Habitat/location: In duff, next to a coast live oak a few miles up Bolinas-Fairfax Road from the Sir Francis Drake intersection. I see this unusual Amanita at this time each year in the exact same location, so long as there has been rain. (This is definitely not a Fall species unusually fruiting in Spring, unlike many of the other Amanita being observed in California right now.)

Pileus: Color – a bit like a more tan specimen of A. velosa where exposed to the sun, a bit more like the color of A. vernicoccora where buried in leaves. Deep striations at edge absent.

Universal veil: volva, annulus, and pileus patch present, but not at all thick.


Note two different color phases; brighter/yellowish portion burried in duff – tan portion exposed to sun.
Note two different color phases; brighter/yellowish portion burried in duff – tan portion exposed to sun.

Proposed Names

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Add Comment
By: Peter G Werner (pgwerner)
2014-03-28 23:11:38 IST (+0530)

It looks a bit different from pictures I’ve seen of A. vernicoccora, but I can see how it’s in the range of variation.

I’d be happy to pass the material on to Santiago for further study.

this is certainly not calyptratoides…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2014-03-28 20:11:08 IST (+0530)

which has shades of gray/brown in the cap, never yellow. calyptratoides is smaller than vernicoccora as well, and has a “tallow candle,” lucent aspect to its stipe. See other obsies of this sp. here in MO.

even the thick veil of vernicoccora will thin over time in the field.

this is the spring coccora, now appearing in a woods near you!

Peter’s specimen. EDITED
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-03-28 14:14:03 IST (+0530)

Amanita calyptratoides was originally described as having a lead-gray cap. This color name was applied to a sordid brown color. The present cap falls in the color range of A. vernicoccora. Also, the stipe of calyptratoides soon takes on the appears of a wax candle…a very unusual character only shared with a related species from central Mexico (A.tlaxcandela”).

Peter’s images show a stem that appears to lack the very base, but clearly show a skirt-like partial veil and the remnants of a membranous limb of a universal veil. The patch of universal veil on the cap is a stretched white membrane rather than a pulverulent coating. I think that A. aprica can be eliminated. I agree with Peter that the species depicted is probably in section Caesareae.

Given that Marin County is well within the known range of A. vernicoccora and that morphological and molecular examinations have not found a vernicoccora look-a-like to date (despite a search for such a look-a-lake), I think that what Peter has documented is probably vernicoccora rather than calyptratoides.

The most extensive moleciular study of the Caesareae (especially for its coverage of North America) has not yet been published; however, as a collaborator, I have seen it at a number of stages of the research and writing. The lead author is Santiago Sanchez who is working in the lab of Dr. Jean-Marc Moncalvo (University of Toronto and Royal Provincial Museum Ontaroio).

If you would like, I could convey a sample of this material to Santiago.

Very best,


Not aprica, I don’t think
By: Peter G Werner (pgwerner)
2014-03-28 10:42:39 IST (+0530)

The pileus A. aprica is semi-warty and a very bright yellow – this has neither of these characters. This comes across as something in the Caesarea/Vaginata section, not the Gemmata one.

Did you rule out Amanita aprica?
By: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)
2014-03-28 09:49:14 IST (+0530)

Either that or perhaps it’s elusive 1st cousin.

Created: 2014-03-28 09:25:44 IST (+0530)
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