When: 2009-04-03

Collection location: Russian Gulch State Park, Mendocino Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Richard Sullivan (enchplant)

No specimen available

Growing under a decaying log in the dappled shade of redwoods and other conifers.

So tell me when is this Conocybe filaris and when is it Pholiotina rugosa?

These are supposed to be synonyms but the observations in M.O. tend to show more delicate looking specimens as C. filaris and chunkier ones as P. rugosa!


Spores at 1000x the average spore size was 9.5-10µm x 5µm

Proposed Names

63% (2)
Recognized by sight: Striate margins on umbonate cap. Moveable ring fell off later.
55% (1)
Recognized by sight: There are several ringed Pholiotina in CA, spores look okay for P. rugosa, but we still need at the least cheilocystidia to determine species.

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Spores look like Pholiotina
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-04-09 20:32:33 CDT (-0500)

Well, have to say those spore look just like Pholiotina, brown, fairly thick walls (although not as thick as Psilocybe), ellipsiod, smooth, with large clear germ pore.

As for the size, I always wonder about those large ranges. I myself, hate the “ranges”, a range is not a measurement, I don’t care what people say, but I’ve sang that song already. I’ve found in the measurements I’ve done, that the “ranges” of species I’ve seen aren’t that wide. One that I’ve done the most with is the species Galerina clavata, where the range of spore lengths is sited as 11-17 um. But, it turns out this range is the same range sited all the way back to Kuhner in his 1935 monograph on Galerina and then the same range is published in descriptions again through the years. It makes me wonder, did each person observe the same wide range each time? Seem suspicious, but in the further published description there aren’t any notes on how the “range” was determined. I’ve looked at a number of samples there, and I’ve found only a 1-1.5 um “range” in lengths, which was beyond the significant differences of the various measurements, but not the 6 um range repeatedly sited. (also the ave. was about 10um, which is less than the “range”, we might have a different species, although it agrees in all other ways…)

Anyway, when I see these large ranges, they make me wonder, is there isn’t a bit of hand waving going on, with some new measurements getting “added” to previous ranges to just create a larger and larger range year by year. Looking at two different measurements here that I’ve done of P. rugosa in the area I see I have 10.55 +/- 0.54 um and 9.91 +/- 0.62 um, which are consistent, and not that different, or that different from yours.

By: Richard Sullivan (enchplant)
2009-04-09 00:37:09 CDT (-0500)

Here are the spores of this collection. Average of 9.5-10µm x 5µm. Forgive the pink stain. It is interesting that Arora mentions range of spore size for this as 7.5-13µm x 3.5-6µm. That is a pretty big range! One collection’s spores could be roughly twice as long or wide as another.

Alan-This was a very delicate mushroom. The fresh young specimen toward the front was at most 1cm across the cap. The tiny dried remnant didn’t offer up anything interesting on the gills in the way of cystidia, that I could discern.

Douglas, thanks for the great concise history of the splitting, that makes a lot of sense. It would be no fun if everything were yet another Agaricus!

C. filaris and C. rugosa still synonyms
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-04-09 00:23:57 CDT (-0500)

C. rugosa and C. filaris are still synonyms, it was just that in the Arnolds Bolbitius monograph he went back and found an older name to equate.

I’ve tried to look at a few of these under the scope, and all the ones I’ve looked at that look like this, stocky or thin, they were all P. rugosa. Not that that means much, there are probably still some other similar species out there to find, and this shouldn’t stop you from looking at this one under the scope…

By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2009-04-08 22:17:47 CDT (-0500)

The ones I normally call C. filaris are very flimsy and have a delicate ring. The thick rings on these make it look like a different species.

They are synonyms
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-04-08 21:05:44 CDT (-0500)

The species names are synonyms, there isn’t any difference, so don’t try looking for one. If you want more of a story…

It all started when small guys were divided up by spore color, and the small thin fleshed guys with brown spores became the genus Galera (before that really all gilled guys were Agaricus). Then looking at the cap surface, some had a “cellular” surface (a single layer of upward cells, like the basidia on the spore producing surface), and others had long thin cells laying down on the surface (like long hair). The cellular cap surface became Conocybe, and the long thin cells Galerina. In Conocybe there was a large section where all the sterile cells on the gill edge were very similar, short fat with small globes on a short stalk, and then other species which didn’t have this. The section without these similar cells was called section Pholiotina, in the genus Conocybe. If you look at these guys enough under the scope, and it doesn’t take long, they look fairly different, so some people raised up section Pholiotina to a new genus.

So, it is all the same species, just some people embrace the view of Pholiotina as a genus, and some see it as a section of Conocybe. There isn’t any difference, it is the same species descriptions, just depends on if you want to add a new genus, or not. Some people will find adding the new genus “simpler” and others will find that yet another genus hardly simplifies things. If you go that way, then you could say that Galerina and Conocybe are just sections of Galera, and really take it back a step (or that they are just sections of Agaricus…).