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


The mycenoid stature is named after the genus Mycena - the quintessential fragile, hollow stemmed little white spored mushrooms often with bell-shaped or conical caps. Marasmioids typically have flatter caps, distant gills (although some Mycena have few gills) and tougher stems. Collybioids can still be pretty small, and also flatter capped with tougher stems, but have gills more closely spaced.

Resinomycena and Panellus are currently considered separate genera in the same family, but they actually live inside Mycena. They will probably have to become Mycenas, or Mycena will need to be split so they can stay distinct. Even so, they may not be distinct from each other and Resinomycena may have to go by the name Panellus, or be split. We'll see.

Roridomyces also does not likely deserve its own genus unless Mycena is split. We await a multi-gene study to sort all this out.

This "family" has amyloid spores. Note that Hydropus, Mycopan and Leucoinocybe are difficult to distinguish from Mycena (usually with a different microscopic cap cuticle), and that Hemimycena s.l., Atheniella and Phloeomana (and 'Mycena' acicula and 'Mycena' oregonensis) have been separated from Mycena into genera in other familes on the basis of inamyloid spores.

The two authorities on Mycena are Alex Smith for North America and Maas Geesteranus for Europe. Their monographs are indispensible.

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:

  • tbd

Mycena - click to expand

The quintessential mycenoid small, fragile, bell-shaped to cone-headed white spored mushrooms, with amyloid spores. Hydropus and Mycopan have at least weakly amyloid spores as well and are separated microscopically by their different cap cuticle.

Panellus, Resinomycena and Roridomyces - click to expand

Panellus - pleurotoids with tiny lateral stems on wood. Difficult to separate from 'Panellus' mitis and Scytinotus, where some Panellus have been moved.

Resinomycena - related miniscule white agarics a few mm across on woody debris, covered with sticky granules, but with a small central stem so not considered pleurotoid. Similar granular Mycena are not sticky.

Roridomyces - a plain grey Mycena with an extremely glutinous stem, dry cap and usually decurrent gills. Similar viscid Mycena either have a sticky cap as well or their stem is not quite this ridiculously glutinous or the gills are not decurrent. Amyloid spores.

As explained in the introduction, these three amyloid spored genera seem to be inside Mycena. Either they will have to become Mycenas, or Mycena will have to be split. Resinomycena may not be distinct from Panellus, so even if Panellus survives, Resinomycena may not (or may be split). We await a multi-gene study to sort this all out.

Species mentioned: Resinomycena saccharifera, kalalochensis, montana. Panellus stipticus, mitis, ringens, longinquus. Roridomyces roridus.


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