Observation 49269: Conocybe smithii Watling

When: 2010-07-24

Collection location: Forest Co., Wisconsin, USA [Click for map]

Who: wiscokid

Specimen available

Found growing in cemetary grass with sandy soil, clovers , and moss growing nearby
First original collection made in 2006 august 26th – workman did a microscopy composite from a dry herbarium sample – and confirmed c.smithii due to the spore size! Found growing after heavy summer rains all thru out the grass of the cemetary!
Posted up here to share with more fungus lovers all over – speciall in WI
P.s. – successfull bio done in 2006 with 175 wet fruits
potency is quite high for such a tiny species

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:00:31 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Forest Co. Wisconsin, USA’ to ‘Forest Co., Wisconsin, USA



Proposed Names

76% (3)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: yes from PMOTW
Used references: All my field guides
Based on microscopic features: Workman did a composite of these on my original find in 2006 – iding them as conocybe smithii
28% (1)
Recognized by sight

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Thankyou Mr. Smith
By: wiscokid
2011-08-22 23:59:17 BST (+0100)

Done and Done – hit me up – will be very honored :) :) :)

Thanks again for the detailed info – im still pretty new to this site Lol

Happy Hunting everyone Cheers

Okay -
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2011-08-22 20:39:05 BST (+0100)

I should have meant “preferences”, not profile. Ok, on the left side bar, under “Current User:”, click on “Preferences”, and then there is the place for the e-mail address, and there are quite a few click boxes on how you want people to get in touch, and e-mail sent to you based on events, like comments and such.

If you have an e-mail there, and click the box for the “someone wants to send me a question about my observations, etc.” atthe bottom, then I can send you a personal note to your e-mail.

Ok -
By: wiscokid
2011-08-21 03:03:48 BST (+0100)

Looking at my profile page – exactly what part do i put my e-mail addy into Mr Smith? sorry if this is a dumb question – should i put it in the bottom window? ( “mailing address for collections”) ??? i think so – just wanna do it right – i can and will have something out n the mail ASAP :)

Much Thanks and Thanks to everyone for commenting :)

By: wiscokid
2011-08-21 02:57:58 BST (+0100)

Will do Mr. Smith!!!! Much Thanks :) Cheers and happy hunting

Yes, there is…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2011-08-20 17:57:35 BST (+0100)

If you put your e-mail address into your profile for the site, then you will get e-mail comments and questions. If someone comments on a posting, you get an e-mail update on that, and also I can click on the “send observer a question” link, and that question will get sent to your e-mail. No one else will be able to see your e-mail from your profile. So, do that, and I’ll e-mail you an address now.

WOW – :)
By: wiscokid
2011-08-20 16:23:58 BST (+0100)

Didn’t notice comments popping up n my oldest observation :)
No hard feelings to or about anyone here
You can’t change the world or others, just the way YOU handle it :)

Cheers and THANKYOU riverdweller :)
I was always very interested in getting to the real bottom of this find

Much Mushroom Luv everyone :)

Douglas – glad to see your getting a addy – once ya do – please let me kno – i have some stuff you should look at forsure!!!!! Would be honored to get you to check these out

Idk if this site has personal messaging or how i can get your addy securely ?

Thanks for the comments everyone – Happy Summer and Happy Hunting :)

save that psychobabble for someone else.
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2011-08-14 23:17:21 BST (+0100)
By: Byrain
2011-08-14 21:30:54 BST (+0100)

You would be only hurting yourself by leaving.

I’d like…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2011-08-14 18:57:39 BST (+0100)

Yes, I’d like to see these still. but as of now I still don’t have an address. I should have one starting next week. If you have them dried, put them in some small crush-proof container (like was a small cheap food storage thing), in a small zip-lock bag. Keep me in mind, and get back to me in a week, and I should have an address for sending at that point.

By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2011-08-14 16:39:59 BST (+0100)

“vague references from semi-coherent psychedelic enthusiasts”

John Allen is a cool dude, I really hate to see his name and his efforts tossed aside. We hunted together in Seattle quite a bit. Nothing but good to say about the man. I left another site because of the trash talk, no qualms leaving again.
Actually that entire phrase pisses me off.

Other than that, cool find!

Thanks a million for the kind words!!!!!
By: wiscokid
2010-08-03 01:54:13 BST (+0100)

i also observed and observe some real variety of cap coloration and the striate margin myself!! – they are sooo small – and general size is also a big variant n this spot too!! and i kno ive talked much about the mossy grass at the shroomery.org – i have one good pic of it too – but this time these were just found in the plain grassy areas a little more shaded than the mossy spots weird i kno too – the mossy side is ontop a hill like area – which also gets more heat AND sun – CRAZY spot – crazy find for sure!! :)
This spot had fruits almost twice the size of the largest n the “hand pile” pic
this time they were found n small numbers – and also were quite small n hard to spot even for me who knows they are there! – i almost stepped on one with the second step out the car door!!
It would be super duper cool to find out these could be a mixed collection of multiple active conocybes – ( or lookalikes )
With the overall lack of pics n info on these – but fully memorizing PMOTW and the National Audobon Field guide – when finding the very first one sitting n my wife’s hand like the bottom pic here – I WAS AMAZED!!!! – then to find the whole mossy back hill covered in them – i couldn’t pass up the possible bio
- and please don’t take me for a noob fool – i carefully sort out anything i would even consider to consume – and boy that first find in ’06 had like HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of giant well fed fruits
- Also – the bruising on these n this spot would be quite hard to get photographed – it mostly is around the fuzziest part of the base that is still growing under the cover of chopped dead grass!
- at first they appear mostly bright white
- but within 5 min the bases will start to darken more
- and the bruising is a VERY diverse characteristic on these as some barely show before they shrivel up to microscopic size – and others ( note the pic of em layin on a grey tackle box) in that pic the one on the far left has BRIGHT Dark blue basal reaction – that one was the darkest comming straight out the ground – and it continued to darken but not really shoot farther up the stem
- even in some crappy pics i took of these almost dry – you can zoom in n see where some are still showing nice vibrant blue even when dry
- Special thanks to you Mrs. debbie – and to Mr. douglas
the whitish gill edges are also a real key trait
but note that it cannot be seen on all of them – its yet another weird thing with these special finds
- Mr. douglas – Please shoot me a message
- itd be a pleasure to have another sweet workup done on these!!
Thanks again everyone – ill keep scanning my photos and upload any other good ones i can come to think will help

mixed collection?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-08-03 00:35:04 BST (+0100)

There seems to be a bit of variability in both the striate nature of the caps and the color of the gill edges (re: Curecat’s link to the Ammirati book). Could you actually have BOTH blueing Conocybe sp. here: cyanopus AND smithii?
Smithii occurs with moss, cyanopus with grass, and here you have mossy grass.

Regardless of who else is looking at these, I highly (no pun intended) recommend that you send well-dried material to Doug Smith…who has been looking very hard at these LBJs for a number of years, and would do a thorough as well as a photographically documented work-up under the scope (not just vague spore measurements)…which is our best chance to get a real taxonomic answer here.

I am almost as picky as Doug when it comes to photo quality, but I think that you did a pretty good job here. I can enlarge most of these photos to get deep macro info, like white edges to some of the gills.

Good luck on the pursuit of this ID!

Crazy Find Huh!!
By: wiscokid
2010-08-02 23:54:12 BST (+0100)

Wow – im amazed that peps r only now starting to pick apart my upnorth WI finds!
I couldve been 99.9999999% sure these were either conocybe smithii – or c. cyanopus
I kno everyone nowadays is into firmly laying out the literature – but if you think of it i bet there isn’t much except for lots of copy n pasting – AND cuz no one really seems to find these
i appologize i didn’t have the perfectly detailed description – but this was one of those finds that a mushhunting freak like me couldn’t pass on up
Workman shud be doing another “fresh” workup on these asap
so ill keep ya all informed how it goes – n b sure ima try n get up there again after good rains and when the probability of the lawn crew cuttn them down is pretty low
- and believe me – i spent 3hrs n the cemetary trying to get the perfect photos
these lil guys are REALLY TINY and quite hard to get good focus on
- i do have more pics – but not much better than what i already posted
i have some where i tried to get good closups – but i think i need a better camera n general!!! Wish me luck guys – and thanks for all the interest
- it would be really cool if new literature was updated with the help from my samples
- if you guys want more pics – leme kno – i got alot but most are diff angles and blurry ones i just didn’t feel the need to share
I SWEAR ITS HARD AS HELL – to get the good pics of these tiny buggers
Nexttime – ima plan a good 4-5 hr hunt

- and overall – i felt they basically matched all the criteria for c.smithii i could find in literature – (NOW except for the totally small microscopic features your mentioning)
- the striate cap – or margin
- the bulbous bases
- the bruising reaction
- and the fibrous stems
--ive hunted in this state a TON – and found lots of conocybes before
But only that one time in ’06 did i find something cool like these
– please take all my accounts here serious – it was a major goal of mine to document these n WI and share with other residents!!
Thanks everyone – ill post up the new workup asap!!

Ohh… ahhh…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-07-28 10:03:19 BST (+0100)

Ok, there, that is what I want. Good source, that is pretty good. I need to buy you a beer or something for the research.

There is a good description out there. Describes the bases there as grey, grey-green to grey-blue, and not staining, just that is the color. No mention of the “heavenly blue”.

The descriptions have pretty much the same spore size, so no significance there. They differ in stature, cystidia shape, and pileocystidia it says. Also a bit in habitat, but allows for some over-lap.

Given the cystidia shapes there, looks like these are really in the veil-less Pholiotina camp, and not really Conocybe.

Nice – interesting… still would like to see better fresh photos linked to good micro-shots though. I wouldn’t mind finding these someday…

Yeah. but…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-07-28 09:18:20 BST (+0100)

This is all still rather vague. The description there could work for a number of Conocybe, not to mention Pholiotina. Also could be a description of Agrocybe, Pheogalera, maybe Pholiota, not to mention possible Deconicas, Psathyrellas, Pachylepyriums, and so on if you don’t look too close… I guess except for the “heavenly blue tone”, whatever that is? I guess like a sky blue, like the heavens?

The “workman” workup seems if nothing else to prove these aren’t Conocybe. So, that makes everything else a big question it seems.

I mean just because there is vague info out there, doesn’t mean we should let it stand. I’d like to see more info on these if nothing else.

Since you are finding them fresh, we should take this chance to document it better, whether or not these are C. smithii or something else. I wouldn’t mind looking at them under the microscope, but not sure how easily you could dried stuff to France…

But since you have a chance it would be good to get better photos. Get some fresh ones, and get in focus photos of the whole mushrooms, from the top of caps to the base, and a close shot of the cap surface (fresh, not after it has dried out), and the gills and stipe apex. Do this in a well lighted place, on a neutral background (not in your hand, hate photos of people’s hands when I want to see the mushroom…). You say there is the detail of “blue staining” of the base, try and document this. Photo them fresh enough in the field of the bases without staining, and then with the exact same base get another photo of the staining reaction. Post those. From the photo exif data you should be able to see the time of the staining reaction.

Then it would be good to dry those well, with a label of date and place and rough description. Then put them in a zip-lock bag and store them in a stiff small container.

If you want to see microscopic photos on them, then you can ship them to France, to me. If there exist good photos of them fresh, then I could add good photos of the microscopic details, and then have at least one good description of what ever these things are…

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2010-07-28 08:56:40 BST (+0100)

I checked cyberliber, but the only volume of Lloydia on there was 29, not 30 (where this species is presumably originally described)… It looks like Watling and Benedict (never heard of this person before) may have co-authored the article.

That error message on IF is weird. Haven’t seen that one before.

Here is a pretty thorough description, though not the original:

Found a few more descriptions, but they seem to be just copying one another, so no use linking them here.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2010-07-28 08:38:33 BST (+0100)

I do not consider John Allen (aka mjshroomer) to be a reliable source of anecdote. Unless he can provide something some what tangible, I would hesitate to take his word for it. Which is not to say that I am calling him out and saying that he is wrong, just that vague references from semi-coherent psychedelic enthusiasts ought not be taken at face value, perhaps.

Here is John’s description of it:

By: wiscokid
2010-07-28 07:42:22 BST (+0100)

that first link you posted is my original workup workman did back in 2006
and yes the pics are of old dry specimens – but now i got more and they are fresh
- and i was going off info i was told – that the cyanopus have the small spores and smithii have the larger 10um + Now i actually remember too – MJshroomer responded to my pm messages after he vanished from one other site and he told me the spore size info – - and he also had mentioned that the species is named for the Mr.Smithii who was originally from the U.P. of Michigan – right north of WI and your right there is not much info on these around! – i think you even mentioned more references than i know of – i have hunted for longer than most here think and i stay by workmans composite there that these are active c.smithii possibly spreading southwards from the U.P. – and i also believe these and other species THIS TINY are OFTEN overlooked and trampled
it does take a good eye to spot differences in these tiny species
note these always have a striate cap – or if dry but in the ground it may have a orange nipple and tan pink buff
- they also seem quite variable n size and cap color
- they are extremely hygrophanous
- they have a bulbous base
- and the stems are fuzzy white – and adorned with white fine fibrils
- and most notable – they bruise bright sky blue ( mostly at the base ) but also mid – stem if cut or broken just right
- i have yet to see any bruising n the caps
- and note the grass they grow in also has mosses and clovers and other weeds
- ima post up another few pics here

Any more info…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-07-28 06:58:36 BST (+0100)

Do you have any more info on this one? I can’t find that much about this species. There is a note on the Northwest Key Council, but their web site doesn’t seem to be working. I look at Index Fungorum to see the publication of the species, and I get a Microsoft VBScript runtime error. There seems to be quite a bit of hand-waving general discussion of this species all over, but missing any sort of detail.

I found a photo sort of here:


Which has very bad dried out specimens, that really could be anything, and some random microscopic details. Not sure if this has really even shown much about the species, or if they are even a Conocybe. The cheilocystidia that they show there, I would say pretty much prove it is not a Conocybe.

I recently posted some photos of Conocybe, you can see what the cheilocystidia should look like here:


You mention the spore size, there really isn’t that much significance in spore size and shape in Conocybe. There is some in the size, but there is lots of overlap in spore sizes between species. The shape of the spores is the same for all Conocybe, smooth ellipsoid tan with a germ pore.

In the hand a lot of Conocybe look very similar, it is still uncertain how to tell them to species I would say by macroscopic characters, except for certain species.

Just wondering if you had more info on how you got to the species id here, and to what confidence? I’d like to know more about this species, but I can’t seem to find much in the way of detailed info…

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