Observation 194076: Amanita sect. Amanita

When: 2014-12-19

Collection location: Mooretown, Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dave W (Dave W)

No specimen available

Found while harvesting a Christmas tree from a tree farm. Under planted Frasier Fir. No idea how long this mushroom had remained in situ. Inner stipe frozen and ice crystals on gills. During the previous month there have been two snowfalls of over 3 inches. Snow had covered the area for several days about 4 weeks ago. Morning temps in the low teensF several different days about 5 weeks ago.

Not sure of the bright red stain in natural or the result of paint/dye used at the tree farm.


Proposed Names

48% (2)
Recognized by sight
28% (1)
Recognized by sight: I think the red is due to a bacterial/microbial infection, I have seen it in collections of Amanita chrysoblema =(Amanita muscaria var. guessowii) . It looks like the cold killed this one and the microbes moved in; apparently they can survive the lower temps better than the fruit body of this Amanita. I was reading that Amanita muscaria and the other mycorrhizal species in the genus have undergone a horizontal gene transfer with bacteria, maybe this is how it happened.
61% (2)
Recognized by sight: beyond that … too old and decayed to ID.

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= Observer’s choice
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Add Comment
Thanks for the detailed proposal, Herb.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-12-20 07:58:13 CST (-0600)

My opinion is this does represent muscaria/chrysoblema. There was a very late flush of these during mid-November, just before the cold weather moved in. I wonder is a bacteral infection could actually help to preserve the fruit body? I would think that, after several snowfalls and 48-hour stretches of sub-freezing temps, any Amanita would have completely decomposed. I don’t think this mycorrhizal mushroom could possibly have fruited after the initial onset of the cold weather in mid-November.