Observation 68060: Amanita pantherina group

When: 2011-05-16

Collection location: Hamlin Park, Shoreline, Washington, USA [Click for map]

Who: Rory Pease (Rory Pease)

No specimen available

Species Lists



Proposed Names

59% (6)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: I don’t know how to easily determine exactly which species this is. Any suggestions are welcome!

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
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Ontario pantherinoid…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-05-25 18:41:58 PDT (-0700)

Good grief. I forgot all about that one. Ontario sure is east of the PNW, but it’s NW of me. Looks like material would be very useful from south central Canada.

The same issue came up when we were trying to understand how the red and yellow variants of the North American muscaria-like fungus are distributed. I’m sure that herbaria in the central Provinces of Canada and the central US states hold a lot of stuff that coastally-limited persons never find out about.

I had a great opportunity to be in Univ. of Michigan herbarium for about a week or 10 days…many years ago. I have piles and piles of notes and wonder if I will ever get to work on what I saw at that time. I did do a lot of work during my stay…late hours every day, but when there are 100s of thousands of collection by one guy (Dr. Alexander Smith)… So many amanitas….

Publishing names…

It takes a long time to write an article that describes a new species, describes the things that can be confused with it (if they’re not well-described in the literature…which is true of lots of species), and
demonstrates that the new thing is different from all of the older things.

It’s a very big job. Then you have to go through the publication process, which can be a bit draining. Here are a few things that are very close to coming out of the pipeline:

1. There will be a paper coming out this year with three new Amanita species (pretty!) from Costa Rica and Honduras (by Tulloss, Halling, and Mueller). The paper is done and scheduled for a coming issue of Mycotaxon. It’s over 40 Mycotaxon size pages. It would never have happened this year if Dr. Halling hadn’t given me a few swift kicks to get me rolling.

2. Cristina Rodriguez Caycedo is working on two papers here in my home lab. I’m hoping they are both at least in the review process before this year is out. One will concentrate on new species from Panama collected by Dr. Clark Ovrebo (who is a co-author). Cristina’s second paper is an examination of the microscopic anatomy of the small group of Western Hemisphere amanitas that include the very unusual A. roseitincta.

I have promised several people that I will try to finish the paper naming amerimuscaria during the coming off season. I am working with so many people on so many species that I’m just jammed up.

It is because of the time that it takes to go through the process the way I go through it that I began to put incomplete research on the web. At least it’s out there for the people that want to utilize the information for identifications, for local biodiversity inventories, etc.

Regarding Herb’s question about pantherina-like taxa of varying colors: There are names out there for some of these taxa, especially in PNW. Murrill generated several names. And these have come for discussion on MO several times in the past: Amanita pantherinoides is one of them. Jenkins thought that Murrill’s A. praegemmata was a taxonomic synonym of A. pantherinoides. It’s possible that he was correct, but nowadays a more extensive study (beyond what Jenkins did in the late seventies) should be carried out rather than just citing the old viewpoint. There is a third Murrill name umbrinidisca that Jenkins interpreted as a species of sect. Vaginatae (if I remember correctly). I believe I have the type on loan at the moment. At least I have had the chance to study it a bit in the past. It seemed to me (at that time) that it belonged in the gemmatoid or pantherinoid groups. So there we have four names for things that are, or might prove to be, pantherinoid and were described from the PNW.

Because I’m not sure where to place these taxa other than in sect. Amanita, they are not listed in lower level lists like the one for subsection Pantherinae. All except praegemmata are listed here:


except praegemmata, which is treated as a possible synonym of pantherinoides per Jenkins…at least for the moment.

Well, that’s about it for me. I need to get some sleep.

Very best,

Rod Tulloss

Anyone know how many of us from MO that use…
By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2011-05-25 18:10:45 PDT (-0700)

Wildmushroomhunting.org? I would like a place where I can talk to this community, Ideally!

discussion …
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-05-25 18:04:43 PDT (-0700)

wildmushroomhunting.org has categories that this discussion might fit into, Tim.


By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2011-05-25 12:03:47 PDT (-0700)

Yes, here is one from Ontario.


What would be nice is….
By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2011-05-25 11:59:43 PDT (-0700)

A place to discuss this and other mycological matters other than in the middle of an observation. Anyone know of a good mushroom discussion message board?

Or maybe we could implement one here?

Just thinkin’……

East Coast dark panthers…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-05-25 11:58:14 PDT (-0700)


I don’t know any really dark East Coast panthers. Our big guy (velatipes) can have some brown on the disc, I think; but all the material of it that I’ve seen has been in the yellow-cream to creamy yellow range. The center of the cap of multisquamosa can be fairly brown, but the long striations on the margin are very distinctive. And the partial veils of both the above are pulled up at the edge - funnel-shaped - at least at first. Amanita albocreata is white with a so-called “Maize Yellow” center and is exannulate from the get go. That’s what I know about in the east. See the list on this page:


Please, help me out here. Are there relevant observations on MO?

Very best,


All right, Tim
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-05-25 11:49:24 PDT (-0700)

No problems, Tim. We will give your collection a home in Roosevelt…and, hopefully, use it to help clarify ameripanthera and its range, etc.


Very best,


By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2011-05-25 11:16:36 PDT (-0700)

Thanks Rod, I always look forward to your posts.

The dark capped eastern species are also being called A. ameripanthera nom. prov. by some, would you consider that a safe hypothesis? What about the specimens that appear much lighter in color should we also call these by your provisional name?

Why not just publish the name?

Since we have a name for the north American entity(A. ameripanthera nom. prov.), would it be more accurate to call specimens that may be slightly different A. ameripanthera group and not A. pantherina group,? since we can assume that the latter doesn’t occur in north America besides the odd transplant.

I agree this specimen would fit in nicely with the description of your provisional taxon.

By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2011-05-25 11:09:34 PDT (-0700)

I forgot about this specimen below, it is dried, tagged, and ready to send!


By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2011-05-25 10:40:39 PDT (-0700)

I am unaware of any data saying that the European pantherina grows here. I was under the impression that it could be here on imported trees, just like A. muscaria.

I apologize for possibly spreading misinformation and/or confusion.

Thanks for all the info, Rod!

Once I acquire a scope that I can measure spores with, I will start giving a closer look at the Panthers in my region to see what we can see…

proving the absence of something…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-05-25 09:42:32 PDT (-0700)

It is impossible to prove absolutely the absence of something.

If one has no evidence to the contrary of a hypothesis, the hypothesis survives.

If evidence to the contrary is found, then the hypothesis must be adjusted or abandoned.

I have some facts: The collections of the European pantherina I have seen have spore size and shape different from the collections of the North American species that looks very much like the European one (ameripanthera). Also, in comparing some specimens from each continent I find that the thickness of the gills differs. It would be wonderful to look at more material and keep searching for occurrences in North America that might represent the European taxon. But people have lots of other things on their minds.

Whether the testing of individual specimens is done with DNA or with review of microscopic characters, it doesn’t matter. Because we can never prove the absence of something. We always might have missed it. We can only say, “The evidence that we’ve seen up to now supports the hypothesis that X is absent.”

We could never use any name with confidence if we didn’t have the inate human tendency to form hypotheses and use them until they break. There might be another person who looks exactly like me and is a mass murderer. If you saw this person you should not hesitate to run away and save your life. Why don’t people run away from me all the time? I can’t prove there is no such person.

  1. We can distinguish ameripanthera and pantherina.
  1. So far no one has produced a sample of pantherina from the PNW of the U.S.

Within reason, it would be very interesting for people to collect things that look like photographs of European pantherina specimens and check them out with a microscope to see if they can be determined to be pantherina_, ameripanthera, or something else.

It would be interesting to see what would be found.

The range of A. ameripanthera seems to include a goodly chunk of states west of the central prairies. I’d be willing to accept one well-documented and well-photographed collection from any county or state not in the small list of places currently on the WAO site in the “material examined” data field of the technical tab of the Amanita ameripanthera taxon page. The collection should include at least one specimen that has produced enough spores to make a spore print…so we know it’s mature. The mature specimen should be in good shape, not over the hill.

The interesting psychological experiment will be to find out when people think that enough material has been found so that they are willing to identify A. ameripanthera from a photograph.

Ready? Set? Go.

Very best,


By: Erlon (Herbert Baker)
2011-05-25 09:06:48 PDT (-0700)

We know through DNA that there is a geographical disjunction between the two entities mentioned. But how sure are you that the group in north-America represents just one species?

By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-05-25 04:07:38 PDT (-0700)

You’re welcome, Rory.


European pantherina
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-05-25 03:19:38 PDT (-0700)


The most significant differences between the two taxa involve microscopy.

You mentioned that both ameripanthera and pantherina occur in the Pacific NW of the US. Can you tell me of some articles that demonstrate this? I’d be very interested to know about them.


I used to go by provisional names…
By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2011-05-24 21:59:05 PDT (-0700)

And do see a use for them. Until I am comfortable ID’ing the differences between the two species (both can grow here) I now choose to use Amanita pantherina group, as it (to me) is more fitting since A. ameripanthera falls under that category anyway.

@Rory- I talked about my reasons on one of our trips with Caleb, I think when we went St. Edwards. We were talking about A. muscaria then, but it is the same deal. While it is not likely to be the true European A. pantherina, I am not confident enough to call it the American variety. Sorry for any confusion, Brother!

By: Rory Pease (Rory Pease)
2011-05-24 21:54:18 PDT (-0700)

Thank you for the information Rod.

Amanita pantherina and A. ameripanthera
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-05-24 19:39:32 PDT (-0700)

Descriptions in some detail of both the European taxon and the provisionally described North American taxon can be found here:


Taxonomists are under some pressure to make provisional names available for use by workers doing such things at biodiversity studies. This is why provisional names with descriptions as complete as I have been able to make them are posted on the WAO website. We don’t pretend to cover anything outside the Amanitaceae and, yes, the site is unusual in exposing our uncompleted work.

On MO, some people feel very strongly about not using provisional names. I have to accept that MO is on openly editable site. I vote for the name I think is the best name (certainly the name should fit the technical defintions of “currently accepted as correct” if it is not a provisional name), and other people do the same thing. As long as we know that we’re talking about the same thing no matter who puts a MO-acceptable or MO-unacceptable name on it, communicating is what matters.

Of course, I see a use for provisional names (I had to go through a conversion process to get to this point)…that’s why I have created a couple of them.



By: Rory Pease (Rory Pease)
2011-05-24 19:03:12 PDT (-0700)

Unless Amanita ameripanthera is not just for this region.

Hmm? Why is there a provisional name for this region and not one for all other regions.
By: Rory Pease (Rory Pease)
2011-05-24 18:56:27 PDT (-0700)

I was under the impression that Amanita ameripanthera was the provisional name for Amanita pantherina in North America while scientific research has indicated that there is a difference that is being documented. Which would indicate that the A. pantherina option should not be used for this region (North America). Is there a difference between A. pantherina and the provisional name A. ameripanthera? If so, it should be clarified. It is too bad that there is a provisional option when it is not properly used.

Created: 2011-05-24 15:08:16 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2011-05-25 19:02:50 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 312 times, last viewed: 2018-09-06 23:36:21 PDT (-0700)
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