Observation 34787: Amanita Pers.

When: 2010-03-13

Collection location: Mount Woodson, Ramona, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: travasskavich (dadvis)

No specimen available

cap side of egg was larger than the base cracked open at top with bugs inside slightly off white hard to determine color because it’s so faint. I’ll post more about it later. But probably edible. You first please!

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:03:15 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Mt woodson, Ramona, CA (San Diego)’ to ‘Mount Woodson, Ramona, California, USA’


Proposed Names

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good to hear.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-03-15 08:59:29 CDT (-0500)

I figured that you were just joking, but still, it can make our blood run cold to hear somebody seemingly consider eating an amanita on so little information.

glad to hear that amanitas are out in force down San Diego way…wish that you were closer…it is very tempting to come back! document, document, document!
you guys are all set for an extraordinary season of collecting.

the desert bloom isn’t gonna suck, either!

By: travasskavich (dadvis)
2010-03-14 22:38:07 CDT (-0500)

I was just joking about eating this. I wouldn’t dare. I have sampled Amanita Velosa since listening to your lecture Debbie and it was good but I still only had a single bite and yes it was cooked. Thanks again for taking the time and just in time too as amanitas seem to be the most abundant thing growing right now

let your amanitas grow up to be identifiable…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-03-14 21:20:33 CDT (-0500)

and never ever ever assume any type of edibility on just a couple of features and in a completely undeveloped form like this.

if you are not a little scared around the eating of amanitas, then maybe you should be.

About “probably edible” :-)
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-03-14 16:29:16 CDT (-0500)

Just to be dull and serious for a minute, all three possible sections in which this character might be assigned contain toxins. Cooking (heat) destroys the known toxin(s) in the Validae. Cooking does not destroy toxins in the other two sections, however. The number of toxins in the three sections is unknown. And each section appears (as far as is known) to have developed a different set of toxins through evolutionary processes. To me (who has eaten species of Validae in Mexico with no ill-effect), section Amanita (except for a few market species outside of North America…e.g., A. sinensis in China, which I haven’t eaten) is to be avoided as far as I’m concerned; and section Lepidella is downright scary…we know that some species (and we don’t know how many) include toxins that attack both the kidney and liver and are not destroyed by cooking.

So, I assume you were probably joking about probable edibility of this little critter.

Very best,


Rejection of names…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-03-14 16:18:27 CDT (-0500)

Sometimes a name is tentatively rejected because it doesn’t exist and the system gives you a chance to look for a misspelling (for example) or to insist that your name be taken on as a new one. I wish I could recall the last time I had a name refused completely. I am not sure, but I think it was because I was trying to correct a naming that involved someone else having switched an accepted name with an invalid synonym, deprecated the correct name in favor of the invalid synonym, etc. (a whole string of changes)…and I was using the correct name, which had been deprecated.

It took me the better part of an hour to untangle the naming spaghetti one stage at a time. After that, I wrote a little comment expressing concern about having an “open” policy with regard to nomenclature and the possibility of having some protection in the form of guardian-editors for nomenclatural data. However, I can say that I’m not very happy with idea of volunteering very much time to carry out such a task myself unless there were an editors’ tool kit to cut the time required to correct accidental “deviations.”


Slow response time…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-03-14 16:10:58 CDT (-0500)

I have always presumed that the sometimes slow response of MO was due to two things (the immense size of their database) and relatively high activity on the site. With the sheer number of observations, I’m sure that the programmers have retuned their access methods and their data structures repeatedly and will always being working on those and related issues.

I have sometimes been unable to do what I wanted to do and thought I ought to be able to do. The “open” nature of the site, the rules (i.e., implementation) of dealing with deprecation of names), and the fact that somethings require extensive effort to accomplish (multiple stages that have to be in a certain order), real concern for data loss due to inexperienced users, etc. are all factors that drive the site’s development and maintenance (I’m almost certain of this although I have nothing to do with the site’s development or maintenance). This makes the unusual or abnormal hard to deal with for users (except perhaps the most experienced, which doesn’t include me).

Since I’m involved in building a large data-driven site myself. I can sympathize with the folks in the backroom at MO. What makes things worse is that if they come up with a new tool, they cannot take the easy way out and let the users test the tool. They have to do it on a separate copy of the system (for fear of zapping things in critical tables of the database that could bring the site to an undesirable condition.

So I can understand the conservatism and the commitment to an “open site.”

Very best,


By: travasskavich (dadvis)
2010-03-14 13:00:01 CDT (-0500)

I was trying to post this as amanita sp. but at the time MO was being stubborn and did not recognize the name which is unfortunately a common occurence. Spec ten was the closest thing I could find to amanita species thanks for correcting it. Do you ever have the problem of the computer not recognizing common names like this?

Amanita sp. 10 [Tulloss’ temporary code] is a species collected first in New Jersey, …
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-03-14 10:33:34 CDT (-0500)

…and the name has not been applied to material from the West Coast. Perhaps, this “species-ten” is not intended to be the same thing. I’d like to know the source for this name; so I can understand what you meant, travasskavich.

From the button’s large bulb and the developing stem’s position (very off-center, upward), we can eliminate the sections with totally elongating stems (Vaginatae and Caesareae). The volva is starting to separate into warts so we can probably eliminate sections Phalloideae and Amidella. This leaves sections Amanita, Lepidella, and Validae. So we can eliminate about one half of the species in the genus, but we still have the other half. Even in our current state of knowledge (after four months of grinding at the new Amanita Studies website, which is still MONTHS from release), that means we have well over three hundred taxa to which the photos could apply. Let’s assume that the button is one of the named or numbered taxa that have been recognized from the U.S. SW or from the U.S. Pacific Coastal states. The number of possible taxa then is probably between 50 and 60. Still rather overwhelming.

Therefore, we will need all the data that we can get on this critter (collections of mature material being perhaps the easiest way forward). Best of luck! And please let me know where you got the temporary code…so I can help interpret that.

Very best,


Created: 2010-03-13 21:41:42 CST (-0600)
Last modified: 2010-11-21 14:42:15 CST (-0600)
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