Collection location: Kaipara harbour, Auckland, New Zealand [Click for map]
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The images apparently show the purple pigment developing more slowly in the cap than the yellow pigment. The expanding cap goes through an intermediate orange stage before becoming the brilliant red we associate with the fly agaric. It is also very interesting to see the yellow volval material clearly depicted on the edge of the annulus and in rings on the stipe base.
As lots of you know, this doesn’t mean that the mycelium producing this fruiting body is from subsp. flavivolvata. (All material from New Zealand assigned to muscaria and studied molecularly have proven to be the European [type] subspecies.) The European type subspecies often has yellow volval material. In fact the neotype of the species is described as having yellow volval material. There are anatomical (micro) differences between the North American and the European red subspecies. And the recent paper of Geml et al. shows multiple (dozens of) collections of the two subspecies clearly segregated into two clades based on sequencing of four loci. If you are interested in that paper, it can be accessed from biogeography page of the Amanita Studies web site. Or go directly here: