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Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Omphalinaceae of the PNW (Tricholomatineae)
by Danny Miller


Omphalina - once every mushroom of omphalinoid stature (what spores, small often indented cap < 2.5cm across and strongly decurrent gills) was placed here, but the genus has gradually been emptied out as we realized they weren't all that closely related. In fact, I was starting to think this genus was empty in the PNW when we found one by sequencing. Possible real Omphalinas grow on moss and are yellow brown, orange-brown or pinkish-red brown, most easily confused with Lichenomphalia (a lichen), Arrhenia (dark brown) and Loreleia (pinkish).

Infundibulicybe - clitocyboid, often in a funnel shape with strongly decurrent gills, meaning they resemble large omphalinoids, not just any kind of Clitocybe (which may have a convex cap and only slightly decurrent gills). Similar shapes are found in Ampulloclitocybe (never strongly funnel shaped and usually slightly umbonate with a fat stem base), Rhizocybe (always with rhizoids at the base of the stem) and Clitocybe. All of those used to belong in Clitocybe until they were separated by genetics. Other genera look similar as well, but they will have amyloid spores.

Rimbachia - white stemless and sometimes gill-less oysters on moss, may be in this family. That is supported with near certainty if the sequences I have are true Rimbachia, but I don't have sequences of the type species of the genus, R. paradoxa, to say with certainty that they are, so for now you can read about them on my uncertain 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.

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


Omphalina sp. PNW01 - this warm dark orange-brown collection sequenced inside the genus, but I have no name to attach to it yet. It seems like it will be easy to mistake for Arrhenia, usually duller or darker brown. Spores (9-10.5) × (4.5-5)u.

Omphalina 'isabellina PNW02' - given that every other omphalinoid in the PNW formerly in Omphalina ended up being moved out of Omphalina, what were the odds that Smith's little known Omphalina isabellina was actually an Omphalina? Well, perhaps it is. Two recent collections from CA and OR (the type is from WA) sequenced inside the genus and are kind of isabelline yellow-brown coloured (but sort of pinkish) with round spores. If this is not O. isabellina, then we need to figure out what O. isabellina really is.

Omphalina 'pyxidata PNW03' - a pretty olive-brown (at least our one collection from ID is) Omphalina with smaller elliptical spores than PNW01. It is reported to have a reddish-brown cap, which makes it sound very similar to the pinkish Loreleia rosella (Contumyces rosellus). In fact, we had started to wonder if all PNW reports of this species might really be Loreleia rosella, until we finally found this collection. Our sequences match an unnamed ENA sister species, not most EU sequences that probably represent the real thing. Spores (8-9) x (4.4-5.2)u.

Omphalina sp. PNW01 (2 images) © Yi-Min Wang,     Omphalina 'isabellina PNW02' © Connor Dooley,     O. 'pyxidata PNW03' © iNaturalist user joemat


Infundibulicybe squamulosa group (var. montana ID/var. sicca WNA?) - orange to orange-brown, medium sized, only sometimes funnel shaped mushrooms with a slightly scurfy cap disc, found mostly in spring. Bonomyces is more strongly farinaceous and Paralepista is thin fleshed, strongly funnel shaped and has slightly coloured, warty spores.

- Two distinct colour forms have long been found here: bright orange and dark brown.
- Two distinct microscopic forms are reported from the PNW: var. montana (longer spores shaped differently in face view and side view) and var. sicca (shorter spores symmetrically shaped). The varieties may need promoting to species.
- So far we have only one genetic sequence, in a range of colours, matching var. montana microscopically. The sequence does NOT match the European type variety.

Infundibulicybe 'squamulosa PNW01' - may be umbilicate, but if so, often umbonate, not remarkably funnel shaped. Those collections that have been checked match var. montana microscopically. We need collections of var. sicca to see if they are genetically different. This species is probably distinct enough to be a true species and not just a variety of I. squamulosa.


Infundibulicybe 'squamulosa PNW01' © Josh Powell and Jonathan Frank


Infundibulicybe gibba cf. var. occidentalis CA/cernua MI -a medium sized but thin fleshed pinkish-tan funnel mushroom with elliptical spores that are smaller than those of I. 'squamulosa PNW01, above. Paralepista is more orange and has somewhat coloured, warty spores. 18 east coast sequences and one Arizona sequence are 3% different than many EU sequences, indicating North America may have a sister species. We have no PNW collections yet, to know if ours match AZ and back east. Bigelow described var. occidentalis from CA (and AK) with paler colours that matched more evenly between the cap and stem, and also var. cernua from MI that was like var. occidentalis but not as funnel shaped, but then he went on to say that the collections from WA and BC matched the European type variety. Given that our North American species are genetically different from that European type variety, perhaps the colouration is not so important and our local PNW collections might genetically match var. occidentalis/cernua, which may not be genetically distinct from each other. If not, the east coast and west coast will have to fight over whose name gets used. Being in the west, I vote for var. occidentalis. We also need west coast collections that resemble both that and the type variety to make sure they aren't genetically distinct.

Infundibulicybe 'gibba PNW02' - strongly funnel shaped, sometimes orange, sometimes grey, and sometimes yellowish-tan. It resembles I. gibba (above) but with larger spores and a larger colour range than expected.

Infundibulicybe 'gibba PNW02' © Ann Goddard, Beverly Garrett and Yi-Min Wang


Infundibulicybe cf. geotropa EU - a large, stocky greyish brown mushroom often with an umbo in the centre, like a huge Ampulloclitocybe, but with round spores. Aspropaxillus may be even larger but lacks the umbo and has amyloid spores. We have 25 EU sequences but none from anywhere else, so we need local collections to see if that's what our species is too.

'Clitocybe' cf maxima EU - a larger, stockier variety of Infundibulicybe gibba is also found worldwide, looking almost identical to I. geotropa, but 'Clitocybe' maxima has elliptical spores and does not have the umbo of I. geotropa. This has not been moved to Infundibulicybe yet, and I have no DNA from anywhere. We need collections to find out if it is the same species here as in Europe and how it fits in with the I. gibba varieties, and also to make sure that local collections are actually this and not I. geotropa misidentified.

Infundibulicybe cf geotropa © Andrew Parker,     possible 'Clitocybe' maxima © Ben Woo


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