Observation 33291: Galerina Earle

When: 2010-02-07

Collection location: Canyon, Contra Costa Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: BakerSt10

No specimen available


Proposed Names

13% (3)
Recognized by sight
63% (9)
Recognized by sight

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
More info.
By: BakerSt10
2010-02-10 20:01:18 PST (-0800)

Here are pictures from the same spot. Peace & Love

I did not
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2010-02-10 17:59:03 PST (-0800)

regard it as “over my head”; I regarded it as “over my budget” and furthermore over that of many of this site’s users.

I find your hostile attitude baffling. I have done nothing that should logically have offended you — in fact all I did was ask why you were so sure this obs wasn’t a Mycena. I don’t see why this question has been twisted around into an attack on my character, and I consider several of the comments recently posted here as borderline abusive. Something I’ve noticed before, occasionally but repeatedly and directed at several targets, from three particular users: CureCat, Dimitar, and Noah.

I request that the personal digs cease at once, and that if no-one has anything further to say on the topic of this particular observation, then this shall end now.

Had I known that somehow my innocent question regarding what the basis was for ruling out Mycena would blow up into some kind of a federal case I would never have asked it. Let’s consider it answered now and let’s move on, shall we?

enough of this
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2010-02-10 17:58:58 PST (-0800)

lets get back to the mushrooms…
why don’t we divert all our energy into trying to figure out what this is http://mushroomobserver.org/33276?search_seq=1280100

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2010-02-10 17:50:22 PST (-0800)

You have no business arguing identifications with us here if you are going to go ahead and make excuses why you can not attain some of the more useful literature (Oh I mean, ‘obscure, dense, six-or-more-volume set of dead-tree literature’), and generally refuse to put in any effort towards the study of mycology.

I have no problem answering silly questions- even when I think that more would be gained from the person asking actually delving in and looking for the answers themselves. What I do have a problem with, is answering a silly question only to be met with ridiculous arguments! If I was not clear before, let me say it again- Do not argue unless you have an inkling of what is being discussed!

Yes, you could benefit from getting these books…. But frankly, if you actually tried, you would not need them. If you want to be a respected player, then stop regarding the literature as over your head.

By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2010-02-10 17:44:56 PST (-0800)

Let’s see. You want people to:
1. Pay over the odds (e.g. $55 for a $50 one) for a prepaid credit card.
2. Use it to order something.
3. Wait six to eight weeks for delivery.

Seems like a lot of hoops to jump through. Personally, I don’t see any valid reason why all written knowledge isn’t digitized and made freely available over the ‘net. Nothing might jump-start a new renaissance more than would the liberation of all the world’s knowledge that’s currently not searchable, hard to find, and expensive to access, but which the net could make so cheaply available as to not be worth metering.

But that’s a digression from this site’s topic. So would be noting that traveling several tens of km to the library to borrow six books, and then that far again to return them, and repeat for every time I needed to refer to them, is clearly ridiculous.

excellent Idea Doug
By: Eddee (eddeeee)
2010-02-10 17:36:34 PST (-0800)

I never thought of that Iv always been one of those conspirator theorist that do not believe in credit cards and the monthly payment and all.(im debt free) but a prepaid one to buy books on line, never thought of that, you just created a monster,

Library collection in Ottawa
By: Nathaniel Segraves (nlsegraves)
2010-02-10 17:28:55 PST (-0800)

Based on the map you made on where you hunt in Eastern Ontario you are relatively close to Ottawa. The Library and Archives Canada (address: 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ottawa Division, ON K1A, Canada) has copies of all these volumes in their collection. This might be one way for you to at least look at them and decide if it is worth the investment.

By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-02-10 17:15:42 PST (-0800)

You should check out pre-paid Visa gift cards. Work like credit card, but you buy them prepaid, even with cash, and use them on-line:


So, that could solve the credit card problem. As for Amazon and shipping, there might be other ways to get around that, not sure I can help with everything.

Just because someone in the world can’t benefit from a proposed solution, I’m not sure that means the proposal wouldn’t be helpful to someone?

Are you suggesting that it isn’t possible for you to get copies of these books? They are rather useful for general knowledge, if you have a specific problem in ordering books, perhaps post it, and someone could help? I mean you can’t expect to get all the info you might want only from online?

Pardon me
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2010-02-10 16:52:56 PST (-0800)

but I don’t think there’s any call for being subtly insulting here, Noah.

You don’t see me, or many other users of this site, stooping to making insinuations about one another, do you?

As for “just use amazon”, I shall remind you and everyone that this site draws an international audience. Many of its users cannot order products cheaply, or easily, or sometimes even at all, from American web sites. That’s ignoring the fact that those of us that do not possess credit cards cannot do so regardless of locality.

Large, multi-volume reference works of any degree of obscurity (and any at all that are solely on the topic of fungi are obscure by the standards of the general populace) cannot be found in libraries in any but the largest of cities, and even then probably not in some of the places we have users posting from (Russia, South Africa, Japan, the Middle East, South America, etc.).

Do yourself
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2010-02-10 16:31:57 PST (-0800)

(and us) a favor and get them
or go to your library and order them…
“obscure, dense, six-or-more-volume set of dead-tree literature”
what an awful thing to say about some of the best mushroom identification books ever written, these books are very useful for beginners. Anybody interested in taking your fledgling interest in mushrooms to the next level should get them. In no time you will be able to tell the difference between Lyophyllum and Hygrophorus

By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2010-02-10 16:28:52 PST (-0800)


$19 is a good minimal investment for what you’re trying to do. A few lunches less and you may feed your soul with real knowledge… Hey, I am not a policy setter here, nor I wish to appear as a moderator. Just thought that it is self-evident that if there is any claim for scientific process in mushroom identification, or even a claim for usefulness from the stand point of informed collecting, these books might be a good place to start. But again, it is not my intention to twizzle the Party. So, have fun, Party On!

By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2010-02-10 16:02:53 PST (-0800)

“I answered the question by providing sources of information. I try to encourage growth and development.”

Unfortunately, the source you provided is an obscure, dense, six-or-more-volume set of dead-tree literature that can’t be accessed online, accessed cheaply, or accessed from my (and probably many other users’) location, so further adding travel expense.

Many users of this site simply will not have access to those references, so I submit that it is not sporting for anyone here to expect otherwise.

“But if someone is a beginner perhaps it is not an entirely good idea to contaminate the valuable observation space with names of species or genera without at least a bit of preparation on the subject?”

That is a question of policy that would have to be decided by the site admins, Nathan and Jason. However, for the time being, while the site restricts who can do some things (e.g. rate image quality), it allows anyone with a login to propose and to vote for or against names, so the current policy appears to be in disagreement with what you seem to be suggesting.

The main point…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2010-02-10 15:33:05 PST (-0800)

“If basic mushroom questions become irritating to you (and that can happen to any of us), then maybe its time to step away from the computer for a while and leave those answers to others. "

Yes, you do have a point here, but you missed the main one – I answered the question by providing sources of information. I try to encourage growth and development. We answer beginners questions lovingly and patiently in several forums, including here. But if someone is a beginner perhaps it is not an entirely good idea to contaminate the valuable observation space with names of species or genera without at least a bit of preparation on the subject? That’s all I will say on that, ever.

so many levels of experience here…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-02-10 15:10:15 PST (-0800)

and only so much budget or access to a good library, for most. If you don’t want to bother answering questions, don’t.

I try and mention why or how I make most of my IDs, esp. if it’s something that looks ambiguous or might help to teach someone else. I also don’t mind sharing where I might screw up in the ID process, since it might encourage someone else to try harder, or realize that everyone, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, sometimes makes a wrong ID. Sure it can be embarrassing in a public forum, but without taking a chance, how can you progress? Mistakes are part of the learning process, and those lessons learned in a public forum tend to stick a whole lot better…

If basic mushroom questions become irritating to you (and that can happen to any of us), then maybe its time to step away from the computer for a while and leave those answers to others. There are plenty to jump in who might be glad to share what they know.

now bring on those shrooms…

“How to Identify Mushrooms to Genus” Vol 1, 3 and 6
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2010-02-10 14:53:57 PST (-0800)

A good starting point is: How to Identify Mushrooms to Genus Vol 1, 3 and 6. Lots of questions become irrelevant after one becomes somewhat familiar with these basic books. Why should anyone of us have to write a lengthy discourse on the “same old topic of Genera differences” when it is all nicely written up already. Of course, we will still discuss things and argue, that’s why we are here after all, but the level will be more interesting, I think. There are also other books on the Genera that can be very useful to those who find some of the discussions and terminology hard to follow.

I think that Doug’s last post said it best…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-02-10 14:16:48 PST (-0800)

yes, there are similarities between mycena and galerina, but experience is the best teacher. and most of the folks commenting on this obsie are from the area of observation, or have visited, and have seen these very specimens in the field. and the learned consensus, from trained and local observers, is galerina. to get it to species at this point would be conjecture.

but I for one think it is perfectly acceptable, as well as educational, to ask why a particular ID was posted. and then to ask for help in term definition.

a very useful volume for your home library might be the Dictionary of Fungi which explains all these terms and more. I use mine all the time. Try and find a used volume, 8th edition and higher, since they are a bit pricy new.

111% Galerina…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2010-02-10 13:04:17 PST (-0800)

Frankly, I didn’t read the entire thread despite Erin’s request to do so, but this is Galerina all the way. Mycena is not even ballpark here… Colors, stipe, habitat. I think this is one of the cleanest Galerina cases of them all.. Now which sp. — this is for someone to research further.

By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-02-10 12:46:39 PST (-0800)

If you look back in time Mycena and Galerina were considered the same genus, until they were split by the spore color. But they are joined by having a Mycenoid body form, back when genera were defined by body forms.

But, if you look at these they are small, mycenoid, brown, striate, and most important in moss. Also they look exactly like confirmed photos of quite a few Galerina observations. The chance that they are not Galerina is pretty small.

For Mycena, you would need to find an obs. of a confirmed Mycena that can be seen in moss, with the same stature and colors, which would be a stretch. The chance that these are Mycena are rather low.

So, then you just go with the chance, how many probably obs. of Galerina match what is known here? How many Mycena? You might then hold out for the fact that “well we don’t know all we should”, which is fine, then you can vote for “Fungi sp.”, and should. But a lot of obs. can collapse to that.

Beyond that, all you have a single photo here, so take what you can from it. For your own education/curiosity you should keep these guys in mind, and when the weather gets good, start to collect small brown guys like this moss, with good photos so you can see which are striate like this or not, and get spore prints and photo those also. Then see the chance that is look like this, is it Galerina or is it Mycena? Then you’ll know better for yourself.

Look at the stipe of the upper mushroom in the second photo…
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2010-02-10 12:24:19 PST (-0800)

That is not a stipe texture commonly seen in Mycena, which also tend to be taller-stemmed, and not often orange-brown colored on the cap. The habitat does not rule out Mycena, but it is spot-on for many Galerina.

There is just a lot more to suggest to my gestalt sense (from looking at A LOT of mushrooms in the field) that this is a Galerina than a Mycena.

So in the end, it is true that this is a vote of faith but only in the sense that it is conceivably possible that it is white-spored. And if you are that strictly logical about these identifications, argue more vehemently about some of the other observations on this site which are much more questionable than this little guy.

Lovely second photo, by the way.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2010-02-10 12:17:29 PST (-0800)

Is a better description of the stipe, floccose would suggest a tufted appearance. Both terms refer to hairs or fibers [on the stipe], which Mycena do not have, and Galerina do.
I assume that the two mushrooms pictured are the same, though I can not be sure. So I am focusing on the larger mushroom which is the focal point of the photo that is in focus (2nd photo). I don’t care to argue about the potential of mixed collections, my argument is based on the larger of the two basidiomes.

Misunderstood yet again.
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2010-02-10 11:57:31 PST (-0800)

I did not vote for Mycena. In fact I haven’t voted for anything on this obs. What I did do was ask what makes it definitely not a Mycena and so far haven’t seen a satisfactory answer.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2010-02-10 10:37:17 PST (-0800)

You are the only one who does not see it.

One favourable vote for Mycena out of 6, and 7 favourable votes for Galerina

It is clearly a waste of time to try and sway you.

Let’s see.
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2010-02-10 09:47:36 PST (-0800)

First, it would help if “floccose” and “pruinose” were defined. From the occasional usage of “floccose” on this site w.r.t. some Amanita veils, I figured it meant there was fluffy material adhering, which I don’t really see in either photo of this obs. One stipe has whitish stuff on it, but it does not seem especially fluffy/sticky-out; the other stipe appears smooth. (Mixed collection? Or age-related? That fruit-body looks younger than the other.)

Furthermore, the color is within the gamut of both genera. That is not therefore a character that favors either over the other. It just fails to rule out Galerina.

I’m sorry, but I’m still not seeing it.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2010-02-09 21:00:32 PST (-0800)

The stipe is floccose, not smooth nor pruinose as with Mycena.

The colour is very orange brown, like Galerina.

If you are going to argue against G. vittaeformis you need to argue in favor of some equally-specific alternative. Unless you can suggest a plausible alternative that fits the observation at least as well, you should admit that it looks more like any Galerina species than Mycena, and judging from the lack of another species-level name proposal, you can’t.

The point is
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2010-02-09 20:19:15 PST (-0800)

that with insufficient information, that is a statement of faith rather than an evidence-based one. I thought we mainly went by evidence on this site, and unless there’s something someone’s not telling me, there does not seem to be sufficient evidence in this case to make the determination.

What I was originally asking was whether there is, and if so, what that evidence is, since it’s not apparent in the observation.

It seems that that has somehow gotten misunderstood, and that people think I’m championing one ID or another or arguing that it’s a Mycena. I’m not, at least in this particular case. I’m asking what the basis is for ruling out Mycena, since it doesn’t seem that it can be any obvious macro feature in either of the two photos. So far, though, I have yet to get any clear explanation of why it must be a Galerina. The impression I have gotten (which may or may not reflect reality) is that it’s more of a gut feeling on some peoples’ parts than a hard-and-fast scientific certainty. If that impression is accurate, please make that clear. If it is not, please explain the reasoning behind the favoring of Galerina over Mycena. Thank you.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2010-02-09 19:33:25 PST (-0800)

Twizzler, it is not a Mycena, it is a Galerina.

You can argue that there is insufficient information and this mushroom will still be a Galerina.

Certainly Galerina
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-02-09 11:29:22 PST (-0800)

These are certainly Galerina even from this shot, but yes he should show the gills, which should be a dull brown. I find that with these little guys the spore print can be a problem. There just won’t be that many spores produced by the little guy, so you get a rather pale print. And they are soo thin, you have to make sure they don’t dry out while making the spores. Use a very small bowl to cover them, I find the smallest glass you have works better.

But for Mycena there are so few that have brown gills. Really only the M. aurantiomarginata is the only problem with the golden yellow gill margins, the gills can look light brown. But you can learn that one fairly quickly, and keep that separate.

Astounded by the beauty!
By: BakerSt10
2010-02-09 07:50:42 PST (-0800)

Sorry Guys & Gals I was amazed by the setting and should have got more pictures and information.

We don’t have a gill shot
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2010-02-09 07:39:21 PST (-0800)

in this observation, nor a spore shot.

I have been seeing this species for a couple of years…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-02-09 06:37:54 PST (-0800)

and assumed that it was a mycena from the top…until I flipped it and saw the rust-colored gills (and only then with prodding by Noah, who immediately recognized it as a galerina…from the top!).

Well, this one doesn’t.
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2010-02-08 22:54:55 PST (-0800)

Which is a shame. Spore color would quickly tell the tale: brown = Galerina, white = Mycena.

By: Michael W (Michael Wallace)
2010-02-08 22:47:04 PST (-0800)

Observations like this should have notes on what colour the spore deposit was.

What is the basis
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2010-02-08 22:38:29 PST (-0800)

for ruling out Mycena here? To me it looks like it could go either way.

Not sure here
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-02-08 11:35:07 PST (-0800)

The stipes here aren’t that darkening, although they are somewhat, and the caps aren’t all that strictly conical, atlthough they are somewhat. These are kinda on the edge, and would be good to have some microscopic confimation. These might be young G. vittaeformis, or might be something else. The stipes at least don’t seem to have a coating of white hyphae and clearly have cystidia on them, so that is good for G. vittaeformis at least…

Created: 2010-02-07 16:24:34 PST (-0800)
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