Observation 21567: Agaricus L.

When: 2008-11-18

Collection location: New Port Richey, Florida, USA [Click for map]

Who: Erica Urbanovitch (erica)

No specimen available

Photos were taken about 24 hours apart, located under an old Turkey Oak tree


Proposed Names

24% (3)
Recognized by sight
54% (4)
Recognized by sight: as pointed out the color of the gills is missing but Agaricus could be possible when I look at the stipe and the development on the older ones
18% (2)
Recognized by sight
-37% (2)
Recognized by sight

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Local Mushroom ID Books
By: Erica Urbanovitch (erica)
2009-06-16 05:06:42 CEST (+0200)

I received a copy of Mushrooms Demystified this week, and I’m excited about better identifications to come…

Also, I heard back from my professor at USF and she recommended the following two books:

“Common Mushrooms of Florida” by Dr. James Kimbrough

“A Field Guide to Southern Mushrooms” by Nancy Smith Weber (Paperback – June 1, 1985) ISBN 0472856154

storing prints
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2009-06-05 18:56:15 CEST (+0200)

Hi Erica,

You probably do not want to spray the prints with a fixative, because then the spores will not be available for further study. Spore deposit color can tell you a lot about a mushroom, but spore morphology can tell you a lot more. At some point in the future you might wish to look at the spores under a microscope, and spraying them with glue will prevent you from doing so.

I like to store spore prints in baseball card sleeves.

Spore prints
By: Erica Urbanovitch (erica)
2009-06-05 18:42:28 CEST (+0200)

I’m doing better with spore prints now. It seems to help to select a drier cap to work with, and on big ones, I just use a smaller slice. What is the best way to store the prints? Should I spray a fixative to prevent smearing?

I contacted my favorite professor as USF about identification books. She’s out of the state for a few weeks, but promised to help when she gets back. I ordered Arora’s MDM yesterday. I may have mentioned this before, but most of the online searches I try using local terms or “Florida” result in psylocibe/hallucinogenic results, not too useful…

Debbie, I’m laughing about your earlier chicken comment; there’s a little Bantam hen in my hay hatching 13 eggs as I write this. I had 13 hatch there last month, too. The foul creatures belong to the neighbors but seem to multiply like rabbits and spill across the fence.

It’s pouring now, and I can’t wait ’til Sunday when I can look for more…

some helpful hints
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-06-03 17:16:46 CEST (+0200)

You want conditions cool for spore sprints, but not refrigerator cool…that can stop the sporulation process in some species, esp. russula. I set up spore prints along the front edge of some of my bookcases (I have a kitty too) or perhaps you could use the top of your fridge, or set them up inside a shoebox? You’ll need to get creative…we cover our sporulating caps in CA to increase humidity, but that doesn’t sound like a problem for you! You will need to experiment to see what works best.

Altho Arora’s MDM is a great general guide, it will NOT get you all of those cool tropical species that you are stumbling upon…I frankly don’t know of a good FL specific guide; I was hoping that YOU could tell US! I will contact one of my FL contacts and see what I can come up with for you. You are really exploring virgin territory down there.

In the meantime, you are our IT girl in S. FL, if you haven’t been able to tell by all of the excitement over your postings! Nice work so far; we have high expectations of better work yet to come.

Welcome to the club of those mad about mushrooms.

spore prints
By: Erica Urbanovitch (erica)
2009-06-03 15:58:59 CEST (+0200)

I set up three this morning, can’t wait to get home from work and see what happened. (And I took pics of the uprooted specimens, undersides of caps, etc.) I have to leave them outside, because my three cats and two dogs can’t be safely kept out of anything… They can even open Tupperware. If the heat and humidity continue to give me problems, I’ll try setting some up in the refrigerator…

Mushrooms Demystified and spore prints.
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2009-06-03 06:30:15 CEST (+0200)

Spore prints are super necessary when you are learning genera. Try putting caps on white paper in a cool place for 4-6 hours instead of overnight (this might help with the goo/bug problem). The deposits might be lighter, so you’ll have to deal with that, too.

Mushrooms Demystified 2nd Edition is out of date, and perhaps regionally less applicable (for you), but it is easily the best. A definite must have.

Back this up with online references at this site, MykoWeb, and mushroomexpert.com. This will get you a long way.

Thanks for posting your photos! We don’t have many observers down your way.

Thank you everyone, for the advice and links
By: Erica Urbanovitch (erica)
2009-06-03 03:18:52 CEST (+0200)

Photograph, pick, photograph, prop, put back, or preserve, I got it!

The few times I attempted to make spore prints, I left the caps on paper overnight on my porch, and in the morning, I had gooey, stinky messes, sometimes with excessive insects. Maybe they should sit for less time? (Once I covered the specimen, so as not to allow the spores to be disturbed by air, and that one was the worst… ew) For that reason, I never pursued further preservation tactics.

Humidity is the enemy! I don’t actually have any lab access at the moment (I live 40 miles from campus, and the last time I was able to “go” to school was a year and a half ago) Maybe I could steal my mom’s unused food dehydrator?

Deb, I just picked up a half dozen old (70’s) mushroom picture books and textbooks at BetterWorldBooks.com, but my only current reference is a 2008 copy of the National Audubon Society Filed Guide to Mushrooms. I can’t find my copy of Bryce Kendrick’s The Fifth Kingdom at the moment, and that’s driving me crazy! I’ve not yet been able to locate any regional guides. Do you have any suggestions? (I use the internet often, of course)

Thanks again, everyone!

A good rundown on the practice of mushroom studying…
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2009-06-03 02:42:44 CEST (+0200)

can be found on the homepage at
Good luck!

PS – Although impossible to tell without a gill shot, the mushrooms in this observation look like Pluteus, which is not a member of the Tricholomataceae (whatever that means!).

Ecological responsibility
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2009-06-03 02:37:07 CEST (+0200)

The mushroom is similar to a flower-head or a fruit on a plant, insofar as its function goes. Generally, picking one will not significantly harm the fungus.

Still, it is my preference to disturb one when there’s more of the same kind around, to disturb only one or two, and to avoid disturbing them when possible. With “bracket” ones it is often possible, if tricky, to get good shots of the underside without disturbing the fungus. My recent Fomitopsis rosea underside photo was taken in this way, and discovered the surprising color of the bottom of the drab-topped fungus as well as helping it be identified. In this case there was room beneath the fungus for the camera and its minimal focal distance of about six cm. In other cases, mushrooms will be growing elevated even higher, or else on a movable substrate such as a small fallen branch.

When possible, I set upended specimens (or substrates!) back to their original orientations, which may facilitate some continued spore dispersal, at least of already nearly mature spores.

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-06-03 02:36:15 CEST (+0200)

Hey Erica,
Good questions all. Depends on who you talk to, and how long they have been hunting. I am also sometimes loathe to pick a lone species, or ones that just seem too cool, and are so fragile that they’ll never make it home. On the other hand, there is usually more than one fruit body per mycelium, and like chickens, if you pick one, another comes up! You can always pick and photograph (or contort yourself and photograph w/out picking) undersides in the field, then prop your shroom back up in a natural position…it’ll still shed spores, and is gonna rot away regardless…and you can eventually justify it all if you donate your work to a local herbarium!

To dry, youll need an herbarium dryer (school is good for this!) or a food dehydrator, or if push comes to shove and your specimen isn’t too massive, you can actually put a metal grease catcher atop a lampshade, and let it dry from the light bulb! works great here, but maybe not so much in humid FL…and again, FL will pose other storage problems…in sealed glass jars might be best.

What local field guides are you using?


promise to record better images, and a few questions
By: Erica Urbanovitch (erica)
2009-06-03 01:52:59 CEST (+0200)

I promise to get more comprehensive/scientific photos from now on! (I own a custom framing store, and show my myco photography at a local gallery, I know I’m very guilty of looking for the art shots…) A few questions:

Do mycologists ever “feel bad” (ecologically irresponsible) about picking the mushrooms to get gill shots, observe the mycelium or make spore prints? (Especially if you only see one of a particular species during an entire day in the woods?) Should I bring a ruler along to include in photos for scale? How do you store specimens after drying them? (Somehow, none of these things were discussed in either the Mycology or Medical Mycology classes I’ve taken thus far.)

white gills, white spores?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-06-03 01:37:30 CEST (+0200)
You are off to a great start Erica…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-06-03 01:22:49 CEST (+0200)

but to be able to put names on these things we need more information…shots of the undersides of these mushrooms at the very least. Get your “art” shot, then get your science shots…more detail is always better than not enough! And if you’re a microbiologist, eventually we’ll expect you to head to the scope with these, too! You have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into…;)

Created: 2009-06-03 00:38:37 CEST (+0200)
Last modified: 2013-11-08 20:42:06 CET (+0100)
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