Observation 21089: Cribbea A.H. Sm. & D.A. Reid

This unusual fungi was almost completely covered in damp soil. I was photographing another fungi in the same area, and only found it when I was gently clearing the area. There were two of the species close together. One of the fungi I broke the stipe, the other I dug down as far as possible and still did not reach the root system. They were growing at the base of an old log that I occasionally use as a platform to take photos of fungi I locate in the area.
After clearing the earth away from the cap I was amazed with the fullness of the cap body. It was delicate to handle, felt heavy for its size and damp and cold to touch. When handling the fungi, I felt sure that the cap would break away from the stem. The cap size was 5cm. The stem (what I could retrieve,) was about 7cm and thinning.
There did not seem to be any mantle to speak of, and the gill formation was only exposed at the top of the stipe and cap. (The top of the cap reminded me of one of our salt water sea urchins. ) The underside and top were of similar colour and texture. The earth was difficult to remove from the top of the cap, and impossible to remove from the stipe. I checked the soil where they were removed from, and it was damper than the soil in close proximity. I dug down as deep as I could but could not locate the remainder of the stem. I have never seen anything like this before, and have not been able to find any references to help in identifying the specimen.*******8 I have just gone back over my notes and have some added info…… When I cut the specimen, there was no change in colour or bruising, and the texture appearance remained the same throughout. Also when cutting the mantle I noticed from previous bisections on Boletes as an example, that the mantle was more resilliant to the blade at the surface area, but once past the outer “skin” the bisection was relatively soft.

Species Lists


Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Copyright © 2010 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Returned to the spot where I found the original fungi (truffle?), after some gentle digging I was able to locate another specimen. This one was not as big as the first one, but was identical in every wasy.
Copyright © 2010 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
Returned to the spot where I found the original fungi (truffle?), after some gentle digging I was able to locate another specimen. This one was not as big as the first one, but was identical in every wasy.
Copyright © 2009 Ian Dodd Kundabung NSW Australia
I hadnt loaded this image, but thought after Rod’s comment about the stipe being black I should have loaded it.

Proposed Names

29% (4)
Recognized by sight
-13% (4)
Recognized by sight
95% (5)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: is a secotioid genus related to Xerula
28% (1)
Recognized by sight

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Thanks, trufflelady!
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2010-05-03 14:53:50 MDT (-0600)

Glad to see you entering MO, and I’m pleased to get Cribbea confirmed!
This is not the only stunning fungus shown by Ian. We love to see them, but we have big difficulties ID:ing the australian ones here at MO :-)

I want some!
By: Teresa (truffleladytl)
2010-05-02 22:00:12 MDT (-0600)

Yes this is definitely a specimen of Cribbea. The radicating stipe, enclosed gleba, cartilagenous texture and appearance. As to which species I would love to see some spores…. We have less than 10 collections in Australia, of all three species, so more material would be fantastic.


By: Roy Halling (royh)
2010-05-02 08:17:24 MDT (-0600)

is right, more times than I’d like to count, to be sure. Persistence and perseverance seem to pay off in the long run, though.


Point taken with your comment about saving a dry specimen section. Glad the one I sent to Brisbane was worthwhile. After the long drawn out deliberation and dna testing on the other saved section that I sent to America, and without any results, I wondered what was the use if I go to all the trouble of saving, drying out and finding a destination that is interested in my find & then to be told the results were inconclusive. ughrrrr. But with your faith and Irenes patience I will make the effort and do “the right thing”. So be it.

By: Roy Halling (royh)
2010-05-01 19:27:04 MDT (-0600)

I’d go with what Irenea is saying. Your photos are fine, but if you could just save a portion of the fertile part – say between 1/8-1/3 of the “cap” and dry it down. Hanging it threaded on a string away from moisture works.
T. Lebel would be grateful I’m sure, to receive further material.
The bolete you sent to Brisbane last year worked out just fine BTW. Thanks very much.

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2010-05-01 02:45:12 MDT (-0600)

Don’t you think it’s frustrating not to get closer to a name on this?
I know you want to travel light and saving collections can be difficult if you are out for a long time.
But if you find more of these (and other incredible mushrooms..), DO try to collect and dry them anyway, and take contact with those who wrote the paper about Cribbea. I’m sure they will be very interested in your collections and info about their habitats.


I think you are close with your description and ID. The cut section of my image cap does look like the section in the paper. The only variant is the colour of the top of the cap. I dont find this a problem as I had to clean the dirt away in both incidences to show the true colour of the cap. As your suggestion is the closest I think we will get I will go with it. Thanks again for your helpful input. Chow, kk

Have a look at this paper
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2010-04-30 12:04:24 MDT (-0600)

and check the description of some Cribbea species.

If this obs is too large or pale to be any of the mentioned species, at least it looks to me like something very close, and I’m sure there are lots of species remaining to be found and described..

No, Ian, I don’t think I can help…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-04-30 10:19:22 MDT (-0600)

The black stipe and the lack of a sack at the stipe base eiiminiate the species of Torrendia (now all moved to Amanita) that I know. Could this specimen be under attack by a Hypomyces or something of that ilk?


Rod T

Do you have a name for this. I was confused about the naming previously. (seniors moment!) The file needs updating. Yor assistance appreciated. KK

Comment- RET

Thanks Deb. Have adjusted. I misinterpreted Rod’s comment. I was getting excited I suppose. kk

Rod was merely conjecturing as to what mushroom is similar to yours…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-05-26 08:18:19 MDT (-0600)

insofar as having a radicating (rooting) stipe.
This very interesting secotioid form is NOT Xerula furfuracea, but it could have been derived from something similar.

Xerula furfuracea

The images viewed from Rod’s suggestion certainly have a lot in common with the specimens I located. It was unfortunate that the specimens I found were probably immature, and the fact that I was unable to locate the base makes ID even more difficult.

Well,I let my mind roam to taxa with radicating stipes that go down endlessly…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2009-05-25 00:12:03 MDT (-0600)

The first things that came to mind were species of Xerula. I have pictures of my children (when they were children) holding up a Xerula furfuracea (I think) with the cap above midchest and, if I remember correctly the broken tip of the stipe at below belt level…and this was the older (then bigger) of the boys against which I remember it being measured. Xerula taxa often grow on buried wood.n Xerula furfuracea has radiating wrinkles and grooves from a central umbo of the cap outward to the cap margin. This might relate to the appearance of the cap’s top surface in your photos. Is there such a thing as a secotioid Xerula? Torrendia is not likely to be right because the reasons already cited. With possibel exceptions (that probably should not have been placed in Torrendia in the first place), most Torrendia appear to be secotioid entities that evolved from a common ancestor with one or more taxa in sect. Caesareae (I have a web article on that on the Amanita Studies site).

Very best,


a rare and marvelous find Ian, but I don’t think that it is a secotioid amanita….
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-05-17 14:34:20 MDT (-0600)

as you noted, that long white stipe doesn’t make sense.

it does look like some sort of white gilled mushroom heading for an underground (secotioid) state tho; sure looks like the ghost of gills under that tough membrane!

By: Michael W (Michael Wallace)
2009-05-17 02:59:20 MDT (-0600)

It should have a membranous volva!
If this turns out to be a Torrendia species I think it is a quite rare and significant find, from what I can gather there are only five species in the genus but I am finding it hard to find much information, it will be interesting to hear what Rod has to say about this one!
Nice find!

Comment onTorrendia sp.

Michael, What do you make of the narrow stipe. (It doesn’t seem to fit with the images I have seen on the link.) Both specimens had the same narrow shape. I dont know how long the stipe should be, but I certainly didn’t expect it to be much deeper than what I was able to dig.

By: Michael W (Michael Wallace)
2009-05-17 01:21:17 MDT (-0600)

That was me:)
Will you get a chance to find more specimens, it would be good to see the base of the stipe!
It definitely has many macroscopic features that point to it being a secotioid form!

Torrendia grandis ?

Shane, I have looked up the Wesren Australian documentation on their new loggings. The Grandis doesnt fit, but I definitely think you are correct in the first instance of naming. I would be pleasantly pleased if Rod Tulloss would come across this one for some extra help. I see he has a paper on the Torrendia.sp
The specimen definitely felt, and looked like a “Truffle”. Because we dont see them here it is always a major task in doing an ID (http://pluto.njcc.com/~ret/amanita/key.dir/hemibkey.pdf) Rod’ latest link I found whilst researching this specimen.

By: Shane Marsh (Mushane)
2009-05-17 01:01:33 MDT (-0600)

unusual fungi indeed!

I love your observations, alot of these just completely blow me away.

The unknown is always a mystical thing!!!

Created: 2009-05-16 23:52:23 MDT (-0600)
Last modified: 2018-10-29 04:49:12 MDT (-0600)
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