Observation 21912: Amanita citrina (Schaeff.) Pers.

When: 2006-08-09

Collection location: Hainspitz, Thüringen, Germany [Click for map]

Who: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)

No specimen available


[admin – Sat Aug 14 01:59:54 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Deutschland, Thüringen, Hainspitz’ to ‘Hainspitz, Thüringen, Germany’



Proposed Names

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No other available name at the rank of variety…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-03-24 12:19:10 CDT (-0400)

Using both the Index Fungorum and Dr. C. Bas’ “cigar box nomenclator for Amanita,” no other validly published name at the rank of variety in the species Amanita bulbosa is available as a name for the variety in question. Hence, on the available evidence and assuming that I have correctly understood the Code (as one always must say), Andreas was dead on correct.

For nomenclatural reasons, the correct name (given the caveats above) is

Amanita bulbosa var. citrina Gillet

And the date of publication is 1874.

The proper author citation

I believe that the operable ICBN rule is 58.1…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-03-24 12:06:47 CDT (-0400)

and I am trying to work out how it applies in this case. If citrina is considered an available name that is not superceeded in anyway, then Andreas is mostly correct. I.e., it is not so much that the illegitimacy of Agaricus citrinus carries over, but that the author citation is required to be restricted to “Gillet” and the date for determining priority must be the date of Gillet’s publication and not Schaeffer’s. The question now is whether the epithet “citrinus” is prohibited by any of the requirements in rule 58.1:

“58.1. The epithet in an illegitimate name if available may be used in a different combination, at the same or a different rank, if no other epithet is available from a name that has priority at that rank. The resulting name is then treated as new, either as a nomen novum with the same type as the illegitimate name (see also Art. 7.5 and Art. 33 Note 2) or as the name of a new taxon with a different type. Its priority does not date back to the publication of the illegitimate name.”

Hence, we must ask what earlier (than Gillet) combinations exist for varieties of Amanita bulbosa which may have the Schaeffer’s plate of Agaricus citrinus as their type. Back to the Library.

For the time being, at least, the Andreas’ correction should be made; and the “(Schaeff.)” should be removed from the authority citation of the present name.

What could change would be the epithet “citrina”…as noted above.


By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2010-03-24 10:34:12 CDT (-0400)

is there a final word on this?

availabilty of citrinus
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2010-03-02 14:08:01 CST (-0500)

Hello Rod,

of course, this is understood, that the rule only aplies to equal rank. But the variety citrinus is either based on the invalid citrinus SCHAEFFER (because homonym to citrinus GUNNERUS) and the combination invalid itself, or a new variety with another type has been created, then it is o.k.. So the author combination “(Schaeffer) Gillet” is not possible. Either Gillet created a vareity citrinus, then it must be “var. citrinus Gillet” or he is referring to SCHAEFFER, then the combination is invalide.

citrina available, but not at species rank…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-03-02 11:22:10 CST (-0500)

The question of using Amanita bulbosa var. citrina when Amanita citrina is not permitted: when an epithet is illegitimate at one rank, it is not automatically illegitimate at another rank.

Although it is discouraged (recommended against), the same epithet is often found in the single genus at two different ranks: Amanita annulatovaginata var. citrina, Amanita citrina, Amanita bublbosa var.citrina, etc.


Schaeffer’s 1762 plates
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-03-02 11:02:18 CST (-0500)

Schaeffer’s plates were published with roman numerals, not names. The names were introduced later. The name Agaricus citrinus was introduced in 1774 and is a junior homonym of Gunnerus’ name. The name Agaricus citrinus Schaeffer can be conserved, but until this happens, the correct name for Amanita citrina is Amanita bulbosa var. citrina. People can still say Amanita citrina and be perfectly well understood. The code explicitly gives individuals the right to continuing use of names with which they are familiar (presumably because they are planning to conserve them). I’d even vote to conserve Amanita citrina if I had the opportunity.

If we look at the chaos of names (some with incorrect authority, one with only an author and no binomial!) that MO is dealing with, it really needs order.

The users of MO have every right to pick a name, but picking a name that doesn’t exist or has the wrong author citation is just going to make MO look like a group that is sloppy and doesn’t care about how the science of taxonomy and the related study of nomenclature work.

I propose that there are two reasonable choices:

Amanita citrina (Schaeff. non Gunnerus) Pers. (incorrect, but widely used)

Amanita bulbosa var. citrina (Schaeffer) Gillet (correct, not widely used).

The only difficulty with an open public site (and very frankly it is a difficulty) is that anyone can use a nomenclaturally mistaken field guide to change a name or an author citation at any time. This means confusion for the uninformed (new) users who come onto the site after the ill-informed change. From a teacherly standpoint, it promotes confusion rather than education.

As a person trying very hard to move through the end of my career in as straight a line as possible without repeated deviations to fix things that I fixed before, I have abandoned the idea of contributing to the Amanita part of wikipedia…it is quite out of control and can range from well-done to utterly chaotic and confused from one species page to another…or even within a single long description.

I don’t see how to overcome this limitation on open web sites. Many people feel that this is a small limitation. I think it may be so for the majority of users.

I would suggest that we use only one or the other of the two names listed above on the site; however, I will not personally police it.

It is quite possible that some species on this site will have so many correct, almost correct, incorrect, and fictious names that communication about the identity of specimens will not really be possible. Perhaps, MO should have nomenclatural editors, but continue to allow all other aspects of the site to be wide open as it now is.

The site is interesting to me because of the wide variety of people posting interesting fungi from a wide variety of places. It is also interesting because progress can be made in discussions about identity and inability to identify.

The site is frustrating to me because my goal is to work toward better and better knowledge, but an open site has a tendency to cycle.

Very best to all,


Gunnerus vs. Schaeffer
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2010-03-02 09:19:00 CST (-0500)

But I think the correct date for the publication of Agaricus citrinus is SCHAEFFER 1762 (not SCHAEFFER 1774!), which therefor still would have priority over Gunnerus 1772.

By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2010-03-02 09:03:07 CST (-0500)

would be better suited to answer this. “Johan Ernst Gunnerus published the name first in 1772. What confuses the issue is that someone was not aware (as Don Pfister and colleagues were) that a version of of Gunnerus’ publication of 1776 was an exact duplicate of his 1772 publication. They did not know of the 1772 date; so they maintain the Gunnerus name is not older than Schaeffer’s name (published in 1773).”

Here is the link where he goes into detail about the name change http://mushroomobserver.org/34100?search_seq=1345291

addition to nomenclature
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2010-03-02 02:22:26 CST (-0500)

@Herbert: Just read your comments on the nomenclature of Amanita citrina in the A-Z. But if Agaricus citrinus is a later homonym, then it is invalid and can not serve as a basionym for any other combination anymore. Means that the epithet you suggest is invalid too …. Or does GILLET refer to another citrinus then Agaricus citrinus SCHAEFFER when proposing his combination?

nomenclatural remark
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2010-03-02 02:02:26 CST (-0500)

The correct author citation is Amanita citrina (Schaeffer 1774) Persoon 1797, or, IMO, Amanita citrina (Schaeffer 1762) Persoon 1797. The different years in the original of Schaeffer depends on whether one accepts the plate 20 of SCHAEFFER 1762 alone as description (regular to the Code in hese days in my opinion), or whether one accepts only the text as original description (= SCHAEFFER 1774). In either case, Agaricus citrinus is earlier published compared to Agaricus bulbosus SCHAEFFER. A. bulbosus has the original plate published in 1770 and the original text published in 1774, in the very same part as A. citrinus, but only on page 61 and A. citrinus on page 12. So I see no reason why one should use the name A. bulbosus in favour of A. citrinus, moreover as the name citrinus has been in use for decades unanimousely and in an never ambigous manner, whereas the name A. bulbosus has never been in a widespread usage.

Agaricus citrinus SCHAEFFER 1762 – Fungorum Bavaricum Icones 1, pl. 20, fig. 1-5.
Agaricus citrinus SCHAEFFER 1774 – Fungorum Bavaricum Icones 4: 12.

Agaricus bulbosus SCHAEFFER 1770 – Fungorum Bavaricum Icones 3: 241

If one would be correct from point of nomenclature, one would have to adopt the name Agaricus mappus BATSCH (per WILLDENOW) for this species anyway, because it is sanctioned by FRIES! The species is not mentioned in the text and seen as a synonym to A. phalloides by FRIES, but it is listed in the index (FRIES 1832: 29).
But also here the conservation of Agaricus citrinus over Agaricus mappus would be very welcome, and the more people stick on using the name citrinus, the better the chances to conserve this name will be – if one day such a proposal should be made by someone.

Amanita citrina!
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2010-03-02 01:42:09 CST (-0500)

Amanita citrina is a very common and well known fungus here in Europe. It is already tought the brginners and in Eastern Europe it is even collected as edible by the Russians! So I think we know the species quite well here. I took this picture to upload, because it represents quite typical specimens. The veil in the middle fruitbody is still quite thick, as it is a fairly young one. When the cap expand, the veil patches become more scattered and also flater. Up to now, noone came to the idea, that in our european A. citrina might be two species involved, and I rather don’t think so that this will be the case. As we a just beginning to establish a working group Amanita here in Germany, we of course will take care of A. citrina too, but no monographer up to now has seen reasons to make differences. For me it is still an unmistably, quite typical Amanita citrina.

By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-03-02 00:26:46 CST (-0500)

I wouldn’t judge European warts, by American warts in this group.


The middle..
By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2010-03-01 22:05:26 CST (-0500)

one does have atypical warts, the others look rather normal.

Not A. citrina
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2010-03-01 22:01:49 CST (-0500)

This mushroom is totally different. Look at the thick cap warts!

I bow to your observations…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2009-06-10 08:53:00 CDT (-0400)


I thought that “mollisia” might be you! How nice to hear from you. I regard someone who is carefully observing in Europe as more likely to have good ideas about European taxa than me…especially on subtle points such as the one you have raised. My background with var. alba is only that I have collected in Fagus sylvatica forest in England in which the only cap color present was white. I have also collected in forest in England in which the only cap color present was citrin yellow. Therefore, I saw a division. If you don’t see a division, then I have to honor your observations.

I will withdraw my identification.

Very best,


Hello Rod,
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-06-10 01:53:43 CDT (-0400)

you are the chief of Amanita, I know very well. Nevertheless, what concerns Amanita citrina I have some problems with var. alba in general, as I so often come across populations with all kind of shades between citrin and pure white. In the case of this foto the fruitbodies were of a pale yellow, which may be is not good to see on a bright screen. In my eyes this is the normal form, but as mentioned I don’t believe in a var. alba anyway …

could we call this var. alba (Shaeff.) Lam.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2009-06-09 19:39:32 CDT (-0400)



Created: 2009-06-09 17:04:08 CDT (-0400)
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