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Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Entoloma s.l. of the PNW
by Danny Miller

Click here for my Pictorial Key to the Entolomataceae


The Europeans place every species on this page inside Entoloma, but in North America, some acknowledge separate genera, as there is often (but not always) a fairly clear way to separate them and otherwise the number of species becomes unwieldy. Even if I treated them all as Entoloma, I would be separating the page into sections for each subgenus, so I might as well call each section a genus. David Largent's 1994 comprehensive treatment of the family on the west coast is the basis for much of what we know of our local species.

abundant common uncommon rare - colour codes match my Pictorial Key and are my opinions and probably reflect my bias of living in W WA. Rare species may be locally common in certain places at certain times.

Click here to download the FASTA data of all my DNA sequences

Summary of Interesting Results

Here are some of the newest, most interesting results of the study:

  • tbd

Entoloma (Rhodopolia) - click to expand

Entoloma in the sense I use it are medium to large (tricholomatoid), smooth, lubricious capped species with grey or brown tones. There are clamps in the cap cuticle. They are very difficult to differentiate from each other without a scope. Nolanea are smaller and more slender (collybioid or mycenoid) with similar cap texture and colour, without clamps in the cap cuticle. The other genera on this page are more colourful or not lubricous. Rarely, an Entoloma might be a tiny omphalinoid species, in which case it will be confused with Paraeccilia.

Species mentioned: Entoloma alnobetulae, alpicola, brunnescipes, clavaformipes, grande, griseoavellaneum, griseum, heracleodora, lividoalbum, majaloides, saussetiense, lividum, lupinum, lyophylloidium, myrmecophilum, nidorosum, politum, pseudocostatum, pseudolividum, rhodopolium, sericatum, sinuatum, speculum, subpolitum, subsaundersii, subsinuatum. Nolanea abbreviatipes.

Nolanea - click to expand

Nolanea are small and slender (colybioid or mycenoid), smooth, lubricious capped species with grey or brown tones without clamps in the cap cuticle. They are very difficult to differentiate from each other without a scope. Entoloma are larger (tricholomatoid) and have clamps in the cap cuticle. One species may be omphalinoid, easily confused with Paraeccilia and the omphalinoid Entoloma politum group. The other genera on this page are more colourful or not smooth and lubricious.

Species mentioned: Nolanea abbreviatipes, bicoloripes, californica, cetrata, clandestina, cuspidifera, edulis, farinogusta, fructifragrans, fusciceps, fusco-ortonii, hebes, hirtipes, holoconiota, incanosquamulosa, latifolia, minutostriata, obscurata, occidentalis, seattlense, washingtonense, papillatoides, pseudopapillata, proxima, proxima forma inodorata, pseudostrictior, pseudostrictia, pusillipapillata, sericea, staurospora f. discoloripes, conferenda, staurospora var. incrustata, staurospora var. farinacea, strictior, subcapitata, solstitialis, subsolstitialis, substrictior, subviolaceoverna, terrea, undatomarginata, undulata, verna var. isodiametrica. Entoloma leptotus, propinquum, rhodocyclix, psammophilohebes.

Leptonia - click to expand

These beautiful scaly capped blue to purple-black mostly slender mushrooms are hard to distinguish from 'Cyanula', the group of Leptonias that have to be split into a new genus. The true Leptonia are more likely to be found attached to wood, which does not as typically happen with Cyanula, which are more likely to be reported in grass. However, both genera are commonly reported from the forest floor. Also, Leptonia caps are usually the same kind of scaly throughout the cap, although the scales can be more concentrated on the disc. Cyanula caps can be scaly on the disc, but more fibrillose or even smooth towards the edge. Finally, unlike Cyanula, Leptonia usually have clamps in the cap cuticle. Thanks to Ben McCormick's 2021 bachelor's thesis that incorporated DNA, Leptonia are some of the best understood Entolomas in the PNW.

Leptonia may have only one single local species that is not blue at least somewhere on the fruiting body.

Species mentioned: Leptonia cyanea var. occidentalis, tjallingiorum var. laricinum, insueta, lampropus, subeuchroa, convexa, zanthophylla, occidentalis, occidentalis var. metallica, occidentalis var. fibrillosipes,  coelestina, subcoelestina, violacea, dichroa, subgracilis, violaceonigra. Entoloma kauffmanii.

Cyanula - click to expand

Cyanula needs to be split from Leptonia, but the genus hasn't formally been erected yet. These colourful, scaly capped mostly slender mushrooms are hard to distinguish from Leptonia when they are blue. Other colours besides blue are typically not found in Leptonia. It should be noted that even brown Cyanula have interesting pigments that makes them recognizable and stand out as from among all the "ordinary" brown mushrooms of the world. Cyanula are typically found on the ground, sometimes in grass, whereas Leptonia are more often found attached to wood and aren't as often reported from grass. However, both genera are commonly reported from the forest floor. Cyanula caps can be scaly on the disc, but more fibrillose or even smooth towards the edge, whereas Leptonia caps are usually the same kind of scaly throughout the cap. Finally, unlike Leptonia, Cyanula don't have clamps in the cap cuticle.

Species mentioned: Leptonia acutoumbonata, albida, albinella, anatina, asprella, atrifucata, badissima var. badissima, badissima var. longisporum, caesiocincta, chalybea, coacta, decolorans, decolorans forma cystidiosa, earlei, exalbida, exilis, foliocontusa, formosa, formosa var. microspora, fuligineomarginata, gracilipes, grisea, incana, lividocyanula, lutulenta, microspora, nigrosquamosa var. californica, ovatospora, parva, pseudobulbipes, rectangula, rosea var. marginata, rostrata, serrulata, sodalis, striatula forma farinacea, strictipes, subnigra, subrubinea, subviduense, subviduense var. marginata, trichomata, turci, umbilicata, undulatella. Entoloma hesleri, subfurfuraceum, squamatum, nigroviolaceum var. striatulum, unbiliciforme.

Alboleptonia - click to expand

Slender, all white mushrooms. Rarely, a Cyanula will be all white, but those lack clamps in the cap cuticle and don't have a cap cuticle of entangled hyphae, but instead of erect hyphal ends)

Species mentioned: Alboleptonia earlei, ochracea, sericella var. lutescens, adnatifolia

Prunuloides - click to expand

A large, viscid, blue, farinaceous Entoloma. The cap and stem are usually blue, but the colour may fade in age to brown, making it hard to identify. Rarely, it seems to fruit lacking any blue pigmentation even from the start.

Species mentioned: Entoloma bloxamii, medianox, madidum, caesiolamellatum

Entocybe - click to expand

Entocybe nitida has a beautiful blue opaque cap and stem. It is medium sized with a dry cap and little odor, smaller than the large 'Prunuloides' medianox (with a viscid cap and stronger farinaceous odor) but larger than the many blue Leptonia and 'Cyanula'.

Entocybe trachyospora complex members are smaller with a pointy transulcent cap, and may have a hint of blue in the cap and a bent, silver, striate stem. When all the blue is faded it is difficult to separate from Nolanea, and when it hasn't, it is difficult to separate from Leptonia and 'Cyanula'.

Species mentioned: Entocybe nitida, trachyospora

Claudopus and Paraeccilia - click to expand

Claudopus contains the pleurotoid (oyster) Entolomas, but DNA is showing that the concept of Claudopus may need to be expanded to include at least some omphalinoid Entolomas (the type species of Paraeccilia may be inside Claudopus). The partially secotioid Entoloma abortivum is also inside Claudopus.

Species mentioned: Claudopus byssisedus, byssisedus var. microspora, parasiticus. Paraeccilia minutissima, nucisapora, perundata, rusticoides, sericeonitida var. sericeonitida, sericeonitida var. ligniphila. Entoloma abortivum.

Pouzarella - click to expand

Small, conical, fibrillose, usually unpleasant smelling mushrooms that resemble dark Nolaneas. The stem base is usually strigose. Microscopically, the cap hyphae have incrusted, thickened, brownish walls.

Species mentioned: Pouzarella fernandae, fulvostrigosa, versatilis.

Rhombisporium s.l. and Inocephalus - click to expand

Fibrillose caps, with what is referred to as a scummy disc. Pouzarella and Trichopilus caps also have fibrillose/scaly caps. Formerly all placed in Inocephalus, it is now known that some species belong in a separate genus, which I am calling Rhombisporium. Rhombisporium is currently only a section of Entoloma and for those who do not lump every species on this page into Entoloma, it still needs to be promoted to genus.

Species mentioned: Inocephalus appressus, azureus, fabaceolus, furfuraceidiscus, minutopilus, perfuscus, rhombisporus. Entoloma cocles.

Trichopilus - click to expand

Scaly/fibrillose caps, characters also found sometimes in Inocephalus/Rhombisporium and Pouzarella, but Trichopilus have distinctive cap cystidia not found in those other genera.

Species mentioned: Trichopilus jubatus, plebeioides.


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