Under interior live oak. Marginate gills, silvery gray cap, universal veil breaking up into warts that redden.
Volva constricted, then flaring at apex, gray on inner surface.


1. cap detail/field sketch/ interior live oak host leaves
2. constricta at length
3. stipe detail
4. marginate gills
5. reddening warts on silvery gray cap
1. cap detail, field sketch, interior live oak host leaf.
1. cap detail, field sketch, interior live oak host leaf.
1. cap detail, field sketch, interior live oak host leaf.
details of cap (reddening warts)

Proposed Names

82% (1)
Based on chemical features: nrITS & nrLSU

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


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the second observation on MO of this species
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2019-06-29 13:27:58 CDT (-0400)

clearly shows a dramatic bleaching of that cap color from dark gray when unopened to a silvery gray at maturity, much like what is shown here.

Is that sequence also up on Genbank? It didn’t show in the BLAST. Was it a 100% match to this one?

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2019-06-29 13:16:45 CDT (-0400)

for putting up the BLAST links on the actual observation. Hugely helpful, and allows the collection/observation and ensuing research to come full circle back to where it started.

Very interesting that “calisorora’s” closest relatives, when using ITS, are what we are calling constricta. I suspect we have a few cryptics in that species concept, as well. But those closest LSU matches are all over the map!

How does one even begin to sort this out?

Constricta show a gray inner volva; this species shows a gray UV. Graying of the UV would appear to be a common thread between those two species/species groups. Or it’s just random. Who knows?

ah, I wondered if that was what you were refering to!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2019-06-29 12:54:28 CDT (-0400)

Amanita inaurata sensu Thiers is certainly one of our western vaginatae with an unusual UV, but there is really no way to tell, just from a photo, if it is the same sp. as the gray capped form shown here and elsewhere on MO.

We have lots of unnamed or poorly named amanitas here in CA. And we simply do not have enough material to know what this proposed species looks like in all of its guises.

By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2019-06-29 12:18:59 CDT (-0400)

A full page color plate on Page 28A, labeled Amanita inaurata.

I have an original copy of Thier’s book
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2019-06-29 11:09:26 CDT (-0400)

given to Coleman McClenaghn while she was still a grad student with Largent, but the page labels might not be the same, as this was an advanced copy.

Which photo are you refering to and how is it labeled, Darv?

And how can we truly know what photos correspond to what species since it was DNA that helped to separate this one out from the similar protecta? We know that there are other mistakes in Thiers work as well.

only two samples for this newly proposed species?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2019-06-29 11:07:35 CDT (-0400)

is there a webpage for this yet?

is it possible to run a BLAST (is the sequence already up on Genbank?)?

Large photo
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2019-06-28 16:24:05 CDT (-0400)

There is a stunning photo of this mushroom in Thiers, Harry D. (1982). The Agaricales (Gilled Fungi) of California. 1. Amanitaceae. Mad River Press: Eureka, CA. 53 p.

The new name is supported by finding more material with the same DNA as
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2019-06-28 15:57:27 CDT (-0400)

was derived from the voucher of the present observation.

The cap color would appear to be a bit variable perhaps due to environmental issues such as drying of the cap.

I hold to my position as a personal matter.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-02-20 12:19:48 CST (-0500)

Just consider my previoius comment as an open letter to myself. I see a mission for which I must constantly change in order to be able to yield something to leave behind. Approaching 70 one thinks of such things.

I agree with you that, with motivation(!), I can see differences between this material and A. protecta.

I’d like to use your photos on a new species page for this critter:

Very best,


perhaps you misunderstood me…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2014-02-20 12:00:22 CST (-0500)

I was not saying that our eyes are not valuable…obviously they are, and it was my eyes and not the microscopy that first noticed this amanita was NOT protecta.

Still, it can be frustrating when nothing in the micro or macro shows a difference. It reminds me of Psilocybe allenii, whose macro was very different from cyanescens, but with identical micro! And here we have always been taught that micro trumps macro…

It was only the DNA that proved that they really were different, and not just different morpho manifestations of a single species.

Of course I think that well trained observers are the key in the field. We are the ones who know enough to recognize differences in the field, and bring them in for deeper study. Still, it shows us that sometimes the simple tools at hand are just not enough to tell genetic differences, and therefore we perhaps shouldn’t be so quick to put species names on things, without REALLY knowing.

This is why the motto of the NA Fungal Survey is: without a specimen and DNA, it’s just a rumor.

I don’t think we should give up on creating better training for our eyes & minds…EDITED
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-02-20 11:38:14 CST (-0500)

Of the vast number of things that have been called “Amanita ceciliae” outside of Europe (Well, why not include Europe?), I think we can segregate a lot of them by morphological methods; however, it will take recollecting them and taking very good notes—-as someone said to me (sarcasm?) “exquisite notes.” I’m all for exquisite notes.

We need ’em. If we are the last generation to be trained to LOOK and SEE morphology, then we have an obligation to leave as fine a treasure behind us as possible. This means that we have to link gene sequences with “exquisite” observation.

A show of hands for people ready to “get exquisite”!?

Very best,


thanks again, Rod.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2014-02-20 11:08:10 CST (-0500)

That is a nice confirmation of my original instincts.

Kinda makes ya crazy, though, that the easiest tools (our eyes and our scopes) are inadequate for the determination of some species.

No wonder Tom Bruns usually refuses to put names on things in hand! He has learned thru bitter experience that one is often wrong. ;)

The on-line description of protecta in now here.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-02-19 22:45:52 CST (-0500)
Well, the microscopy wasn’t enough.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2014-02-19 22:42:14 CST (-0500)

A barcode sequence of this material is quite distinct from barcodes we have obtained from original material of A. protecta.


thanks for going that extra mile, and making a microscopic confirmation..
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-03-21 22:11:42 CDT (-0400)
Microscopy supports A. protecta as the determination…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2009-03-21 21:52:06 CDT (-0400)

Debbie sent half the fruiting body to me, and I have finally had time to look at it. The spores are a near perfect match for A. protecta and so is the anatomy of the universal veil. The hyphae in the universal veil make 180 degree turns, the inflated cells (often thick-walled) are dominant in the u.v. tissue. The hyphae of largest diameter also have thick-walled cells.

The cap flesh is even rather thick as dried which coincides with the rather short marginal striations. The gills have dried grayish.

I think it’s safe to say it is protecta.

Very best,


For the moment, I’d go for the “protecta” hypothesis…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2008-04-21 10:28:06 CDT (-0400)

The chunky specimen has the look, color, staining, and habit of A. protecta. The colors of the cap and stipe are protecta-like, the ochraceous staining of the volva is also very much like that of protecta in two ways—-the color and the plenitude of the staining reaction over all of the volval bits on the cap. In my limited experience, the color in the volva of A. constricta is more of an orangish rust color and is in scattered spots. Constricta’s entire universal veil can become dominantly darkish gray on the exterior. While the original descript of A. constricta included both the colors brown and gray for the cap, at least some of the gray capped material was A. protecta (which also was called “A. inaurata” at times by Dr. Thiers and his students). These comments are based on my study of the materials cited (type included) in the original description of A. constricta and of the materials originally labeled “inaurata” at SFSU (thanks to Dennis Desjardin for permission to borrow material and visit the herbarium!). In other words, I’m inclined to believe that the type of A. constricta was a brown-capped specimen. In support of this, all the material that has been sent to me over the years by Jan Lindgren and others that I thought belonged in A. constricta has had a brown cap. In addition, a collection that I retained from the SOMA camp foray of a couple of years back, was brown-capped and exhibited all the macrocharacters of constricta. I agree with Debbie about the state of sect. Vaginatae. I’ve been working on it when I can for about 15 years. I have just shy of 100 taxa treated in a key, which mostly includes species that have been revised by Dr. Yang or myself. Let me know if you’re interested in a copy. I’ll see what I can do about posting a draft…. Remember, it’s a draft.

not protecta, IMO
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2008-04-20 20:20:14 CDT (-0400)

Protecta will usually yellow after handling or with age. Veil material on the cap of protecta can be thin and pulverulent, and often covers much of the cap, in addition to forming warts; in this mushrooms case, it is merely a stretched and broken membranous volva. Protecta has a crumbly sort of indistinct or cup-like volva at its base, but not with a close adherance to the middle of the stipe base and a flaring, membranous apex. Constricta shares the protecta characteristics of marginate gills, reddening of the volva warts and sometimes gray ornamentation on the upper stipe (altho in protecta this gray ornamentation is much darker). Protecta tends to have a generally thicker, more ponderous fruit body than that of constricta.

In fact, according to Tulloss, a few individuals of protecta were described in the original sp. description for constricta, which makes separating these species all the more confusing. I did at first think that this mushroom was protecta (as I mentioned on the BAMS list), but at this point I think not. What is your reasoning, Darv?

On the other hand, maybe it is none of the above. Somebody really needs to work on all of the Western grisette species. They are a confusing mess!

Here is Rod’s technical description of protecta: