When: 2008-12-06

Collection location: Albion, Mendocino Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Douglas Smith (douglas)

No specimen available

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we look forward to your new MDM, David …
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-07-14 19:54:47 CEST (+0200)

where I hope that you will lead us by the hand in this wilderness of Russula sp. identification. it sure would be nice to have a modern useable Russula key for the west coast.

I am sure that you realize that most folks have a difficult time getting Russulas
to sp., even in the best of circumstances. It helps when you have spent a considerable amount of time studying the group, as you have done in your recent collaborations with Buyck and other experts, and in co-authoring various publications, including cantharellicola with Nhu Nhugyen. As you stated in that paper, available in open access, we used to call “cantharellicola” both eccentrica and subnigricans here in CA, so you’ll forgive our widespread confusion, I am sure. After all, we are mostly using out of date literature sources for our Russula IDs!

That is a gentle hint, Sir!

Even a Russula in hand is a challenge to ID. Posting a photo of a single fb, that doesn’t show everything that the finder saw, like an initial reddening of damaged flesh, is a rather impossible task.

But as you point out, MO is a teaching site as well as a place to find what fruits where.

AS such, what value would you put on an “obsie” w/out even a photo to recommend it?

As to fine-tuning MO obsies with photos (the only ones in which we can constructively comment or improve upon)… have at it! Those with the mad Russula ID skills need to contribute to the whole, esp. when a good part of the whole has markedly lesser skills in this particular area.

We cede you the Russulas, gladly, and welcome these and more teaching moments, from all qualified and generous teachers.

R. eccentrica Peck
By: Mycoamaranthus
2014-10-21 21:19:07 CEST (+0200)

is an eastern North American species described from Missouri. R. subnigricans Hongo is a poisonous Asian species that has caused many (more than 50!) deaths. Based on ITS sequences, though, both are often misidentified, i.e., there is more than one “subnigricans” in Asia and more than one “eccentrica” (Bart Buyck pers. comm.) in eastern North America. You can surmise the latter by looking through the MO photos, as there seems to be more than one entity depicted even among eastern/southern observations.

I agree that your Albion collection with a single photo and no herbarium specimen doesn’t have much scientific value and from that viewpoint is not worthy of much discussion. However, there is more than one kind of value. There is teaching value, for example. Some people use MO to identify mushrooms and develop species concepts. For them, seeing a photo of R. eccentrica that is something else will be confusing and might lead them to mislead others. I went to the list of R. eccentrica observations and moved the very obvious ones to R. cantharellicola. But there are still some Calif. & western observations of R. eccentrica that clearly are erroneous and should be moved to Russula sp. or Russula section Compactae. In this way the concept of R. eccentrica is restricted to eastern observations, and will hopefully be clarified further when cryptic species within that complex are identified and named. [Note: the comment I just destroyed was a duplicate of this one.]

By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2014-10-21 20:31:51 CEST (+0200)

That sounds good, I’d buy all of that. This is already more discussion that this obs. deserves, with a single not very good photo, of a not very good fruiting body, from years ago…

But yeah, I was using R. eccentrica, since that is what was used in the “Russula of California” by Theirs. But isn’t that a name from Asia? Always thought it wasn’t a very good name to use for California, but then again that was true for most of the Russula names anyway. But it better matched the collections that I’ve found in the Los Trancos preserve, where it is mostly a live oak habitat.

What is the source for this name R. cantharellicola? I should look that up. Funny though in Los Trancos I do find Cantharellus californicus in the preserve, but not in the same places that I find the Russula in question.

The reddish staining
By: Mycoamaranthus
2014-10-21 20:19:18 CEST (+0200)

Isn’t obvious to me(nor, presumably, to others who called it R. albonigra) but if it was there then that would put it in the R. dissimulans/nigricans group. Certainly not R. eccentrica, which is a southern/eastern species. And not R. cantharellicola either, as that species doesn’t turn gray-black, and isn’t a northern coastal species either. The point of going back through old observations is to remove obviously erroneous records; this increases the value of correctly identified ones. You have several different species from California identified as R. eccentrica. None of them clearly are. The ones that can’t be placed into a better species or species group should just be called Russula sp., or Russula sp. subg. Compactae. You have a couple observations from Los Trancos Preserve that MIGHT be R. cantharellicola but based purely on the photos it is not possible to be sure.

Darkening Russula
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-10-21 20:17:21 CEST (+0200)

The color of the dark staining and very pale cap look more like the R. albonigra entity in CA.
But even if the color of the staining is off here and it was more rosy-brown, a few other darkening Russula would still be more likely, since the chanterelle-parasitic species R. cantharellicola is rare near Albion, due to lack of oaks and thus the host fungus.

By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2014-10-21 20:06:56 CEST (+0200)

There is reddish brown in the staining in the stipe, where I scratched it… The photo was taken awhile after it scratched, but the reddish brown is still there in the photo…

I can’t believe I am responding to a obs. from how long ago? But it is time to start focusing on mushrooms yet again. Almost had a real rain this week…