Observation 156614: Limacella sect. Lubricae H.V. Sm. ex Singer

In a young stand of pines that are reclaiming a field loaded with knapweed.



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Thank you for sending this material, Drew.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2015-02-19 11:23:42 PST (-0800)

An extensive discussion of the species from another collection of Drew’s made at the same site can be found at MO observation #178302.

Very best,


I meant that…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2013-12-30 07:02:52 PST (-0800)

the species is probably not the same as the Limacella illinita of Europe.

First of all let me thank you for your generosity in sharing this material with me.

There is so little known of the genus that I think we must be skeptical of the use of European names outside of Europe and western Asia. I think it is fairly clear from my limited knowledge that we have too few names in use in North America in compared to the actual number of distinct taxa…perhaps many too few names. The same applies to Central America. Just consider the number of limacellas posted on MO from Panama alone.

Dr. Geml and one of his students have been very lucky to extract DNA from the forty-year-old type of a Mexican species called Limacella subillinita in Dr. Jozsef Geml’s laboratory in Leiden. In addition, we have had good luck deriving sequences of ITS from European North American and Central American collections; and we are starting to see some molecular confirmation of ideas about separation of apparently unnamed taxa based on morphology.

The current status of understanding of Limacella is quite limited. I think I can separate about 50 species worldwide using the literature and personal research. On the other hand that is a small number of taxa when compared to the limacellas’ sister amanitas (maybe 1000 worldwide).

We still see articles referring to the slime and the hyphae that hold it in place as a pileipellis or skin on the cap. A number of mycologists in the last century had good alternative hypotheses (e.g., Alexander Smith and my mentor, Cornelis Bas). To me the hyphae that support the slime layer are very like the chains of sausage-like cells that make up the volva in the “free-living” amanitas (such as pruittii, nauseosa, thiersii, etc.). For this reason I’m inclined to think that there is a common ancestry for the slime-retaining hyphae of Limacella and the volva of Amanita. I think that this is a good hypothesis to explore.

I find limacellas very fascinating; and I agree with you that, when they are found, a treasure is found.

Very best,


By: Drew Parker (mycotrope)
2013-12-29 19:49:27 PST (-0800)

I checked the collection and the immature one is there. I’ll box these up along with the other Limacella material in obs #156615 and get them off to you. Glad to offer them to the project. What do you mean when you say your guess is that this is a North American taxon?

Interesting group and nice shot.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2013-12-29 15:12:41 PST (-0800)

I hope that you dried both the immature and mature material because I’d like to examine what’s happening on the cap of the youngest specimen under the scope. My guess is that this is a North American taxon.

We’re carrying out a project of sampling the DNA of all the limacellas that we can obtain. Therefore, we’d also like to see your specimen for sequencing purposes as well as for morphological examination if you’d be so kind as to let us have a looksee.

Very best,


Created: 2013-12-29 10:24:00 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2018-01-04 12:14:00 PST (-0800)
Viewed: 52 times, last viewed: 2018-01-04 12:24:20 PST (-0800)
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