22 August 2010

A colorful mushroom weekend

We went on 2 long hikes in nearby parks this weekend. I would think that the recent rains would have brought all the snails and slugs out, but not one was in sight. Instead, there were mushrooms all over the woods. So I resorted to photographing fungi. It was fun.

The problem with mushrooms is that the majority seems to be notoriously difficult to identify to species. I spent only about 5 minutes thumbing thru my mostly useless Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms before giving up. But here are their pictures.

The 1st one that attracted my attention was this yellow mushroom.

The next one is probably an immature fruiting cap of an agaric.

Red mushrooms were quite common. Here is one of them.

White ones were also abundant.

This was probably another immature cap that had just pushed itself up thru the leaf litter.

Finally, a bunch of small yellow mushrooms. There was a large cluster of them.

If you can put a name on any of these, please do so in the comments.


John said...

That's a nice crop of mushrooms. There must be a better mushroom guide than the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. I have that, and it doesn't help me get to many positive IDs.

Snail said...

Could those be snail or slug feeding marks on the yellow and red toadstools?

Kathie Hodge said...

Your yellow mushroom is Amanita flavoconia, "yellow patches" One of my favorites. The second is another Amanita--the detachable flakes on the cap give it away. I think it is Amanita flavorubescens, one of the "blushing Amanitas" --see how the scratches on the stem have bruised a reddish color? Your red mushroom is a species of Russula, but determining which would cause extensive brain damage, and demand a massive DNA barcoding project. Then you have another big Amanita and a button form of it-- Amanita cokeri, or near kin. And lastly you have some little yellow waxy caps--perhaps a species of Hygrophorus, but hm, that umbo! perhaps even Entoloma murraii. The former would leave a white spore print; the latter pink.

All your mushrooms today are mycorrhizal--they are symbionts of trees, busy at the root tips swapping micronutrients for carbon captured through photosynthesis. These mushrooms are their ephemeral sexual fruiting bodies.

There is no complete mushroom field guide, in part because there are still so many poorly known and undescribed mushroom species. This is either frustrating or exciting, depending on your point of view. For northeastern North America, I like MushroomExpert.com.


Snail: Yes, those marks are likely to be slug feeding marks.
Kathie: Thanks for the IDs!

Coyote said...

The next-to-last one looks like an earth star to me. They are related to puffballs, IIRC (I'm too lazy to go look it up at the moment).

Kathie said...

Just yesterday the postman brought the latest issue of Fungi Magazine, Aydin, and wowee! A whole article devoted to slug mycophagy!!

J.E. Maunder, A.J. Voitk. 2010. What we don't know about slugs and mushrooms. Fungi 3(3): 36-44.


Kathie: I had no idea there was such a magazine. How can I get hold of a copy of that article?

Kathie said...

check your email!


Got it! Thanks!!