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Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Cyclocybe of the PNW
by Danny Miller


As mentioned on the Agrocybe page, one species stood out as not being farinaceus, and genetic studies have shown it deserves its own genus. This genus also has a cellular cap cuticle. It is somewhat close to the Tubariaceae, but perhaps not close enough, so it remains to be seen which family it will be placed in (incertae sedis is the term that means "uncertain placement").

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.


Cyclocybe erebia group ('Pholiota' subnigra WA) - Found in or near forests in the fall, with no distinctive odor or taste and a pretty hefty ring on the stem. The cap is somewhat dark brown. The copious ring is probably its most distinctive feature. We have up to 3 species in this complex.

Cyclocybe cf erebia EU - One of them may be the real thing from Europe (we're not sure which competing concept is the real thing)

Cyclocybe IN01 - has sequences about 4% different

Cyclocybe PNW02 - about 1% different from PNW02. Pholiota subnigra, described from WA, is thought to be in this genus and is probably one of these species, so the name Cyclocybe subnigra is available for one of them.

Yi-Min has discovered one possible way to tell them apart, at least somewhat. The real Cyclocybe erebia, and our candidate for the real thing, has a number of very snouty spores (see photo). IN01 does not. Neither does PNW02, and in fact those spores may be more bean-shaped in general than IN01. A recent collection was correctly identified as IN01 due to the spores not having a snout, and not being as irregularly shaped as shown for PNW02, so perhaps the spore shape can determine the species. Pholiota subnigra was described with spores "irregularly ellipsoid, pointed at the base" but that could describe any of them.

Cyclocybe cf erebia © Yi-Min Wang,     C. IN01 and PNW02 © Buck McAdoo.

C. cf erebia (snouty spores) © Yi-Min Wang,     C. IN01 (no snouts) © Yi-Min Wang,     C. PNW02 (no snouts, more bean shaped?) © Buck McAdoo


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