Observation 68412: Panaeolus subbalteatus (Berk. & Broome) Sacc.

When: 2011-05-31

Collection location: Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dave W (Dave W)

No specimen available



Proposed Names

-31% (2)
Recognized by sight: For the first two pictures. Spore print color? What was the habitat? Is that rotting grass at the base?
62% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: The species concept of Agaricus (Panaeolus) cinctulus is based on a drawing made by Bolton in 1791. No type collection exists. Since it is not possible to know whether Bolton’s species was Panaeolus subbalteatus, P. olivaceus or P. fimicola, I consider Panaeolus cinctulus to be a nomen dubium.
Based on microscopic features: The gill faces need to be checked for sulphidia; the presence of these would indicate that it is probably Panaeolus fimicola.
31% (2)
Recognized by sight
Used references: Alan’s suggestion; internet

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Alan, do you know…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-12-15 06:04:27 WIB (+0700)

why the name “subbalteatus” had been changed to “cinctulus”?

Other available info I have found supports the possibility of P. fimicola.

I’d certainly be willing to mail small amounts
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-06-03 01:55:31 WIB (+0700)

of some observational material. Is it legal to mail spore samples of P. cinctulus?

IMO, a 400x scope shot is often better than none at all.

I suppose that spore color has limited usefulness. Mainly, it’s probably not worth while posting photos of spore prints. But sometimes it is appropriate, like in this foenisecii/cinctulus distinction. (I learned this example from some of the folks right here at MO.) Also, when you’re stuck at the level of genus, it may help.

I agree that it would be best to try to standardize the procedure. But even if we agree to use only natural outdoor light (which I would be amenable to) then variations in weather, latitude, and time of day will all have an influence. Also, individual perceptions play a role in discussions about spore color. But looking once again to the foen/cinc example, it does not matter whether someone sees brown or purple in the foen. As long as it can be agreed upon as something other than black, we get useful information.

I think I’ve made a pretty good point that the best way to observe a print for color is by taking samples on each of black and white. These are the two extremes of neutral. Any subtlety in hue should be observable in this way.

Get it organized maybe?
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2011-06-02 13:27:16 WIB (+0700)

These arguments of fine details of spore color, mostly I just don’t buy. Also I’m not convinced that these difference have really been documented is any consistent sense. So, if we can get some people interested, maybe we can put together a set of obs. that will document these differences in such a way that people can look at the set, and just know how this all works.

But since there is arguments here about the method, along with the data, maybe a consistent method should get worked out? A consistent method that anyone can do easily, to compare different obs. from different places and times.

So, need to agree on the method of spore print, should it be on white, black, paper or foil? Use natural/sun light or internal florescent/incandescent light?

And once this has been set out, and we can get 3-6 people to follow it for a season, we’ll have a set of obs. that people could maybe believe as to how well spore color can be used.

Along with this though, it will need a set of spore photos at 1000x to compare too… since the species in discussion here have such consistently different spore ornamentations. If people can’t always do this themselves, maybe a few of us could accept mailed dried samples to produce the good photos…

Anyway, just an idea to try and move forward from the many different discussions about this issue…

Prints for all the P. cinctulus
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-06-02 12:16:09 WIB (+0700)

posts that I have made within the previous week all came from the same manured rhubarb patch, and were all completely black. The print you show in your link is on a white background. When dropped onto a white background, each of black, very dark brown, dark purple brown, purplish black, and other very dark prints will all appear to be black. If you examine the foenisecii print in my link, you will notice that the purplish brown print appears black against the white strip.

Conversely, light colored prints… like, for instance Russula prints, all appear white on a black (or very dark) background. The subtle yellows and ochres come through against the white background.

I’m adding yet another photo of some emerging cinctulus… same exact patch.

My new foenisecii prints did not develop very well. I’ll post an obs. True, aside from size, foenisecii and cinctulus can look a lot alike!

P. foenisecii print
By: Byrain
2011-06-02 04:16:52 WIB (+0700)

ranges in color a bit, much more so then P. cinctulus. This observation shows some much darker ones then yours. http://mushroomobserver.org/7372?q=4fmR
The other observation I linked you to has even darker examples. Sometimes the difference with jet black is subtle and hard to capture in photos. And would I be correct in assuming the picture of the prints is for the new specimens and not the first two? The former I agree they are likely P. cinctulus, not sure the latter is the same though.

Here’s a link to a foenisecii
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-06-02 04:00:53 WIB (+0700)

observation that I posted awhile back. Note how the purplish stands out against the black background. I picked a few foenisecii off my lawn today. waiting for the print. I’ve still got these black prints from the cinctulus on the board. So maybe we’ll get lucky and soon see the difference in one photo.


Color balance
By: Byrain
2011-06-02 03:50:42 WIB (+0700)

My mistake, the color balance issues deceived me. I still can’t tell if its jet black or really blackish/brown though, likely the former.

Picture taken in natural light.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-06-02 03:40:39 WIB (+0700)

You can’t see the color because it’s black. That is the point of dropping it onto black.

By: Byrain
2011-06-02 03:32:42 WIB (+0700)

Could this now be a mixed collection? The stems seem to be staining different colors and they look a bit different. Not sure though.

Spore print picture
By: Byrain
2011-06-02 03:03:33 WIB (+0700)

Can you please take the picture in natural light? We can’t see the true color so we can’t weigh in and I have seen more then a few people confuse the colors in the past. The difference can be subtle, see this observation for an example. http://mushroomobserver.org/65540?q=4fjI

Collected a few more
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-06-01 20:51:38 WIB (+0700)

from the same location. Spore prints black; no hint of purple or brown. Spores mainly in the 11 × 8 mu range, with some variation.

These do look quite a bit like Panaeolina foenisecii. Pure black print rules this out. The largest of these is also probably a bit large for foenisecii. Also, growth on horse manure supports the Panaeolus proposal. Cap color of these eventually faded to a tan, as seen in the first posted obs of mushrooms coming from this patch, 68311.

Posting a few additional photos.

Spores in obs 68311
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-05-31 22:46:26 WIB (+0700)

magnified at 400×. Sorry the photo is not more clear. My scope is old. Also, the micrometer in my scope tends to register about 10% or so too small. I think the spores in obs 68311 are within the cinctulus range. Spores mounted in KOH.

The spore print in obs 68311 is pure black. No hint of brown or purple when viewed against a black background. This would preclude foenisecii for 68311. I’ll post a photo to 68311 to this effect.

Perhaps this more recent obs (68412) is different than 68311. I’m currently waiting for the print. Habitat for 68412 was the exact same composted horse manure as for 68311.

By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2011-05-31 21:25:53 WIB (+0700)

Looks close enough to P. foenisecii to me…

Looking at your other obs. the spores are rather small and not clear in the photo. What mag. is that photo?

Found in the exact same location
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-05-31 21:19:00 WIB (+0700)

as obs 68311.


These younger specimens show the characteristic dark “belt” around the cap margins.

Created: 2011-05-31 21:16:43 WIB (+0700)
Last modified: 2013-12-15 09:13:37 WIB (+0700)
Viewed: 397 times, last viewed: 2018-08-02 11:28:08 WIB (+0700)
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