When: 2009-10-20

Collection location: Kaipara harbour, Auckland, New Zealand [Click for map]

Who: Michael W (Michael Wallace)

No specimen available

Amongst moss in lawn near native New Zealand bush.


Copyright © 2009 Michael
Copyright © 2009 Michael
Pileocystidia, scale divisions=2.5µm.
Copyright © 2009 Michael
Pileocystidia, scale divisions=2.5µm.
Copyright © 2009 Michael
Pleurocystidia, scale divisions=2.5µm.

Proposed Names

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Michael W (Michael Wallace)
2009-12-09 02:06:02 CET (+0100)

…being found in the native forests would suggest that this is probably introduced!

This does not match any of the described Hygrocybe species in New Zealand, although there are undescribed species here from that genus, I don’t think it is one.

I’m more inclined to think it is a southern hemisphere version of R. fibula.

The intervenose or forked gills are really remarkable
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2009-12-09 00:44:53 CET (+0100)

and another indication for something special. If this is not introduced (y’know that the most common mushroom in Australian suburbs is Amanita muscaria being introduced from the northern hemisphere?) then it is a new one. I even would not rule out Hygrocybe although.

By: Michael W (Michael Wallace)
2009-12-09 00:23:07 CET (+0100)

It’s quite possible that this is a different species or a distinct variety of R. fibula.
One distinct feature that I have noticed to be consistent with these specimens is the intervenose lamellae that can be seen in the gill shot in this observation.
Also, this mushroom is never found in the native NZ forests, only on lawns with moss!

I tend to the second option.
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2009-12-09 00:14:48 CET (+0100)

Rickenella fibula and Rickenella swartzii are also the most common members of the genus in Europe and I simply don’t believe they also fruit in the south in a geographically utterly isolated area with a flora and fauna of its own…
I too know both species well and there is something about the pics that does not fit into my concept altho I can’t say for sure which features I don’t like.
But as there are so many unknown taxa in Australia and surroundings I believe it to be a new one.

By: Michael W (Michael Wallace)
2009-12-09 00:01:21 CET (+0100)

The two species known from New Zealand are Rickenella fibula and R. swartzii, I don’t think it is R. swartzii as it is much too light in colour, I suspect the olive colouration you see is a mixture of the reflected green light from the moss and the orange pigment from the specimen!

There is a possibility it is a species unique to the southern hemisphere that has yet to be described.

CureCat, I think you are right, the pruinose texture of the pileus would certainly return as the specimen dries out a little:)

I don’t think
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2009-12-08 23:38:43 CET (+0100)

this is the genuine Rickenella fibula that I know from the northern hemisphere.
This seems to be an independent species. Just look at the stipe. It seems too dark and olive for fibula … but it’s just a guess. I do not know distribution of Rickenella worldwide.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-12-08 23:35:55 CET (+0100)

I wonder if the water just obscures the texture, and the cystidia become apparent once again when the pileus dries? That would be my guess.

That’s right,
By: Michael W (Michael Wallace)
2009-12-08 22:54:22 CET (+0100)

This specimen was completely soaked by rain, here’s another observation from the same patch of moss in my lawn with an image showing the pileus, I think you can see the pileocystidia you are looking for!
There are some fresh specimens fruiting at the moment, if I can I’ll make some micrographs of the pileocystidia today!

the taxonomic domino effect…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-12-08 15:47:18 CET (+0100)

your photo is so sharp Michael that I can clearly see the cap texture on this mushroom…and I am NOT seeing the cystidia that one would expect in a Rickenella. Beat-up by rain?