Observation 74571: Ramaria Fr. ex Bonord.

When: 2011-08-23

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

Who: Dave W (Dave W)

No specimen available

Some of the spores with lengths over 10 mu. Print color yellowish. Oak woods, humus rich ground. Taste sour to slightly peppery.

2nd photo shows yellow branch tips. I examined tips closely (after the fruit body was brought home) and they appeared to be the same color as the thicker branches.


Proposed Names

19% (2)
Recognized by sight
Used references: Phillips, B/B/F
57% (1)
Recognized by sight
29% (1)
Used references: Arora, Mushroom Expert

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
I’ll consider the recommendations.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-08-31 16:37:48 CDT (-0400)

As for determining ID from spore size, spore size is just one among many traits that contribute to one’s proposal and one’s level of confidence. I do not labor under the illusion that one of my spore pics is going to lead to a solid ID. But, it doesn’t hurt to post such a photo. Having just read up on the genus Ramaria, it seems to me that, even with accurate spore measurements, high levels of confidence may be elusive. In another case (genus), I may get lucky and one of my primitive spore pics will help to nail an ID.

Thanks for the help, Douglas. I’ll speak with some of the people who work in the local Bio Dept (I teach Math at a community college) about lenses and micrometers and such. My scope is a fairly old hand me down that I got for $50.

By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2011-08-31 16:16:42 CDT (-0400)

To adjust things by the 10% you need to do that to the widths there also, so it is 9.05 +/- 0.56 um by 4.73 +/- 0.28 um. But you need to compare just the ave. to the ave. with just the accuracy, which is about 0.25 um. This comes from pixel uncertainty in your photo mostly, assuming +/- 2 pixels on each point. Actually looking at it again, it is more like 0.35 um.

Which really doesn’t matter too much, since your spore size there seems to be smack in between the measured ave. of the two species. But does kinda point out my main point, maybe, that if you are going to start looking into ids from the spore size, you need to worry about the accuracy… If you are going to do this any more often, it might be useful to try and increase the accuracy. A new reticule which would not have the 10% difference would cost like $30-$50 or so, and would be easier to read. And a new 100x lens would be $75-$300 depending on how fussy you want to be. I’m not sure what your scope is like, but it might be easy to add one or make that change. Well, you would need immersion oil too, but that is $5-$15 more…

By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-08-31 15:39:45 CDT (-0400)

but as I have said, the measuring device inside my scope gives lengths that are about 10% too small, maybe a bit more. Using +10% your stats become (using old SDs): length 9.05 um +/-0.51 um, width 4.73 um +/-0.25 um, with q unaffected. This is still roughly 2.8 and 2.3 SDs below what is reported for the Euro formosa. But the two l/w quotients are pretty close.

Of course, much of this uncertainty is due to my not using a very good scope. At least we may presume that the l/w quotient is accurately represented.

Thanks for computing the averages.

Actually, I’ll need to look again at the photos of another collection. But the other Ramaria (I think it’s different) which I have recently collected may have spores that match very well with flavosalmonicolor.

Okay -
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2011-08-31 13:52:33 CDT (-0400)

Well, if I use that as the scale, I can get from the photo this spore size: Ave spore : length – 8.23 +/- 0.51 um, width – 4.30 +/- 0.25 um – q : 1.92 +/- 0.15, on 9 spores. This looks to be accurate to about 0.25 um.

Looking at the European sources, this is sig. smaller than that of R. formosa, which should have an ave. size of 10.5 × 5.3 um. You can argue about size variations and such, but those variations are really only about 1um changes to the ave.

There is another species obs. in Europe at least which is R. flavosalmonicolor (Schild 1990), with an ave. spore size of 7.7 × 3.7 um, which is closer. This one is also pinkish to salmon branches and yellow tips.

But that is Europe, I only have good European and Wester US Ramaria sources. So, take that as you will…

On the micro pointer,
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-08-31 13:16:56 CDT (-0400)

the very largest gradation is 50 mu, the next largest are 10 mu, and the smallest gradations are 2 mu. As I had posted, as a result of having made many observations of spore sizes for mushrooms whose species ID was known to me, I have determined that the pointer/micrometer registers a bit on the low side.

I have recently brought home another pinkish coral (Ramaria, I believe), and I think the spores looked quite a bit different from this obs. Pics didn’t come out as well, so I did not post. But, seeing as there is some interest in these types of fungus, I’ll post later… as soon as I get electrical power back in my home (Hurricane Irene).

Thanks, Douglas, for the suggestion on checking into the scope lens. I have very little idea about these things, as I have virtually no formal background in the biological sciences.

By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2011-08-31 12:55:26 CDT (-0400)

Well, if you are going to look at spores in any sort of regular manner for id, it would be good to be able to get to 1000x mag. Is it just a change of lens for the scope maybe? Not sure with the notes there that you are accurate enough to be able to tell anything from the spore size yet. But the photo there, I see div. on the pointer, what is the scale on those div? It looks like the photo could be accurate enough to better than 1um, maybe. But I have no idea of the scale, so I can’t tell (I’d like to figure out what is the um per pixel on the photo…).

I’m kinda interested here, since in our area we have been slapping R. formosa on several, if not all, Ramaria that have salmon to light pinkish branches. But recently you can see here: http://mushroomobserver.org/63222, was an id of R. rubricarnata. And mostly this id was on the width of the spores, which was an ave. of 4.5 um here, and R. formosa should be 5-6 um or so. It would be nice to compare to other obs. of R. formosa to see what we should see for such id’s, and comparing between east and west coasts would be interesting.

I guess Ron did a good job here in the west: http://mushroomobserver.org/31280.
Although it would be good to see actual spore sizes there also…

Max magnification 400x
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-08-31 11:48:24 CDT (-0400)

on my scope. Not good enough to get details of ornamentation, but okay to get an idea about dimensions. I would estimate the spore sizes to be approximately (8.5-13.5)x(5-6)…. discounting a few that appear to be a lot shorter, which I attribute to position. That is, I think a few are seen in a virtual “head on” view. The measuring device on my scope tends to underestimate by as much as 10%.

I just checked Phillips online, and the spores seen here appear to fall into the formosa range. Interestingly, Phillips lists “concolor” separately as a variety of formosa.

What is the spore size?
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2011-08-29 19:06:59 CDT (-0400)

You mention the spore size, but you don’t mention what it is? There seems to be a fairly good separation on the spore size, and esp. the width for R. formosa compared to other similar species. But you will need to get the ave. spore size fairly accurately, since the differences in spore width are only like 1um or so, need to be more accurate than that.

Do you have photos at 1000x? R. formosa spores should be ornamented, but kinda randomly roughened, warted but the warts are in long random lines. But there are plenty of Ramaria with those types of spores, is it the size that might matter here for the species.

The yellow tips
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-08-29 12:46:39 CDT (-0400)

would support “R. formosa” as a potential ID, and the spore size seems to fit this species.

I’ll propose formosa with a low level of confidence. Upon reading up on Ramaria and noting the difficulty of species identification, I think “Ramaria species” is the most reasonable proposal.

I’d bet
By: Drew Parker (mycotrope)
2011-08-25 15:37:51 CDT (-0400)

the yellow tips are real. Ramaria in general loose their color very quickly after collecting. They are notorious for that, which make fresh notes so important.

Either my scope
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-08-25 15:04:37 CDT (-0400)

is not good enough to see the spore ornamentation… or there is none. (Just now looked at the zoom in on the spores.) So the spores, as seen, fail to support a concolor proposal. I think that the appearance of the yellow tips on the branches is a product of the lighting situation in the forest where I shot the photo. When examined at home, the tips appeared to have the buff/salmon color…. like the rest of the branched parts.