Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Mycenaceae of the PNW
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.
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:
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.
Marginate gill edges (the cap itself may or may not colourful)
Mycena strobilinoidea WA (=M. strobilinoides WA) - orange with orange marginate gills. It is a more uniform orange than the non-marginate gilled Atheniella aurantiidisca, and grows at higher elevations.
Mycena 'aurantiomarginata PNW08' - orange tinged brown cap with orange marginate gills. Our one local sequence is 3.5% different than one EU type area sequence, suggesting ours may be a sister species.
Mycena citrinomarginata EU (=M. olivaceobrunnea WA?, =M. chloranthoides OR?) - yellow-brown cap with yellow marginate gill edges. Worldwide sequences are within 4-6 bp of each other so it appears there may be some variation in ITS. Also, the EU species M. olivaceobrunnea appears to have a similar ITS. The possible synonyms should have their types sequenced. Only the first is generally thought to be a synonym, but both may be. One collection with matching ITS had purple tinged gills but no gill margination.
Mycena strobilinoidea © Michael Beug, M. 'aurantiomarginata PNW08' © Steve Ness, M. citrinomarginata © Yi-Min Wang and Bitty Roy
Mycena rubromarginata EU - pale grey cap (although some report it as being somewhat colourful), with dark red gill edges. More than a half dozen local sequences match a couple dozen EU sequences.
Mycena bulliformis CA - hard to distinguish from M. rubromarginata without a microscope, perhaps with a redder cap when fresh. Described in 2016.
M. elegantula CA - Smith called collections that sound a lot like M. bulliformis (red tones in the cap and pale pinkish-purple gill edges) by the name M. elegantula. Since then people have doubted or at least wondered what he really found. Could it have been M. bulliformis, which wasn't described at the time? We need sequences to find out what M. elegantula is.
Mycena capillaripes NY - grey or brown cap with pink marginate gill edges (paler than in M. rubromarginata) with a bleach odor. We don't have NY type area sequences, but one EU, one NZ, and one CA sequence constitute one genetic species and this matches those pretty well. There's a good chance it will match with NY too.
Mycena 'capillaripes PNW01' - one WA sequence constitutes a second sister species, 1.5% different. These are not closely related to the other bleach species, but in our local collections we have not yet confirmed the bleach odor nor the pink marginate gills. We need more collections.
The bleeding Mycenas may have red marginate gill edges, also see that section below.
M. rubromarginata © iNaturalist user pdawson9229, M. bulliformis @ iNaturalist user ellenkr & NAMA and the Field Museum of Natural History, M. capillaripes @ Buck McAdoo
Mycena purpureofusca NY - greyish purple cap and stem fading to pale purplish grey, with purple marginate edges. Sequences of this species seem to match worldwide. Mycena viridimarginata, an olive-brown species with green marginate edges, appears to have the same ITS sequence. It should be looked for in the PNW.
Mycena rosella EU - bright pink (fading to orangish) with pink marginate gill edges. We have 9 EU sequences showing us what this species' sequence likely is, but no local collections to confirm that our DNA matches.
Mycena pterigena EU - very small and pink on fern fronds, usually with pink marginate gill edges. We have 3 EU sequences that probably show us what this is. No local collections have been sequenced yet.
M. purpureofusca © Vail Paterson and Michael Beug, unsequenced M. rosella © Noah Siegel
Bleeding Mycenas - stems exude red, white, or clear milk. Most make up one genetic clade.
Mycena haematopus EU - red cap with a beautiful scalloped edge, stem exudes red milk which can stain all parts red. It is usually on wood. The gill edges may be red marginate, keep reading.
Mycena 'haematopus PNW11' - one OR sequence and one BC sequence of a similar species sequences quite distinct, and it does not even have support for being in the same clade as the others in this group. Smith described var. marginata with red gill edges as a distinct variety, so it should be investigated if one of our species has the red marginate edges and the other does not, or if there is some other way to tell the two apart.
Mycena subsanguinolenta WA - a similar red species exuding red milk from the stem, but found on the ground, without the scalloped cap margin, and always with strongly red marginate gill edges. The type sequence is 5% different in ITS than EU sequences of M. sanguinolenta, so they are likely not synonyms as commonly believed. The east coast also appears to have their own unique species. We may have a species complex here, as our two modern collections are 4-5 bp and 3 indels different in ITS than the 1939 type sequence, but that sequence came from very old material.
Mycena sanguinolenta EU - Smith also found this, with larger spores and pleurocystidia, so we should keep looking to see if we find this here too.
Mycena haematopus © iNaturalist user hugebooter, M. subsanguinolenta © Steve Ness
Mycena galopus EU - this plain grey/brown Mycena won't be recognized if you don't notice the white milk in the fresh stem. We have a BC sequence that matches dozens of worldwide sequences, but no sequenced photos yet.
Mycena atroalboides NY - this plain looking Mycena may exude water from the stem, but it isn't clear if this is typical or not. An AK sequence is a sister species to a PQ sequence, so we may not have the real species here. We need local collections.
unsequenced Mycena galopus © Noah Siegel
Mycena epipterygia group - viscid yellow stems, yellow or grey caps
Mycena epiptyerygia var. epipterygia EU - described as a slender species with a yellow cap found on the ground. We have sequences from the EU and locally, and photos show that the caps might be grey as in M. epipterygioides. It should also be investigated if this variety can be found on wood like var. lignicola. Not all EU sequences match these sequences, so it is possible that once a type is chosen, this will not be the real thing and need a new name.
Mycena epiptyerygia var. lignicola WA - described with a yellow cap and growing on wood instead of the ground. The type collection does have distinct DNA, but sometimes collections with matching DNA are found on the ground and/or with a grey cap, so growth on wood may not be the correct way to differentiate this species.
Mycena epipterygia var. nov - one BC sequence of a collection with a pale grey cap doesn't quite match any other sequences, we should see if we find this sequence again.
Mycena epipterygioides UK - the name Smith game to collections without yellow in their cap but with a dark grey cap that didn't fade to white. Geesteranus doubts Smith's report that this is in America, and we have seen that yellow and grey capped collections have the same ITS sequence. We don't have any DNA of this from anywhere, but with the wide colour variation we are seeing in M. epipterygia, I doubt that reports of it represent a distinct species.
Mycena viscosa EU - it's not clear what Smith collected and called by this name, as his description of them didn't quite match the actual description of M. viscosa. We need collections matching Smith's description to see if they do represent a unique species - more strongly unpleasantly farinaceous than the other species in this section and flesh that stains red.
Mycena viscosa var. iodiolens OR - with an unpleasant odor that becomes like iodine after picking, described with a grey cap. We have the type sequence and another 1941 Smith collection sequenced, and the ITS DNA is unique. We need modern collections and a photograph, and we need to determine if this is the same as M. viscosa, a variety of it, or a unique species.
Mycena nivicola CA - a much beefier mushroom, with a brown cap and a stem that turns from yellow to red-brown. You might not recognize that the mushroom is in this group when the stems aren't yellow anymore. The authors of this species strongly suspect that reports of the east coast Mycena griseoviridis represent this instead, because they are a microscopic match. However, Smith said that M. griseoviridis looked a lot like M. epipterygia but M. nivicola is quite different looking and easily distinguished.
Mycena griseoviridis var. cascadensis WA - similar to M. nivicola, but the cap is yellow or grey, and the stem does not turn red-brown. We don't have any sequences yet, but the authors of M. nivicola suspect that this is a truly distinct species. We need collections.
unsequenced Mycena epipterygia (grey and yellow caps) © Luca Hickey, M. nivicola © Jonathan Frank
Other Colourful Mycenas (not the usual white, grey, or brown and the gills are not marginate).
Mycena monticola OR - coral pink, with a darker pink stem than the similar pink Atheniella 'adonis PNW01'. We have the type sequence and some OR sequences without photos that match fairly well, although there's something odd about the sequences. Some differ by a couple %, but as many appear to come from the same source and are somewhat suspicious, I'm guessing they all represent the same species.
Mycena PNW19 - one WA collection growing from a decayed cedar fence post. It has a pinkish grey cap and stem, and sequences close to M. capillaripes, which is a grey mushroom with pink marginate gill edges and a bleach odor, although neither of those characters were detected in PNW19. We need more collections and a good description.
Mycena 'amicta PNW13' - blue on the cap and stem when fresh. When the blue has faded, you can still recognize it by a peelable cap cuticle. There are multiple species going by this name in Europe. This species is 10% different than the most common EU species, but exactly matches one EU concept.
Mycena 'amicta PNW14' - this one is 2% different from the most common EU candidate. Even in the EU, DNA varies by 2% or so, so it's still possible this is the real thing, unless this complex is split into several species. No way yet to tell them apart. Smith did note that this species was quite variable, so it's not surprising that there may actually be 2 species.
Mycena tubarioides EU - very small and pinkish, with a peelable cap cuticle and gill edge. Mycena pterigena, above, usually has marginate gill edges and no part is gelatinous.
unsequenced Mycena monticola © Michael Beug, Mycena PNW19 © Kitty Lundeen-Ness
Mycena 'amicta PNW13' © Steve Ness, M. 'amicta PNW14' © Alan Rockefeller (2 images)
Mycena pura complex - purple colours
Mycena 'pura PNW15' Harder clade VIII - rather large for a Mycena, with an odor of radish and usually pink or purple when fresh, although those colours can fade and many other colours are sometimes noted, like white, yellow, blue, or green. Although many varieties have been described for the different colours, the only colour that was found to have any taxonomic value was yellow (Harder, 2013). Mycena subaquosa OR is a local name for a white collection that might be the proper name for one of our species, either PNW15 or PNW16.
Most EU sequences are in a complex of 8 clades, with no known way to differentiate them yet (except for yellow clade V). The real Mycena pura is probably one of these clades. It's not clear that they will be split into multiple species, as the total variation is only 3% in ITS, although different genes do show the same clading. If they stay together, our species will probably be Mycena pura itself. Interestingly, our clade VIII was only known in the EU in his study, not in NA, so it is a possible candidate for the real species even if the clades are split.
One OR sequence stands alone in its own clade (but still inside the cluster of 8 clades), so if that sequence is clean, it's possible it could be split into a different species. I'd like to see a second sequence of it before declaring it unique.
Mycena 'pura PNW16' Harder clade X - Harder also found 3 more clades (IX, X and XI) that were outside of the main cluster of species, so the real species is less likely to be one of these, and PNW16 almost certainly needs its own name. Clade X is mostly found in NA, not the EU.
Mycena pearsoniana MX - supposedly with more arcuate/decurrent gills than other members of the Mycena pura group (and maybe a longer stem and a flatter cap). We have one BC sequence that I am assuming is this species. The DNA is also found in Europe. A sister species is found only in the EU and ENA, but not in the west, so I'm assuming that isn't the real species from Mexico.
Mycena 'pura PNW15' (purple and white forms) © Kitty Lundeen-Ness & NAMA and the Field Museum of Natural History, M. 'pura PNW16' © Steve Ness (2 images)
Mycena cf. pelianthina EU - an even stockier radish smelling Mycena that is collybioid, with purple marginate gill edges. We have a number of EU sequences but haven't found matching DNA in the PNW yet. We need collections.
Mycena 'rutilantiformis PNW17' - We have one Vancouver Island, BC sequence. This could be M. rutilantiformis, it could be M. pelianthina, or neither, as both have been reported from here. The stem apex is said to be yellowish in M. rutilantiformis.
unsequenced M. pelianthina group member and M. 'rutilantiformis PNW17' © Buck McAdoo
Mycena alcalina EU - this has been a very popular name to use, but it was so poorly understood that Maas Geesteranus gave up on using that name and described 2 species to take its place - Mycena stipata and Mycena sylvae-nigrae. Both are EU species. So nobody should be using the name M. alcalina anymore.
Mycena stipata EU - UNITE has 3 genetic species at 0.5% threshold. The third one is locked, so we can’t see it. Of the other two, if you go to 1% threshold, there’s only 1 species. So all 5 sequences are pretty close to each other, so we kind of know what Mycena stipata is, within 1%. Even though it is commonly reported from here, no PNW sequences match this so far, so there is no evidence that this is one of the species found in the PNW.
Mycena silvae-nigrae EU - grey or brown. UNITE has 5 species concepts at 0.5%. If you go to 1.5%, they are all 1 species except for one outlier. So we kind of know (within 1.5%) what Mycena sylvae-nigrae is. It is about 4% different in ITS from M. stipata. M. silvae-nigrae was never reported from the PNW, but many local sequences match M. sylvae-nigrae within 2%. Some local sequences match some EU sequences very closely, so I am assuming we have the real M. sylvae-nigrae here, which has some variation in ITS (but it is possible that it is a species complex). This means that when M. alcalina was split into M. stipata and M. silvae-nigrae, we chose poorly when guessing that the one that occurred here was M. stipata.
Mycena leptocephala EU - differs microscopically from M. silvae-nigrae, and usually less clustered than it. If you search UNITE for Mycena leptocephala, with 0.5% tolerance for a species, you get 7 different genetic species. The first one has been sequenced 541 times, surely a record (you usually see single digits or occasionally a couple dozen). This is clearly a very, very common species. Click on it and the map shows it was found 539 times in the EU, once in BC and once in AK. It was only identified as Mycena leptocephala four times. About a half dozen times it was only identified to genus. The other 530 times it was just a soil sample DNA blast (no mushrooms). So that is not overwhelming evidence that this is the real M. leptocephala. If we look at the other 6 genetic species, only one of them is found in the EU, so it’s the only other possibility of being the real species. This second possibility was found, identified and sequenced twice in Estonia. I’m going to assume the first species is the real thing, since it’s so common, even though I could be wrong. We don’t have a type sequence, and the first species was only identified as M. leptocephala 4 times vs. the second species being identified twice, so that is not quite as overwhelming as 541 sequences versus 2 sequences sounds at first, but still, let’s assume we now know what M. leptocephala is. Our 7 local sequences of M. leptocephala match very well with my assumed real EU sequences from the above paragraph, so I conclude that we likely have that species here. Our sequences are mostly within 1% and sometimes within 0.5% of EU sequences, although a pre-ITS region has a bunch of differences in one sequence, but I’m not going to make too big a deal out of that for now.
Mycena aff. leptocephala - four sequences stand out 2-3% different from the rest of the M. leptocephala sequences and each other, so this may be a species complex, or there may be a lot of ITS variation in this species. Let's wait and see if we find a second sequence of any of these.
Mycena abramsii CA - I don’t have any reliable sequences of this. There are some Korean sequences purporting to be this, but no California sequences. The reason people think this might be our common bleach smelling species instead of M. stipata is probably only because it is a local west coast species and M. stipata is from the EU, so odds usually favour using a local name over an EU name. But in this case, we do seem to have EU species here, so we are not in search of a new, local name for our collections. Also, M. abramsii is described from under oak on the ground, not on conifer wood, so the habitat is all wrong. Also, M. abramsii is described with a faint radish odor and only sometimes with a bleach odor. In other words, although it is believed to be common here, there is no proof that it is here at all. Geesteranus thought Mycena alnicola WA might be the same thing based on a radish odor among other things. That should be investigated, but we don't have any DNA yet. If you think you find this in the PNW, save it.
Mycena 'capillaripes PNW01' - grey or brown, with pink marginate gill edges (and illustrated above in that section) and a bleach odor. We don't have NY type area sequences, but one EU, one CA, and one NZ sequence consistute one genetic species, and this WA sequence constitutes a second sister species, 1.5% different. I don't yet know if ours is the real one or not. It appears to be closely related to the above bleach species.
Mycena 'macrocystidiata PNW02' - never reported from the PNW until one WA collection with a bleach odor had giant cystidia and seemed to be this species. It has unique ITS DNA, but we have no other sequences of this EU species to compare to to know if that's what it really is or not. It is not in the same clade with the other bleach species.
Mycena silvae-nigrae © Steve Ness, M. leptocephala © Luca Hickey, M. macrocystidiata © Buck McAdoo
Mycena 'cinerella PNW06' (M. brownii WA?) - strongly farinaceous, contrasting striations in the disc and arcuate gills. Local sequences are 1.5% different than a couple of EU sequences purporting to be that species. We do have a local name, M. brownii from WA, to use if it is determined that our species is not M. cinerella.
Mycena tenax WA - viscid stem, peelable cap cuticle, strong rancid-farinaceus odor and taste. Gills not strongly arcuate. We have a half dozen OR sequences showing us what this species' sequence likely is, but no confirmed photographs yet.
Mycena inclinata EU - another farinaceous species (some say odor of wet paint) with a slightly scalloped cap margin and a stem base that turns rusty brown.
Mycena odorifera NY - said to have a fruity or Matsutake odor. Viscid cap and stem, but not always obviously so. Arcuate gills. We have no DNA from anywhere yet.
Mycena filopes EU group - odor of iodine. A dozen worldwide sequences agree, including some from the EU, and we have local sequences that match them.
Mycena 'filopes PNW12' - One sequence is 5% different and may represent an additional species in this group. The east coast has a local name, M. graveolens MI, that is thought to be a synonym of M. filopes, but if we do have an additional species in that complex, this name should be considered.
Mycena metata EU group - similar iodine odor, perhaps best differentiated microscopically. 70 EU sequences show us what this species is. Some sequences match very well, but others are about 1% different, although I treat them as the same species.
Mycena metata 'PNW13' - one WA sequence is 3% different so I am treating it for now as a potential separate species.
Mycena 'cinerella PNW06' and M. filopes © Yi-Min Wang, M. 'filopes PNW12' © Alan Rockefeller, M. metata and 'metata PNW13' © Fred Rhoades
Viscid stems - growing on the ground unless otherwise specified. Not all species are close relatives of each other so they do not form a natural section like Smith hypothesized.
Roridomyces roridus EU - see below, this species has a very slimy stem, dry cap, and arcuate gills and likely belongs in Mycena, not in a separate genus.
Mycena 'clavicularis PNW04' - a grey/brown mushroom with a somewhat viscid stem that isn't as slimy as in Roridomyces. It also has a dry cap and arcuate gills and fruits in late summer. A number of local sequences are all 1.5% different in ITS than EU type area sequences. It should be investigated if these collections represent M. insignis, described next, and if so, M. clavicularis is still to be looked for in the PNW.
Mycena insignis WA - with a somewhat viscid cap, viscid stem, arcuate gills, and a pale, almost white colouration, that takes the pigment out of the conifer needles it grows out of, turning them white. No DNA yet, unless this species is M. 'clavicularis PNW04'.
Mycena tenax WA - (also discussed in the "other odors" section). A strong rancid-farinaceus odor and taste. Also, a viscid stem and peelable cap cuticle. Gills not strongly arcuate. We have a half dozen OR sequences showing us what this species' sequence likely is, but no confirmed photographs yet.
Mycena odorifera NY - (also discussed in the "other odors" section). It is said to have a fruity or Matsutake odor. Viscid cap and stem, but not always obviously so. Arcuate gills. We have no DNA from anywhere yet.
Mycena vulgaris EU - viscid cap (more so than M. insignis) and stem, peelable gill edge, arcuate/decurrent gills fruiting in the fall. Over 100 EU sequences show us what this is, but we have no local sequences yet. Mycena melleodisca ME is thought to be a synonym, but if our local sequences don't match M. vulgaris, that should be investigated.
'Mycena' (Mycopan) quiniaultensis WA - viscid cap and stem, somewhat dark grey when fresh, but gills not decurrent. It is illustrated under Mycopan, where it needs to be moved.
Mycena 'laevigata PNW09' - a mostly white, entirely viscid Mycena growing on logs. It is larger than Hemimycena. It has practically the same ITS (and probably LSU) sequence as Mycena overholtsii in the large species section below. Interestingly, the real EU species M. laevigata is 5% different in ITS and is distinguishable from M. overholtsii, but our local sister species isn't. Perhaps that means M. overholtsii and this undescribed species evolved here and the EU species was derived from it. Geesteranus suspected that our species might not be the same as the EU species, and it looks like he was right.
Mycena 'clavicularis PNW04' and M. 'laevigata PNW09' © Richard Morrison
Small, white species with basal discs, bulbs or sugary/hairy caps or stems - the gills may be attached to a collarium allowing the stem to easily separate from the cap. Similar Hemimycena have inamyloid spores and usually lack the basal disc and hairs. Smith may have been right that these species make up a natural section in the tree. Resinomycena, below, is covered with a sticky, resiny sugary coating.
Mycena stylobates EU - flat basal disc and some hairy thorns may project from the cap (look with a hand lens before you touch). This is the largest of these species -the caps may reach 1cm across and the stem is fairly long. CA and WA sequences match a couple of EU sequences.
Mycena bulbosa EU - also fairly large (for this group) with a flat basal disc, but no hairs/thorns. The cap cuticle and gill edges are peelable. Smith did not find it here, but others since think they have. We have one EU sequence that might be this, showing up in the right place in the tree, but no local sequences.
Mycena gaultheri WA - smaller cap (a few mm across) and shorter stem, with a yellowish cap and yellowish flat basal disc, no thorns, and growing on salal leaves. We don't have any DNA yet.
Mycena aciculata CA (M. longiseta EU misapplied) - also a small cap with a small, rounded basal bulb, with hairs/thorns on both the cap and stem when fresh and before handling. This CA species is sometimes mistaken for the EU species M. longiseta, and in fact our local sequence is very similar to an EU sequence purporting to be M. longiseta, so I think this represents M. aciculata, although it would be nice to get more sequences or a type sequence to prove it.
Mycena tenerrima UK (=M. adscendens EU) - also fairly small (usually only a few mm across) with a subtle basal bulb, and overall sugary appearance (with granules, not thorns). One BC sequence matches one EU sequence identified as this UK species, and so does a dirty WA sequence once it is cleaned up by hand. It would be nice to get macro photographs of the sugary appearance and a type sequence or additional UK/EU sequences to confirm this identification. One study may be showing that our species is more properly called Mycena nucicola instead.
Mycena alphitophora Bermuda - differs microscopically from M. tenerrima and almost lacking any basal bulb. We have a NY sequence of a collection that matched microscopically and is the right place in the tree, but no local sequences yet.
Mycena stylobates © Yi-Min Wang (2 images), M. aciculata © Fred Rhoades, M. tennerima © Yi-Min Wang
Large grey/brown species
Mycena 'maculata PNW03' - a large species growing in clusters on wood, but the mushroom stains red when handled or in age. Our ITS DNA is 2% different than EU sequences.
Mycena galericulata EU - a similar rather large (for a Mycena) species growing clustered on wood, but not staining red. Many local sequences match dozens of EU sequences. ITS DNA of M. megaspora is similar.
Mycena megaspora MI - a large species with large spores and a long root-like stem growing in bogs. We don't have any east coast DNA to confirm, but EU and OR DNA are similar and probably represent this species. It has almost the same ITS as M. galericulata and cannot easily be distinguished using that gene.
Mycena 'maculata PNW03' © Bruce Newhouse, M. galericulata © Bitty Roy, M. megaspora © Connor Dooley
Mycena hudsoniana WA - one of our larger spring Mycenas. We don't have the type sequence, but enough collections have been analyzed to know that we have accurately identified some local sequenced collections.
Mycena cf robusta OR - a common winter Mycena best recognized microscopically by distinctive cystidia, a few collections seem to match M. robusta, but we don't have a type sequence to prove it. One EU sequence purporting to be the older EU species M. aetites matches these sequences too. It should be investigated if that could be an older name for our species, but it is described differently, with a radish odor.
Mycena overholtsii WY - a larger collybioid mushroom not always recognizable as a Mycena growing next to snow in the spring. The type sequence has practically the same ITS (and probably LSU) sequence as Mycena 'laevigata PNW09' (see the viscid stemmed section) and cannot be distinguished by those genes.
Mycena hudsoniana © Fred Rhoades, M. cf. robusta © Bruce Newhouse, M. overholtsii © Daniel Winkler
Tiny species on bark on tree trunks (occasionally on branches), probably not a natural group.
Mycena meliigena USA complex (M. corticola EU misapplied) - a tiny species on bark with round spores. One WA sequence is within 1% of an ENA type area sequence and a number of EU sequences of M. meliigena. The oldest name for this species may be M. corticola, but as that is a poorly understood species, the name is being abandoned. M. meliigena is supposed to have a vinaceous brown cap, and some photos of our collection appear quite yellow, but others match closely enough to EU photos I have seen that I think we have the same species.
Mycena madronicola OR - on bark of madrone, with elliptic spores. The gills are adnate to decurrent. We have an OR sequence that is most probably this local species from madrone bark.
Mycena corticalis OR - a small species with more reliably arcuate gills than the others, growing on mossless western red cedar bark. We have the type sequence, but no photos. Spores almost round.
Mycena subcana CA -may grow on branches, not trunks, but usually only when still attached to the tree, so you won't find it on the forest floor. Elliptical spores, with differently shaped cheilocystidia than the others. There is one EU sequence with this name, but we need reliable west coast sequences.
M. meliigena © Yi-Min Wang and Michael Beug, M. madronicola © Connor Dooley (2 images)
Plain grey or brown Mycenas - most are best differentiated microscopically in Smith or Geesteranus' monographs.
Mycena picta EU - this has a unique umbrella shape and gill arrangement that is easy to spot. Two local sequences match an EU sequence and probably represent this species.
Mycena vitilis EU - one WA sequence matches over a dozen GenBank sequences. This species starts out grey/brown but can fade to almost white. They say the stem is flexible and can be swung without breaking.
Mycena 'culmigena PNW18' - small (cap ~3mm across), few gills, white cap with pale vinaceous tones, and growth on sedges and rushes. Our lone OR collection is a micro match to this OR species, but we don't have any other sequences of it to compare to and prove it.
Mycena PNW05 - this unique sequence from OR appears to be a pale grey species on wood with stem base tomentum, based on the only collection so far. It may be one of the little known species below.
Mycena PNW07 - one OR sequence, an almost white Mycena growing on sticks on the coast.
Mycena PNW10 - the 9 local sequences we have so far are from collections that match one purported sequence of M. murina NY. Another collection was a microscopic match to M. fragillima CA and another was reported with a bleach odor. We don't have reliable sequences of either of those to confirm what this species is.
Mycena subvitrea OR - we have the OR type sequence, but no photographs.
Mycena picta © Luka Hickey, M. vitilis © Yi-Min Wang, M. 'culmigena PNW18' © Connor Dooley
M. PNW05 © Yona Celeste Riel, M. PNW07 © Ann Goddard, M. PNW10 © Fred Rhoades
Not actually in Mycena but not moved yet
Mycena rainierensis WA - believed to be a Fayodia, this may just be a newer synonym of the Fayodia that I believe to be present in the PNW, Fayodia gracilipes, but it's possible it could be a unique species as Smith said it had longer cheilocystidia and a paler colour. It should be sequenced to find out, and if it is unique, it needs to be moved to Fayodia.
Mycena cineraria WA - this is the local name for one of our species of Gamundia. We need to figure out if it has an older name (Gamundia leucophylla is a possibility) and if it doesn't, then this species needs to be moved to Gamundia.
Mycena acicula EU - needs to be moved to its own genus, or perhaps an expanded version of Hemimycena.
Mycena oregonensis OR - needs to be moved to its own genus, or perhaps an expanded version of Phloeomana.
Mycena quiniaultensis WA - needs to be moved to Mycopan.
Little known species (white or grey to brownish)
For some of these, Smith reported them but Geesteranus disagreed, so these reports are mostly unverified. We may never know what some of these reports represent unless we sequence Smith's original collections. I haven't found reliable sequences of any of these, although some sequences are available that might represent them. More research needs to be done. I would appreciate type sequences and any collections that key out in Smith (found here) or Geesteranus to any of the following.
Very small species (caps <1 cm across) with few gills
Mycena alcaliniformis NY (=M. subsupina CA) -
Mycena fuliginella WA - decurrent gills
Completely non-descript - good luck, you can begin on page 225 of Smith's monograph
Mycena algeriensis Algeria - some extralimital sequences match our sequence
of M. macrocystidiata
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.
Panellus stipticus EU - the only local species left in Panellus, recognized by its tough orange fuzzy caps, slightly bitter taste and somewhat forked and interveined gills that glow greenish in the dark. The similar Phyllotopsis nidulans has no stem, is stinky, and doesn't taste bitter. One WA and CA sequence match EU sequences fairly well, better than east coast sequences which are 6 bp different, where they could potentially have a different species. Susan Libonati-Barnes attempted to describe our collections as var. occidentalis, so it should be investigated if ours deserves varietal status.
Panellus longinquus and P. ringens are now in Scytinotus. P. mitis needs a new genus.
Panellus stipticus © Noah Siegel
Resinomycena (Mycena) saccharifera EU (=R. kalalochensis WA?) - on hardwood debris, with few gills, a shorter stem and larger spores. We have EU sequences, but we need local sequences to see if ours is the same species, and the synonymy is correct. If not, we need to start using our own name, R. kalalochensis, for our collections. Both species already have synonyms in Mycena, so if our species belongs in Mycena, it's already there.
Resinomycena montana BC - on conifer debris with a moderate number of gills, a longer stem and smaller spores. We have official collections from those whose described it sequenced from OR and CA, and a matching OR collection with photos.
unsequenced Resinomycena saccharifera © Bryce Kendrick and A and O Ceska, R. montana © Connor Dooley
Roridomyces roridus EU - A WA and CA sequence match a half dozen EU sequences quite well.
Roridomyces roridus © Andrew Parker
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