Observation 69540: Amanita stirps Grossa

When: 2011-06-19

Collection location: Double Bay, New South Wales, Australia [Click for map]

Who: Lucy (lucya)

Specimen available


Proposed Names

44% (2)
Recognized by sight
55% (1)
Recognized by sight: See comments…
Based on microscopic features: See comments…

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Lucy has posted a sporograph comparison figure for us… [edited]
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-12-10 01:48:38 CST (+0800)

that shows Bas’ data from the types of A. ananiceps and A. farinacea, Reid’s data from his review of the type of _A. farinacea (10 years after Bas looked at it and inexplicably different…it’s the one down on the lower left), and 40 spores from the specimen Lucy sent that is the voucher or this observation.

Well, you see the problem. Our data nestles up against Bas’ data for both taxa. The type collections are old. In my experience, the upper end of the length range of spores is most likely to be lost in old exsiccata. So we could be overlapping the “real” (whatever that may mean in this case) ranges of spore size for both the taxa.

The rather wide band of flocculose-felted volva material that encircles the cap in Lucy’s speciment is something like the covering of the cap that is described in the original description of farinacea.

And…here we are far away from the living organism and people that see these species in the flesh…like Lucy and Tim.

We would like to learn from and with you folks.

But it is important that people in Australia interested in this question and others related to lepidellas know that Dr. Elaine Davison is actively working on members of the group and may be developing information that we don’t know. We suggest that collectors query Dr. Davison as to whether sending material to her would be productive for her and, hence, help drive forward work on the lepidellas to the benefit of all interested parties in Australia and out.

Thanks, Lucy. This really made us do some thinking.

R & C

By Bas’ 1969 key…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-12-08 05:45:22 CST (+0800)

we now are where Tim was in the beginning. Congratulations, Tim.

We have ended up at “either ananiceps or farincacea”…and as has been said before on MO (I think), some people feel (with varying degrees of confidence) that the two names are synonyms. The volval material is dominated by inflated cells from top to bottom in the warts. The elements of the tissue are predominantly disordered (viewed nice cross-section of wart made by Cristina). Pileipellis only slightly gelatinizes in areas between warts, but for a little less than half of its thickness there must be some deterioration of the cell walls of the hyphae because they don’t take up the stain well or don’t take it up at all.

Cristina is going to try measuring spores again (close to the stem where the basidia mature sooner).

R. & C.

More about elimination based on spore shapes…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-12-07 07:50:38 CST (+0800)

Why were there no sporographs for basibulbosa, cinerascens, ingwa, and ochraceobulbosa? The authors of these species either did not supply a range of Q or used a meaning for “Q” that was idiosyncratic (hence, not interpretable in the context of sporograph generation) or, in some other way, did not provide length/width information that was compatible with the sporograph method.

The spores of A. basibulbosa are too small and too round to match those from Lucy’s lepidella.

Those of cinerascens are too narrow.

Those of ingwa are too narrow, and the species is said to lack clamps.

Amanita ochraceobulbosa cannot be eliminated on the grounds of spore size and shape. It is reputed to have clamps as well, although they are said to be sparse. It is not excluded by habitat or geographic distribution—it was described from sclerophyll forest in NSW and Queensland. However this species is named because of the dominance of colors on the fruiting body in the range of cream to cream-buff to yellow-orange-cream. These colors are lacking in Lucy’s collection. It seems unlikely that this is the species that Lucy reports in the present observation.


Applying sporographs to the
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-12-07 07:26:51 CST (+0800)

list of species not assigned to a stirps, we find that four of the species don’t have sporographs: basibulbosa, cinerascens, ingwa, ochraceobulbosa will have to be worked through in other ways. Of the remaining five species the only one with any overlap of the sporograph from the specimen from this observation is A. griseoconia. The other four possibilities are eliminated.

The next step will be to look at the base of the warts to see if they are dominated by hyphae. The majority of the wart Cristina examined was clearly dominated by inflated cells of which the majority were singly terminal (i.e., not in chains).


It’s starting to look like the position against considering stirps Grossa… [edited]
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-12-07 07:19:38 CST (+0800)

was too extreme. Sorry to be so quick to say, “no,” Tim.

So we need to put stirps Grossa back in the list under consideration.

This specimen was checked for spores and for clamps as starters.

Clamps are commonly found in the universal veil per Cristina’s work this p.m. This means we can eliminate stirps Straminea while we’re bringing Grossa back.

So we have to consider stirps Grossa (18): Amanita albidoides, albosquamosa, ananiceps, angustispora, austroviridis, brunneiphylla, carneiphylla, chlorophylla, clelandii, farinacea, _flaviphylla, gossypinoannulata, grossa, grossa sensu Aberdeen, hiltonii, mumura_,_ochroterrea, subalbida


stirps Ravenelii (6): alboverrucosa, conicoverrucosa, effusa, pyramidifera, pyramidiferina, strobilacea

and keep the list of taxa not clearly assignable to a stirps (9): albifimbriata, basibulbosa, cinerascens, dumosorum, griseoconia, ingwa, kammala, luteivolvata, ochraceobulbosa

[Edit: The next two paragraphs have been edited to remove typographical errors that led to confusion over which stirps was addressed in each paragraph.-R]

Using the ?User+sporograph page of WAO and the spore measurements obtained so far by Cristina, we eliminate everything from stirps Ravenelii with the possible exception of A. strobilaceae.

With the same method, we can reduce the candidates from stirps Grossa to these: ananiceps/farinacea and gossypinoannulata, with the best overlap being with spores from the type of farinacea.

So, Tim, you started in the right direction, and I managed to blur the picture.

More in a bit.

Very best,


For those with score cards…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-06-20 01:45:44 CST (+0800)

Going through Australian lepidellas and eliminating items per the previous comment, I find that there are a few taxa not assigned to a stirps per Bas’ work, but definitely assignable to subsect. Solitariae.

At least two taxa seem very similar to those Bas placed in his stirps Chlorinosma (disorganized universal veil dominated by inflated cells, basidia with clamps). These can be eliminated as possibilities in the present case.

Then we have four categories left.

[This ain’t so easy…I didn’t realize that WAO now cites 183 taxa from Australia in the Amanitaceae. How did that happen?]

1. species similar to those in Bas’ stirps Rhopalopus – 1: conicobulbosa [The deep rooting bulb probably eliminates this possibility — I’ll cross it off the list.]

2. species similar to those in Bas’ stirps Ravenelii – 6: alboverrucosa, conicoverrucosa, effusa, pyramidifera, pyramidiferina, strobilacea

3. species similar to those in Bas’ stirps Straminea – 5: albidannulata, annulalbida, gracilienta, griseibrunnea, straminea

4. species for which I haven’t happened to record a possible stirps – 9: albifimbriata, basibulbosa, cinerascens, dumosorum, griseoconia, ingwa, kammala, luteivolvata, ochraceobulbosa

At least, we’ve eliminated 89.6% of the Amanitaceae reported from Australia on WAO. I need to get some other work done now; so I invite some help on eliminating names from the above list of 19 (if I counted correctly).

Very best,


The warts argue against stirps Grossa
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-06-20 00:27:32 CST (+0800)

Yes, section Lepidella is a very, very likely to be the right section. Moreover, the subsection (Solitariae) that includes stirps Grossa is fairly surely that correct subsection for this critter. So I’m going to eliminate the other subsections from my search for candidate Australian names.

On the other hand, pointed warts are very uncommon in stirps Grossa (even in ananaeceps, despite its name) because Bas specifically place species with disorderly microanatomy of the volva in Grossa. A plenitude of pointy warts on the pileus usually suggests that, when the wart goes under the microscope, it will prove to have its elements (at least in the upper portion) arranged vertically (i.e. roughly perpendicular to the pileus surface when its fully expanded and flat). I just went through the 15 brief descriptions of species in stirps Grossa that are listed on WAO) (www.amanitaceae.org) and found that their warts are described as pointy only in a few specimens of ananaeceps where that form of wart is apparently not common.

It would be useful to have a list of Bas’ stirpes that include Australian species and have vertically oriented elements in the microanatomy of their warts. I think I have something like this in the files. Back in a bit.

Very best,


By: TimmiT
2011-06-19 12:25:43 CST (+0800)

something in Bass’ strips Grossa (A. ananaeceps, A. farinacea, etc.)