When: 2018-10-20

Collection location: Bulverde, Texas, USA [Click for map]

29.7494°N 98.3733°W 324m [Click for map]

Who: Jared McRae (redeye311)

No specimen available

Hickory/oak area with ash juniper


Proposed Names

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


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Tell you what…
By: Scott Pavelle (Scott Pavelle)
2018-11-20 14:32:49 CST (-0600)

You change your vote to “could be” or “promising” and I will do the same. You’re missing the point here.

Hypocarycinus is a mushroom that neither of us knows in person because it grows down south. We have someone knowledgeable from that area, supported by people who are extremely knowledgeable, who all say they’ve come to know the critter in person and this particular find falls within the morphological variation they’ve come to expect from having more experience with it than either Singer or Both. On what grounds can either you or I dispute that statement? I concede that the find is not a 1:1 match to the original descriptions, but neither is it so far away that the ID seems unreasonable. Understandings evolve over time as foragers get to know the species better. See all of Peck’s work.

This is hypocarycinus precisely because that is the consensus taught by the locals to all their newer people. If it really is a different species than what Singer and Both found, so what? The point of a name – any name – is to refer to a particular thing so that knowledge can be spread. Show me the DNA holotype for that original find and I will be happy to agree that it is the target and these finds need to be compared. Then they would either expand the description or be a new species. Simple. But without the DNA we are stuck with, essentially, accepting an epitype. What would that be based on? Accepted usage among the experts… which is what we are looking at. And what is “accepted usage”? The species concept adopted by knowledgeable people in the area – such as the Bessettes for sure, and people a step down to a lesser extent.

Next, sites like M.O. have more than one purpose. We know that. But a major goal is to help people see what others would call a find like theirs. Do you accept that the good identifiers in the gulf region would call this mushroom hypocarycinus? I do, with the understanding that they’d go on to explain that Singer’s original specimen isn’t available for DNA testing so that is an “accepted” name rather than a “DNA-confirmed” name. That being so, this find should have a higher percentage so those newer people can have something to compare to. [This find in particular given this exchange].

Finally, your use of the grade “doubtful” is a bit harsh since you don’t have a personal species concept to compare it to. Imagine: you move south and go to a foray. Some senior and competent local expert identifies a find as hypocarycinus, but it doesn’t match the image in your head. What would be your reaction? I imagine it would be similar to mine: walking up to said expert and asking, “Why this name? Don’t X, Y and Z differ a lot from Singer & Both?” That is not a grade of ‘doubtful’; i.e. “you are more likely wrong than not.” It is a grade of “possible” if you have significant questions and “probable” if the ID makes sense but you are trying to figure out how to adjust your own concept. Using the harsher word comes off as a personal attack rather than a collegial exploration of the facts that is designed to advance our consensus.

Bottom line: Yes, if Singer’s holotype isn’t usable it would be best for the local community to push forward an epitype to serve as the DNA exemplar moving forward. But until that happens, or until Singer’s original can be tested to set the target, grades should be based on what local experts agree on – perhaps with some tag like “in the modern understanding” to indicate the underlying question marks.

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2018-11-16 17:12:51 CST (-0600)

“This is surely the mushroom called hypocarycinus in the south”, “…ID confirmed by Bessettes among others”. In other words, you mean “B. hypocarycinus sensu auct. amer.”, specifically “sensu Bessette et al.”. Yeah, but is it really the same mushroom Singer (not Both) described twice (in 1945 & 1947) in two separate languages and from two separate collections?
Basically, you asked that question, too, but at the same time you cannot recognize hypocarycinus because, for starters, you never held it in your hand. So by voting “I would call that” here you are contradicting yourself.

I have the following questions for you :
1) How can an obscure species from a very rich, confusing, poorly understood, and understudied section of the Boletaceae in eastern/southeastern USA – defined by a very narrow species concept from 70+ years ago, but not really mentioned by prominent mycologists in the popular literature for 55 years following its original discovery – all of a sudden, and without any additional clarification of the taxonomic status quo, become such an easily recognized entity among [some] citizen scientists?
2) In the context of modern-day science, what is the nature of the driving force behind broadening/reshaping of an original species concept based on recent collections that allows for inclusion of additional morphological traits seemingly absent from the original description?
3) Potential phenotypic plasticity encountered in red-poreds aside, what specific traits make this MO post hypocarycinus, as opposed to another potentially undescribed and locally occurring bolete?
4) What exactly is your “accepted usage” for the modern species concept of hypocarycinus and does it really agree with the concepts of Singer and/or Ortiz-Santana et al.?
Some thoughts here… Real science doesn’t tolerate shortcuts. Hypotheses (conjectures) are allowed only when reasonable support (reference points) for them is provided. No, we cannot sequence every suspected collection of a poorly understood taxon, but we need to start accumulating some empirically-derived evidence that brings us closer to a more-or-less clear picture of a solid species concept. That way acceptable inferences and interpretations can later be made in the field… Did you see the recent Hydnum paper? That’s the kind of evidence I am talking about.
Finally, what I generally see as damaging is allowing unsubstantiated evidence to take hold and become the basis behind the popular version of truth. When the real truth finally transpires, it usually takes a long time for it to displace earlier, deeply-seated misconceptions.

This is surely the mushroom called hypocarycinus in the south
By: Scott Pavelle (Scott Pavelle)
2018-11-16 10:36:32 CST (-0600)

I know that Jared has had these ID’s confirmed by the Bessettes among others. The question is whether the original type specimen described by Singer and then by Ernst Both is the same species as the one that now uses the name. It seems to me that we’ve dealt with this up north a lot with all the Peck species.

In other words this obsie actually deserves two scores, but that is unfair and misleading. It deserves to get a top score when viewed from the POV of current usage and what the local experts would say. It deserves a “doubtful” score if compared to the original description.

It would obviously be best to test Dr. Both’s holotype and to assign this find a new name if they aren’t the same. But in the absence of that I think we ought to be voting this up (with an implicit asterisk) so that people who are looking for ID help will be able to find it.

Think about it in that context Igor. What is the solution? To create a new not-quite-a-species for “hypocarycinus group” like we’ve been forced to do for subvelutipes? The answer can’t be to end up with a 30-40% ID for every hypocarycinus in the universe simply because they are all going to fail when you compare the find to both accepted usage and the original description. That’s not just dumb, it’s damaging.

FWIW I will post some question along these lines on the Facebook page too in order to solicit feedback from the folks who play over there.

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2018-11-15 22:23:45 CST (-0600)

Singer first described B. hypocarycinus in Mycologia in 1945. The description is in Latin and is only 3.5 narrow lines long. Not very informative even if we could get a perfect translation into a language everyone can understand. However, two year later he followed up with a very elaborate description in his third treatise on Floridian boletes. This publication is available for free online, but I updated the name S. hypocarycinus with this full-sized description: https://mushroomobserver.org/name/show_name/44926.

By: Jared McRae (redeye311)
2018-11-15 21:55:53 CST (-0600)

I will add more info as I am able. I’ll be getting more familiar with microscopy soon and checking micro in the off season. And yes, I understand how the voting works. I’m a quick learner and confident in my ability. I think I’m right but I haven’t really developed the vocabulary to explain properly. I don’t mean any disrespect, especially to someone who has put in the work and effort you have.

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2018-11-15 17:45:30 CST (-0600)

Jared, you [we] can manipulate the proposal vote to the full extent (and I can outdo you because I have a higher MO user score), but it’s not going to get us closer to the truth. Figuring out species of North American Neoboletus (cannot think of a single confirmed Suillellus in our neck of the woods) requires much, much more than throwing a few names popularized over the years in field guides and hoping one of them is going to stick. Hence, in the absence of a DNA sequence matching your collection to the type, you should at least measure the spores of you collection to verify they fit the size of the B. hypocarycinus holotype (8.5-11.5 × 3.5-3.8 microns).

Hypocarycinus original description
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2018-11-15 16:21:09 CST (-0600)

From Dr. E. E. Boths’s Boletes of North America, a Compendium:
“Pileus dark brown, without red tones, olive brown as dried, tomentose; pores minute, red; stipe pallid, dark red punctate, mycelium white; context yellow, bluing readily when cut.”
This species was apparently also collected in Belize — see pp. 305-307 (description and commentary) and p. 336 (picture) in Ortiz-Santana et al. (2007): https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/....

The staining….
By: Jared McRae (redeye311)
2018-11-15 15:28:45 CST (-0600)

In the last photo was taken seconds after the cross-section on the bottom left was cut. The conditions were very wet and some were very saturated. That’s why the others show a lot of red color in the cross-sections.

The bottom two pictures (the arrays)
By: Scott Pavelle (Scott Pavelle)
2018-11-15 14:24:44 CST (-0600)

The last one came first in time, correct? And the other shows the bluing in a faded state?

Created: 2018-10-21 01:50:32 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2018-11-20 14:32:50 CST (-0600)
Viewed: 155 times, last viewed: 2019-08-12 16:33:28 CDT (-0500)
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