Monday, 20 September 2010

Fungi from Afan Argoed Foray

Spent all morning going through the mushrooms we picked yesterday. Oh the joys of identification. As always the small brown/light coloured mushrooms are the most difficult (seven species below.) and there are times when it all gets a bit too much.

They are not the only problem though. Two larger toadstools (below) are also proving rather tricky but I haven't given up yet.

Below is an Entoloma but I can't identify it specifically. Entoloma have pink coloured gills although of course there are exceptions to the rule, a couple of them have gills that are a striking blue/violet.
Another species; Pluteus also has pink gills but unlike Entoloma they grow on wood or wood debris. This distinction is important in determining which species it is.

Lactarius/The Milkcaps
As the common name explains, these mushrooms exude 'milk' like liquid, especially in the gills and flesh when cut or crushed. We found three, possibly four milkcaps. Some have very distinctive smells.
The one below is the Coconut Milkcap. It was easy to identify due to its strong coconut smell. It's cap and stipe are slightly pinkish in colour.
Lactarius glyciosmus/Coconut Milkcap

Below is one Milkcap that I'm not certain of. It exuded a watery white milk at the time but lost it very quickly
Below is Lactarius spinosulus/Lilacscale Milkcap. It's got a dark salmon colour with darker spots and concentrate rings or zones on the cap surface, like the rings of Saturn.

This Milkcap is very unusual. The cap is very slimy to the touch, the stipe is viscid. The milk is plentiful and white and dries a grey colour over a long period of time. Using a myco-key; a series of lists that helps identification by deduction should prove helpful in identifying the two unknown species...and indeed it did.
This is Lactarius albocarneus.

Laccaria/The Deceivers
Called 'Deceivers' because they change colour and appearance over time, they are not as difficult to identify as the name implies. I found some last week and at first I thought I'd picked up something different but they were Deceivers. So it's still possible to be initially fooled.

There are not many types of Laccaria. Laccaria laccata/The Deceiver, (below), is very common. It changes colour when it dries, becoming lighter and when it grows can can adopt some strange cap shapes. The stipe can twist and sometimes be long and thin or short. It's this kind of variability that can be troublesome.

One of the defining charcteristics of the genus is that the cap, gills and stipe are more or less the same hue. The stipe is usually streaked with a darker tone of the base colour running longitudinally .
Laccaria amethysta/Amethyst Deceiver. It has a lilac/purple colour as can be seen below.

Russula/The Brittlegills
There were four Russula found including R. ochroleuca but three I haven't seen before. They were slightly tricky to identify. The brittle quality of all parts of the mushroom is what basically defines the species physically.
Below is what I think is Russula gracillima/Slender Brittlegill but I'm not one hundred percent sure. 99% sure.

Russula cyanoxantha/Charcoal Burner.
A very common species. One of the defining qualities of The Charcoal Burner are its gills which are flexible. One can run ones fingers across the gills without them crumbling.
Its cap colour is very variable including lilac, purple, grey, green, and brown if not a mixture of them all. Strangely enough it's this colour mixture that can help identify the mushroom rather than hinder.

Russula nigricans/Blackening Brittlegill
A very large Russula. This specimen was about 12cms wide. The cap is dark brown and becomes darker to almost black as it matures. The gills are thick and widely spread with smaller gills in between those that reach from the stipe to the cap margin. They bruise grey and rose. The photo below does not show how white the stipe was when picked.

Earthtongue, Marasmius and Mycena.
Left to Right
Trichoglossum hirsutum/Hairy Earthtongue, Marasmius epiphyllus/Leaf Parachute, Mycena stylobates/Bulbous Bonnet.

2nd from right is Marasmius epiphyllus/Leaf Parachute. The stipe which can be quite long is very pale at the apex and gets progressively dark towards the base.

On the far right is Mycena stylobates/Bulbous Bonnet. One of the defining features of this Mycena can be seen at the base of the stipe. One can see a disc attached to the wood, rather like a foot.

Mycena epipterygia, (below). This particular mushroom is easy to identify because of the lemon yellow colour in the stipe which is viscid to the touch. It's quite a striking hue and unique to this common Mycena.

Below is a list of virtually all the species we found and identified. Some names are left incomplete because I cannot be specific at the moment. When I find out what they are I'll complete them Unidentified fungi have not been added until I can determine which genus they belong too.

Afan Argoed 19-9-10
Laccaria laccata/The Deceiver
Laccaria amethysta/Amethyst Deceiver

Russula ochroleuca/Ochre Brittlegill
Russula cyanoxantha/Charcoal Burner
Russula nigricans/Blackening Brittlegill

Lactarius glyciosmus/Coconut Milkcap
Lactarius albocarneus?
Lactarius spinosulus/Lilacscale Milckcap

Mycena stylobates/Bulbous Bonnet
Mycena epipterygia

Marasmius epiphyllus/Leaf Parachute

Rutstroemia firma/Brown Cup
Oxyporus populinus/Poplar Bracket
Calocera viscosa/Yellow Staghorn
Stereum hirsutum/Hairy Curtain Crust
Xylaria hypoxylon/Candlesnuff Fungus
Dacrymyces stillatus/Common Jellyspot
Postia caesia/Conifer Blueing Bracket
Piptoporus betulinus/Birch Polypore
Stropharia aurantiaca/Sulphur Tuft
Kuehneromyces mutabilis/Velvet Shank or Sheathed Woodtuft
Cudoniella acicularis/Oak Pin

Helvella crispa/White Saddle
Leotia lubrica/Jellybaby
Coprinopsis atramentaria/Common Inkcap
Melanoleuca polioleuca/Common Cavalier
Lycoperdon perlatum/Common Puffball
Scleroderma citrinum/Scaly Earthball
Boletus badius/Bay Bolete
Armillaria mellea
Hebeloma (unidentified)

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