Observation 159290: Galerina marginata group

Pileus color: Center lighter than margin. Dark “chestnut” brown (6F7) in small areas marginally, through tan shades, to pale orange-yellow (4A3). (Color descriptions per Methuen where noted.)

Stipe color: Apically, pale orange-yellow, like light part of pileus, ranging to darker reddish brown basally.

Annulus: Distinct annular zone in younger specimens.

Spores “reddish-gold” in color under the microscope (spore deposit not taken), wrinkly outer surface, inequilateral, with distinct plage when seen in full side view, and a strong dextrinoid reaction to Melzer’s. Distinct layers noticeable in Melzer-stained spores.

Spore size: Length: 7.3-9.8 microns, average = 8.5 +/- 0.87 microns; Width: (5.3) 5.6-6.6 microns, average = 6.1 +/- 0.44 microns. (Based on only a few spores – will post spore stats based on larger survey soon.)

Hymenium: Cheilocystidia abundant, plurocystidia present but uncommon. Hymenial structures and lamellar trama metachromatic in Congo red.

Comments: I at first thought I saw a very thin apical germ pore in observations of these spores, but images do not seem to bear this out. I have read variable reports about the dextrinoidy in G. marginata and allies – I’d like to know definitively whether that characteristic points toward or away from this identification.

Image notes: Micro images taken on Nikon Eclipse 80i with CoolSnap ES2 microcamera; DIC (differential interference contrast) illumination; objective magnification noted, but total magnification of digital images highly dependent on display size. All images color corrected where necessary and unsharp mask added.

Species Lists


Lamella edge tissue, with cheilocystidia, 20x objective, DIC and Congo red staining
Lamella face tissue, 10x objective, DIC and Congo red stain (note metachromatic reaction of tissue with Congo red)
Lamella face tissue, with pleurocystidium, 20x objective, DIC and Congo red staining (again, note metachromasy of tissue).
Basidiospores, 100x objective, DIC, with focus stacking to emphasize surface features
Basidiospores, 100x objective, DIC, with single plane of focus on middle of spore to emphasize cross-sectional view
Basidiospores, 100x objective, DIC, in Melzer’s reagent and showing strong dextrinoid reaction.(Not sure of accuracy of scale bar in this image.)

Proposed Names

73% (3)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
Based on microscopic features: Spore size, ornamentation, and, apparently, dextrinoidy match

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Germ pore studies
By: Peter G Werner (pgwerner)
2014-02-07 14:16:50 PST (-0800)

I’d definitely like to do more observations on the germ pore. I can make 3D images at pretty near the light resolution limit (about 0.25 microns) with a confocal microscope, and of course, much greater resolution with an SEM. Sadly, the SEM at Ohlone is in need of repair, and I’m limited on observations I can make on it until then, but I can certainly start doing confocal image stacks of these spores – I just need to find of the spores autofluoresce or I can stain them in some way.

As for this collection, I still have it, dried, and I’ll treat it as a vouchered collection – I’ll maybe deposit most of it into UC Herbarium with other ACCF collections at some point. I’d also definitely like to look at collections from coast live oak populations – if anybody could share some collections, that would be great.

By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2014-02-07 13:29:29 PST (-0800)

Comparing those other obs. actually aren’t that bad. The cap is hygrophanous, so it changes in character quite a bit depending on how young/moist it is, or how dried out. But it is worse than that, even with that, the stipe when young is a pale off-white, but darkens in age to a deep coffee brown from the base up-wards. Also the lamellae can be rather pale when young, but get nice and dusty brown in age. You can see examples of this also in Mike Wood’s photos:


This is more pronounced in the conifer collections north up the coast, not as much in the live oak collections from near by here.

It would be really interesting to check on the very narrow germ pore existence in this group. If you do that, we should really make sure that it is a good collection, that we can archive as being studied in this way. And it would be good to compare the live oak collections here, since I notice a very narrow germ pore more often in those. When I say narrow, I mean narrow, much less than a micron. And hard to tell with the roughened surface of the spores. It might be good to compare to ones from section Galerina, since I don’t it in those.

G. marginata species concept/microscopy
By: Peter G Werner (pgwerner)
2014-02-07 13:05:41 PST (-0800)

I definitely want to look at this closer, as the concept of Galerina marginata seems quite variable. In terms of macro characters, compare my collection with one from the Pt. Reyes area by Christian, and with another by the Ceskas from BC:


The Pt. Reyes collection looks like older sporocarps of the species in my collection, but the BC collection looks quite different. True, the latter is younger and still growing in situ, but the lamella color quite strongly contrasts with the pileus color, even with the faded parts of the pileus. With my collection and the Pt. Reyes one, perhaps it’s just that the spores have matured, but the color looks to me more like that of the same ground color as the pileus surface rather than the rusty color of lamellae colored by a mass of mature spores. I could be misinterpreting the material, though.

I know G. marginata underwent a heavy revision a few years ago, with G. autumnalis and several other Naucoriopsis being merged into it. I haven’t read the paper, so I don’t know if it was sound “lumping” or not.

“But even so, this isn’t what Smith and Singer mean, with their section Porospora. There they mean smooth spores with a clear germ pore, and really I think those are Kuehneromyces.”

Good to note, because that was throwing me off when I first looked at it, and at first inclined me away from Naucoriopsis. I might do some confocal and/or SEM observations on these spores to see if I can clearly distinguish a germ pore in spores in this collection.

I noticed Singer and Smith didn’t note Melzer’s reactions, at least in this group. This had a stronger dextrinoid reaction than I remember seeing before in other Galerina, but I probably haven’t looked at enough of them. The Congo red metachromasy is interesting (some cells turn almost blue), and a character I’m pretty sure prior authors haven’t noted. I’m not sure how common it is within Galerina or how taxonomically relevant, but I think it’s something worth looking for. I used my usual technique of staining in Congo red, then clearing the slide with KOH – I’ve done this with many Psilocybe before and not seen that metachromatic reaction before.

Micro – Thanks, Debbie! This, of course, is from a Merritt lab scope with much nicer optics (specifically, really nice plan apochromat objective lenses, DIC, and a high-resolution camera) than anything I bring out on forays.

Yeah, dextrinoid.
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2014-02-07 10:59:21 PST (-0800)

Yeah, for all Galerina in Naucoriopsis, like G. cf. marginata, that spores are dextrinoid. Yeah, Galerina are mostly all dextrinoid, which helps separate them out, from say Pholiota, or Kuehneromyces (but not Gymnopilus, which has some species with dextinoid spores). But yes, the section Tubariopsis is not dextrinoid, like that collection I took from you in the dish, the G. semilanceata that we found so much of that weekend. Also there are the Galerina with small smooth spores, like G. sideroides, those are not dextrinoid either, and I’ve been calling those section Sideroides, but that needs a better name.

I’ve found that the strength of the dextrinoid reaction in the spores can be variable, but is still there. Not sure what will cause the strength to change from collection to collection, but it does a bit. You can tell, but to be sure, I look at the spores in Meltzers and KOH to compare, but I’m being more careful on Galerina collections, you don’t really need to do that. Smith and Singer didn’t really record the dextrinoid reactions carefully.

There actually turns out to be a very narrow, very, apical germ pore in some collections in the G. marginata group. And not seen in all spores in an mount, but enough to say it is there. I usually don’t see it in the conifer habitat collections from Jackson Forest, it is more apparent in the live oak habitat collections from the bay area. But even so, this isn’t what Smith and Singer mean, with their section Porospora. There they mean smooth spores with a clear germ pore, and really I think those are Kuehneromyces. Those species have wandered back and forth between Pholiota and Galerina through the 20th century publications.

beautiful micro, Peter!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2014-02-07 09:03:45 PST (-0800)

Your scope is not just way better made (sturdier) than the cheap Chinese models, but those optics are also superb. Better optics = less eyestrain = better resolution = more likely to use that scope, and get way better results.

Blinded by the Light (Microscope)!

Nice work, as always. Hopefully, Doug will answer your Galerina questions.

By: Byrain
2014-02-07 07:59:01 PST (-0800)

I under stand all Galerina except subgenus Tubariopsis should have dextrinoid spores?

By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2014-02-07 06:05:07 PST (-0800)

that is awesome micro!!

Created: 2014-02-07 00:59:51 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2014-02-07 11:01:57 PST (-0800)
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