third micro-shot is of the caulocystidia at 400x in KOH. Here the caulocystidia are in a cluster, and they were seen over the whole length of the stipe. The cluster is a mixture of lageniform cystidia, with a few filiform elements.

The forth micro-shot is of some spores from the stipe apex at 1000x in KOH. The spores are smooth, ellipsoid, thick-walled, with a clear germ pore. The average spore size from this was : length – 14.03 +/- 1.16 (err 0.27) um, width – 9.04 +/- 0.89 (err: 0.21) – q : 1.56 +/- 0.13, on 19 spores.

Also there were many 4-spored basidia obs.

Putting this together with Flora Agaricina Neerlandica vol. 6, the id is Conocybe apala var. albipes, or the common Conocybe found in grass. Wanted to be a different one, but it really isn’t…

There are a few differences, the spore size here is 14 um, and the ave. spore size for the species listed in 12.5 um, the difference is significant, but not enough to say this one sample is a different species. Also the caulocystidia don’t show the clavate and subglobose elements, and less filiform elements than from the description or other obs. of the species, but this isn’t enough either. There were a few capitate pileocystidia obs., and there should be filiform pileocystidia, but these were so few this isn’t much.

So, it fits the description for the common Conocybe within normal variation. Maybe you could push it to say it might be another variation, but I don’t think it is that different.

Thanks for the sample Jason.


Copyright © 2008 Jason Hollinger (jason)

Proposed Names

86% (1)
Used references: Flora Agaricina Neerlandica vol 6. p156-158
Based on microscopic features: Cellular pileipellis, lecythiform cheilocystidia, lageniform caulocystidia, light tan colors with conical cap.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Thanks, Douglas!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2008-10-31 20:26:08 MDT (-0600)

Amazing, I never see this species persist past noon of the first day — this one mycelium produced multi-day fruiting bodies a couple of times. Must be some mighty tasty manure in this particular lawn, huh?