When: 2007-12-02

Seen at: Oakland, Alameda Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Douglas Smith (douglas)

Specimen available

These were brought in to the Oakland Fungus fair, and I was sitting at the id table. There seem to be a grade-school project to get a ’shroom, bring it in, and get an id from an expert. Mostly people brought in big stuff, but here this poor boy about 10 years old and his mother bring in this little brown job.

We all looked at it, and shrugged, don’t know, maybe Galerina? But she had to have a name, this kid had to finish his project, and a name had to be in the id box. So, I said, put in Galerina autumnalis, and then told her, actually it probably isn’t that, but that is good enough for right now.

Then I grabbed these and popped them in my sample case, and saved them for later.

So, not even close. The first micro-shot is of the cap surface in radial section at 400x in Meltzer’s. The surface is a layer of single upright inflated cells, or hymeniform, so not a Galerina, which would be a cutis.

The second micro-shote is of the gill edge at 400x in Meltzer’s. Here the cystidia can be seen, which is acutally all the balloon shaped guys. The cysitdia are large inflated spherical cells. One thing they are not is capitate. I haven’t really seen cystidia like these before. Also you can see that the spores are brown and non-dextrinoid.

The third micro-shot is of a spore at 1000x from the stipe apex in KOH, and here you can see the spore is ellipsoid, non-pointed, smooth and with a germ pore. (Also brown in KOH.)

So, not a Galerina, but actually a Pholiotina. Or Conocybe if you like. I’m usually all for simplifying things, and trying to put a stop to this ever exploding list of genera, but I have to say, I’ve embrased the Conocybe/Pholiotina split. After looking at a few of each, and photos from when they are fresh, there is a clear differences, and there are more than one species in each here. So, if thin, cone-shaped caps with thin gills and no veil = Conocybe. With a thicker cap (sort-of), thicker gills, and a veil = Pholiotina. Also the difference is in the cystidia, capitate = Conocybe, and non-capitate = Pholiotina.

Oh, and now how to tell the difference between Pholiotina and Galerina: membranous veil (small) in the middle of the stipe = Pholiotina, fibrous zoned veil near the top of the stipe (just below the cap edge) = Galerina.

5/25/2008 – Actually getting back to this one… Looking through Flora Agaracina Neerlandica Vol. 6, at the Pholiotina section, there are two species here with a veil, large spores and flat, wide cheilocystidia (utriform). They are split by one has 2-spored basidia, and the other 4-spored. Looking at the photos I took at the time, one has the attached spored in groups of 2. To be sure I need to put a squashed gill under 1000x and look at the basidia, but this is promising.

The spore size from this guy, on 5 spores (I know, not much, if I start to decide I care about Pholiotina, I’ll go back to these.), is length: 11.83 +/- 0.60, width 6.44 +/- 0.24 microns.

With the two spored basidia (promising) and utriform cystidia, this source says these are Pholiotina teneroides.


Proposed Names

-29% (1)
Based on microscopic features: Hymeniform pileipellis, brown smooth spores with germ pore, non-capitate cystidia.
57% (1)
Used references: Flora Agaracina Neerlandica Vol. 6 p. 189
Based on microscopic features: Larger spores, utriform cystidia, 2-spored basidia, membranous veil on stipe, hymeniderm pileipellis.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


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