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Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Stropharia (Protostropharia, Leratiomyces) of the PNW
by Danny Miller

Click here for my Pictorial Key to Stropharia s.l.


This portion of the large Hymenogastraceae family (or perhaps it should be called a super-family) are medium to large, usually viscid capped, somewhat colourful mushrooms, found on the ground but saprotrophic. The spore print is usually a cold, dark brown with a hint of purple, and the gill edges are usually white from cystidia. There is often a ring left on the stem from the partial veil. Formerly all called Stropharia, now that has been separated into a few extra genera based on genetics:

  • Stropharia - with acanthocytes on the mycelium that may allow them to digest nematodes, but don't expect to be able to determine this by yourself.
  • Protostropharia - without acanthocytes and usually slender. Sometimes on dung, often with a yellow-brown, hemispheric cap and rooting stem.
  • Leratiomyces - genetically distinct, but I don't have a clear picture of how to define them, except for an often yellow, orange or reddish cap and a slender stature.
  • Hemistropharia - is a large, red mushroom with dark (but probably not purplish) spores but found on wood and so discussed on the Pholiota page.

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.

Summary of Interesting Results

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

  • nothing especially exciting that wasn't already reported

Protostropharia - click to expand

Usually yellow-brown, sometimes found on dung, often with a hemispheric cap, slender stature and rooting stem. Some kind of ring or ring zone is usually present.

Note that Protostropharia appears to be inside Hypholoma s.l. as currently circumscribed, so Hypholoma will need to be further split, or else Phaeonematoloma, Bogbodia and others will have to be subsumed back into Hypholoma.

Species mentioned: Protostropharia semiglobata, dorsipora, alcis, luteonitens. Stropharia stercoraria, semigloboides, silvatica, umbonatescens.

Leratiomyces - click to expand

Often with a yellow or reddish cap and slender stature.

Species mentioned: Leratiomyces ceres, magnivelaris, percevalii, riparius, squamosus var. squamosus, squamosus var. thraustus, cucullatus.

Stropharia - click to expand

Everything else, but you may need to check the other two genera to make sure.

Species mentioned: Stropharia ambigua, coronilla, hornemannii, albivelata, inuncta, rugosoannulata, kauffmanii, aeruginosa, caerula, pseudocyanea, cyanea, albonitens, melanosperma.


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