Observation 374057: Boletaceae Chevall.

When: 2019-07-14

Collection location: Umstead State Park, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA [Click for map]

Who: Geoff Balme (geoff balme)

No specimen available

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Touche, Geoff
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2019-07-14 22:20:16 CDT (-0400)

Those are very good and relevant questions. Is this a published but forgotten species that escaped the attention of contemporary mycologists? Maybe, maybe not, who cares, who is going to look for it anyway in the old messy literature, maybe it’s just easier to declare/publish this as a new species…
No, seriously, from the scientific point of view, before declaring this a new species, an exhaustive literature search must be undertaken to make sure it hasn’t been published before. A good place to start is E. Both’s bolete compendium that lists every single epithet published before 1993. If this critter was described in the past, it has to be in Both’s book. And, by the way, I could not find anything matching in Coker & Beer’s Boletaceae of North Carolina on my first pass through the book.
IMO, chances are this hasn’t been published. Why do I think that way? Well, first it’s a bolete that’s hard to miss and dismiss. It’s very large, hefty and substantial, it’s very colorful and attractive, it can have a very prominent reticulation, it has an unusual staining reaction (not blue, but bluish-gray, slate) and it grows only under conifers (hemlock and pines). So, if it were published, then a bolete of this caliber cannot just fall through the cracks and disappear, never to be featured in modern field guides, unless it’s mistaken for something else. Second, it may have a limited distribution range and may not be a common find in its fringes. Dave W found it in a single location in northeast PA, but, to my knowledge, it hasn’t really shown up elsewhere in northeastern USA on MO; you see it in Umstead, but probably in the same spot, and I am not really aware of any MO records south of NC.
Now, I suspect it’s also contaxic with the bolete Dario Z finds in abundance in the Charlottesville, VA, area — see the interesting discussion in Dario’s obs 272870 that links Dave’s collections and your obs 215519. Even though I have many of Dario’s vouchers of this critter, my first attempt to get a sequence of it failed in 2017/2018. Given the high rate of PCR failures in the last sequencing round with samples’ age ranging from only a few months to less than 3 years, I will ask Dario to collect and dry it again for me this year, so it can be sequenced right away.
As to “you guys and your sequences”, Geoff, it would be fair to say that (a) sequencing was instrumental in proving that your and Dave’s collections are contaxic and (b) this species is phylogenetically unique.

Ha! Cute name.
By: Geoff Balme (geoff balme)
2019-07-14 19:48:01 CDT (-0400)

You guys and your sequences.
Shouldn’t we be using a current name until a new one is published? Is there NO published name? Are we suggesting these have never been described?
Is there really no old Boletus these match?

One more thing…
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2019-07-14 17:14:18 CDT (-0400)

No, I cannot venture a guess about the genus without the molecules since they don’t know either. :-) However, provisionally I would call it “Balmeria magnifica” or, if you prefer a more masculine epithet, “Balmeatus magnificus”. :D

Neither rubricitrinus
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2019-07-14 17:09:25 CDT (-0400)

…nor Pulchroboletus in general, Geoff. This is because we have ITS, LSU and TEF-1 for this critter (full-length ITS actually comes from Dave W’s obs 249345, which is definitely conspecific with your 3 collections). Unfortunately, not even TEF-1 can place it into any of the currently known genera.
Nothing has really changed since those sequences were BLASTn-ed for the first time. It still doesn’t like any company, which says to me it’s a gen. nov.

Oh yes!
By: Geoff Balme (geoff balme)
2019-07-14 15:44:12 CDT (-0400)

I do believe you’re correct. Would you venture a genus without the molecules?

Geoff,
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2019-07-14 12:45:46 CDT (-0400)

What about that mysterious critter you collected in the past for which we got sequences to no avail as to its phylogenetic position — obs 255258, obs 255923, and obs 256721? Any chance this obsie is the same species?