When: 2014-09-09

Collection location: Copake, New York, USA [Click for map]

Who: Robert(the 3 foragers) (the3foragers)

No specimen available


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thank you Rod.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2014-09-11 00:49:43 CDT (-0400)

it sounds like we need to adjust our species concept for bisporigera back down to just two spores, and (sigh) be open to new names for all of those white, eastern destroying angels that we have been happily lumping under a bisporigera banner for years.

I am not sure if this is good news or bad news. More work for you and others, more names to memorize!

Still, bisporigera, two spores, it has a certain symmetry. ;)

Thanks, as always, for your useful, up-to-date and thorough information. you are a hard act to follow.

Recent DNA studies in China (just published) and in the US show that there are five taxa…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-09-10 16:29:20 CDT (-0400)

at least…that have been called A. bisporigera in the field. Only one of these has two-spored basidia and can bear the name bisporigera. The others (as listed below) are four-spored taxa. I am the person who is responsible for trying to understand the situation by observations that suggested there might be a single species that, over the year, transitioned from 2-spores per basidium in the first half of the season (roughly speaking) to 4 (in the later part of the season). The DNA shows that I was wrong. Amanita bisporigera is more common in the early part of the season and, as Alexander Smith observed, has a fruiting body that is often small and gracile.


By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-09-10 15:19:32 CDT (-0400)

I am not speaking for Rod. My comment was in response to yours.
You said ‘mushrooms are throwing away our human play books of fruiting season’, which is imprecise at best… And mostly just inaccurate.

You asked “Can we really use date as a reliable way to help determine species?”. The answer is (at least in some cases) YES. So I commented.

Photos for observations never were a requirement. In this myco-circle. Not sure why you had to say it indirectly…

But you should understand time constraints of summer in Alaska perfectly. Just look at your comment about taste data on observation 51295. If you don’t even have time to taste a Lactarius (takes about 5 seconds, tops), then it should be clear why I have decided not to photograph every species I see every time I go out.

“Created: 2010-08-25 08:27:38 PDT (-0700)
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
Summary: if I’d stopped to taste every shroom in Alaska…

I’d still be sitting in the forest chewing! Dude, even with 17+ hours of daylight there STILL wasn’t enough time in my day…

Sorry Noah, I know the drill, but the volume was overwhelming, to say the least."

well …
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2014-09-10 14:57:52 CDT (-0400)

I think that Rod can speak for himself, don’t you?

Every field guide and online resource currently published talks about fruiting seasons, so not sure what the heck you are goin’ on about. My point was that we should assume nothing about seasonal restrictions, because the mushrooms are exhibiting a lot of fruiting flexibility these days.

Of course we use our current knowledge base to make some guesses, but guesses are all that they are, without fact-based data behind the IDs.

A specimen here would help immensely.

Hey, at least Robert had a nice photo series for us to see! Apparently no longer a universal requirement, in some myco-circles. IS less more?

I think not. But I don’t believe that everyone needs to think exactly like me. Still, our work does get judged on its own merits. No real data, little real worth.

Nice to see Noah put up a photo to show his point this am. You know what they say about pictures, dontcha?

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-09-10 14:28:02 CDT (-0400)

date is certainly not a way to determine species, it can be a clue as to what species one is dealing with. Like all other data, it is variable and best used in combination with other data. And that’s all Rod suggested below.

There wasn’t ever a playbook, since we have so little data about mushroom fruiting dates. And although things may be changing, it doesn’t mean that we should ignore what we have observed about typical fruiting dates.

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2014-09-10 12:35:55 CDT (-0400)

I thought bisporigera could have four spores on a basidium as well as just two. Is this info outdated?

Do you mean stocky rather than large? Hard to judge the size of these in the photos.

Can we really use date as a reliable way to help determine species? Seems to me that mushrooms are throwing away our human play books of fruiting season in these changing times.

Without a specimen, we can’t really tell what this is, other than one of the white deadlies in section Phalloides.

Wouldn’t magnivelaris actually show a thick felty partial veil? This mushroom does not.

If you could actually go back and collect some of this, Robert, that would help to answer some of these questions

Because of the date of the collection and the size,…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-09-10 12:24:01 CDT (-0400)

I am inclined to think that this is not bisporigera (i.e., microscopic examination would show that spores are made four per basidium, not two).

There are four other possibilities; and, as in the case of bisporigera their surfaces will turn yellow when a 5-10 percent solution of potassium hydroxide (KOH) is applied.

If the spores are broadly ellipsoid on average, then this is highly probably Amanita suballiacea. This species is reported from a number of sites around the eastern U.S. It is often a fairly bulky mushroom.

If this is not suballiacea, there are three possibilities of which I know. These also can be quite large so far as we know. It is possible that some day we will be able to tell these final three species apart with the naked eye; however, that time has not yet come. In fact, we are just learning that they have different DNA.

If you can tolerate the suspense [:(], I am trying to keep up with the current state of (lack of) knowledge on the eastern North American white destroying angels here:

http://www.amanitaceae.org?Amanita+sp-O01 ….[that’s “oh-zero-one”]

For other deadly white Phalloideae in the eastern U.S. (with ellipsoid spores and, mostly, lack of response to KOH), check here:


There may be others with ellipsoid spores, but the literature is very confusing and has not been sorted out.

There is at least one destroying angel associated with southeastern U.S. habitats (especially in the sandy Coastal Plain) that is very small and has very narrow (cylindric to bacilliform) spores:


Back to the destroying angels with subglobose spores:

We have several collections of sp-O01, and we know that it has caused a fatality due to amatoxin poisoning in New Jersey.

We have several collections of sp-bisporigera04 and know that it caused a severe poisoning in New York state and must be considered to contain amatoxins.

We know sp-bisporigera05 only from two specimens. We presume it to be potentially deadly.

The above text is a short blast of data…I wouldn’t be satisfied if I were you. I’m not satisfied from my point of view.

We are collecting material from many sites (with lots of help from posters on MO), and we hope that we will develop a better understanding of the eastern U.S. destroying angels.

Very best,


By: Robert(the 3 foragers) (the3foragers)
2014-09-10 09:44:02 CDT (-0400)

What is the best guess ??

Considering the time of year and the apparent size of the mushroom… (EDITED)
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-09-09 09:46:31 CDT (-0400)

I think that this is probably a different one of the white destroying angels.

Nice pictures.

Very best,

Rod Tulloss