Collection location: Mangart flats, Mount Mangart, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia [Click for map]
Not sure these are the same stuff, although they looked like different stages of the same species and they grew close together (at a few m distance, not in a group) in the same habitat. Spores in the picture are taken from the mature one with large crack. To my limited understanding field characters do not correspond well to any of the ‘common’ Bovista (B. aestivus, B. pila, B. nigricand, B. plumbea). There were many of them there; none had a distinct, small apical opening at the top. Can anybody help me?
Date: August 28. 2009
Lat.: 46.44569 Long.: 13.64541
Habitat: upland grassland on a mountain ridge, slightly north inclined slope, full sun, fully exposed to precipitations, a windy place, precipitations ~ 3.000 mm/year, average temperature 1 – 3 deg C, elevation 2.100 m (6.900 feet), alpine phytogeographical region
Nikon D70 / Nikkor Micro 105mm/f2.8
Spore picture: Nikon D70, AF Nikkor 50mm/f1.8, hand held through the ocular, Motic B1-211, mag. 1000x Oil
[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:02:37 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Mangart flats, Mt. Mangart, East Julian Alps, Posocje, Slovenia EC’ to ‘Mangart flats, Mount Mangart, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia’
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Thank you Darv. I was considering B. plumbea too but was confused by the following. I was unable to find a picture on net with such distinctly rimose-areolate exoperidium (although I found one recently – http://www.mykoweb.com/CAF/photos/Bovista_plumbea(fs-03).jpg ). Also most of mature specimens (with that I think already cracked fruiting body) still had their exoperidium more or less intact. I didn’t observe its peeling or flaking away. Actually I found only one example without it having typical lead-gray endoperidium visible (pic 55871). In addition, MW California Fungi page states for B. plumbea ‘ … spores released via a small apical pore… ‘ which was clearly not true in my case. All this diverted me form B. plumbea. May be high elevation of the observation explains all this? Thank you for your time again. I am learning.
Bovista plumbea seems like a good fit based on Pegler’s British Puffballs, Earthstars and Stinkhorns book. It open with a crack, not a pore and the spores look like a perfect match. NICE series of photos and excellent documentation.