Trial Field Key to COPRINOID SPECIES in the Pacific Northwest(1)

Section Coprinus, Section Lanatuli and Section Atramentarii of Coprinus sensu lato
by Dr. Fred Van De Bogart 1981
New format, notes on segregate genera, and additional species
by Ian Gibson and Harvey Janszen 2004, 2011
Copyright © Pacific Northwest Key Council 1981, 2004, 2011
Photo copyright held by each photographer
Do not copy photos without permission

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Coprinellus, Coprinopsis, and Parasola

Coprinus, Key to the sections

Coprinus Section Coprinus

Coprinus Section Lanatuli

Coprinus Section Atramentarii

Common Coprinus species not included in key

References

Glossary

Index of Included Species

 

 

COPRINELLUS, COPRINOPSIS, AND PARASOLA

In 1994, molecular research by Hopple, Vilgalys, and others suggested that Coprinus comatus (the shaggy mane) and Coprinus sterquilinus were not closely related to the vast majority of Coprinus species. This striking finding has since been confirmed by other researchers. Since Coprinus comatus is the species on which the genus is based, the other species should be moved to other genera according to the rules of International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (unless a special exception was made).

In 2001, Redhead, Vilgalys, Moncalvo, Johnson, and Hopple published an article in Taxon proposing that the remaining species be disposed among three genera: Coprinellus, Coprinopsis, and Parasola. The last was a proposed new genus, but the other two names had been used previously. The nomenclatural reasoning that the first two names were the correct ones was intricate. The story is told in less detail in Redhead's McIlvainea article (2000). These names became stabilized when a proposal to change the type of Coprinus from Coprinus comatus to Coprinus atramentarius was defeated in 2007. It should be noted however, that molecular data do not show a clear separation between Coprinellus and Psathyrella, and more changes are thus expected in future.

Coprinopsis are primarily the shaggy scaly species, where the scales fall off easily, or species with patches, or naked species without "hymeniform" cuticles (Redhead(2000)). They include the former Coprinus atramentarius, Coprinus cinereus and Coprinus lagopides (2). Parasola includes a small group related to the former Coprinus plicatilis. Coprinellus includes the former Coprinus micaceus and Coprinus disseminatus. The new names are given in the Index to this key, as outlined in the Taxon article mentioned above.

Should we use these new names? Redhead, in his 2000 McIlvainea article, answered this question. "Do we suggest that you run out and adopt these names immediately? No! Instead be conservative initially, especially in field guides." More than a decade has passed and the division of Coprinus appears to have withstood the test of time. It would seem in 2011 that it is reasonable to use the new names, but we have another problem. Many of the names used by Fred Van de Bogart have not yet been recombined into the new genera. Furthermore, his key was organized into sections of Coprinus which are no longer current. The original organization of the original key will be retained but the new names will be used where they have been recombined.

 


(1) The key, written for the Pacific Northwest Key Council by Dr. Van De Bogart as “Trial Field Key to Coprinus”, is based on work done in partial fulfillment of PhD requirements at the University of Washington and published in Mycotaxon (see References). The Mycotaxon articles refer to “THE GENUS COPRINUS IN WESTERN NORTH AMERICA” with an article on each of the sections Coprinus, Lanatuli, and Atramentarii, and include two species not found in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, or Idaho, those now named Coprinopsis bubalina (Montana) and Coprinopsis marcida (California).

(2) Dr. Van de Bogart does not include Coprinus lagopus in his key to species of the Section Lanatuli in western North America. In Mycotaxon 8: p.283, he notes when discussing C. fimetarius, "Confusion over the identity and name of this species and C. macrorhizus, C. lagopus, and C. cinereus apparently has existed since the earliest attempts at solving the taxonomy of these similar-appearing fungi." In the 2001 Taxon article referred to above, the names Coprinus fimetarius and Coprinus macrorhizus are not among those recombined. Incidentally, although Coprinopsis has the feminine gender, "lagopus" is a noun and therefore does not change form to agree with the genus name. The proposed new name is Coprinopsis lagopus, while Coprinopsis atramentaria and Coprinopsis cinerea reflect the feminine gender of the genus.


 

 

COPRINUS, Key to the sections

1a Pileal veil elements mostly filamentous in nature (handlens), sometimes adherent, the scales, patches or layer formed seldom with any mealy character, no pileocystidia or caulocystidia present (handlens)

1b Pileal veil elements mealy in nature (handlens) or lacking, never adherent, pileocystidia and caulocystidia may be present (handlens)

2a Veil sometimes of a partly mealy nature but always in part filamentous, usually abundant, often adherent and masking actual surface, a cortina sometimes present when young

2b Veil elements either abundant, filamentous in nature, and loose at maturity or scanty and adherent at maturity, no mealy character present

3a Veil elements sparse and adherent to the pileal surface and difficult to remove, some brown veil remnants on stipe base below a flaring annular zone

3b Veil elements mostly abundant and either loose from the first or becoming loose as pileus matures, any veil remnants on stipe base white in color

4a Species with a conspicuous annulus or volva, rarely with pleurocystidia (handlens)

4b Species with no annulus or only an annular line or fringe marking the position of the unexpanded pileal margin on the stipe base, large pleurocystidia present

5a (1b) Pileocystidia (handlens) present generally on the entire pileal surface or occasionally restricted to a marginal fringe on the edge of the pileus

5b Pileocystidia not present

6a Universal veil present, species medium-small to large in size

6b Universal veil not present, species small to medium in size

 

 

COPRINUS, Section COPRINUS

1a Stipe lumen without a weblike or yarnlike mass of loose hyphae inside

................................................................................Coprinus arachnoideus

CAP 1.8-3.0 cm, acorn-shaped; creamy white and becoming pale grey-tan; veil somewhat scanty, weblike and adherent to pileal surface. STIPE 4.0-6.5 cm x 0.22-0.36 cm, lacks the characteristic yarnlike or weblike stuffing; white, glabrous; no annulus present and the volva reduced to a few bits of fibrillose tomentum at the base. HABITAT terrestrial.

1b Stipe lumen with a weblike or yarnlike mass of loose hyphae inside

2a Species lignicolous

................................................................................Coprinus alnivorus

CAP 2.0 cm, white, pale brown at apex, short acorn-shaped; veil thin and weblike with a few minute scales; at maturity only these scales persist on the blackened cap. STIPE 9.0 cm x 0.4-0.6 cm, with some loose hyphal webbing in the hollow center, surface smooth, white, glabrous; loose white membranous annulus present. GILLS large pleurocystidia present (handlens). HABITAT lignicolous.

2b Species coprophilous or terrestrial

3a Species inhabiting dry semidesert areas, not coprophilous

3b Species inhabiting moister climatic areas, sometimes coprophilous

4a Pileal universal veil remnant a single stellate patch

................................................................................Coprinus asterophoroides

CAP at first 2.0-3.0 cm, then 4.0-6.0 cm when mature, at first rounded then hemispherical and finally becoming campanulate, then plane; cap veil white even at maturity, very thick and feltlike, torn into a distinctive stellate patch which persists. STIPE 7.0-11.5 cm x 0.3-0.6 cm, hollow and stuffed with a distinct yarnlike strand which persists; smooth, glabrous, white at first, then blackening with maturity; volva reduced to appressed fibrils or occasional small scales on lower part of stipe; no bulbous volvate base present. HABITAT terrestrial in dry or desert areas.

4b Pileal universal veil remnant an irregular patch or several small patches

................................................................................Coprinus xerophilus

CAP 1.6-4.0 cm broad, short acorn-shaped to subglobose then becoming rounded, broadly campanulate and eventually revolute, the apex remaining domelike; white at first then blackening under the veil; veil thick and feltlike, white, in one cap-like piece or in several irregular patches or areolae. STIPE 4.0-7.5 cm x 0.25-0.6 cm, hollow with a loose webbing of hyphae stuffing it or occasionally with a slender yarnlike thread in the center; stipe base bulbous with a distinct volvate ridge on its upper surface. HABITAT terrestrial in dry or desert areas.

5a (3b) Species coprophilous, sporocarps 1.2-3.8 cm long prior to expansion

5b Species not coprophilous, sporocarps 3.2-25.4 cm long prior to expansion

6a Stipe becoming black at apex after expansion of pileus

................................................................................Coprinus spadiceisporus

CAP 3.0-3.8 cm long when young, 5.0-6.0 cm broad when mature; white when young, apex pale brown, soon entirely dark greyish brown, surface soon deeply plicate striate; pileal veil of small appressed scales, dingy or dirty white in color, loosening in age. STIPE 10.0-12.0 cm x 0.5-0.8 cm, hollow with a loose weblike mass of hyphae in it; white, smooth and glabrous except for a loose tomentum at the base, color soon darkens to light brownish over most of the length and darkens to almost black at the apex; annulus prominent, loose, white, felty in nature. HABITAT coprophilous on deer or rabbit dung.

6b Stipe not becoming black at apex

7a Stipe white at apex and pale umber at base

................................................................................Coprinus umbrinus

CAP 2.5-3.5 cm long when young, acorn-shaped, creamy yellow at margin to umber at apex becoming dark grey; surface at first with many small scales, remaining so only at the apex in maturity. STIPE 6.0-15.0 cm x 0.2-0.8 cm, hollow, stuffed with a web of loose hyphae and a yarnlike hyphal strand; white at apex, umber at base; prominent, loose, flaring, submembranous annulus present which appears to be a volva margin dislodged and carried a short distance up the stipe. HABITAT coprophilous on horse dung in open pastures.

7b Stipe pink at apex and white at base

................................................................................Coprinus roseistipitatus

CAP 2.5-3.5 cm long when young, acorn-shaped becoming revolute and somewhat laciniate, pale brown at first then white with brown apex and finally black with whitish striations; surface at first covered with a smooth universal veil which becomes scaly; those scales become evanescent and in large part disappear. STIPE 11.5 cm x 0.4-0.65 cm, hollow, stuffed with a thin webbing of hyphae; silky glabrous surface, white at base, in maturity pale pinkish grey at apex, fading to grey when dried; annulus prominent, loose, becoming black on undersurface when mature; substrate covered with a thin but persistent white feltlike mycelium. HABITAT coprophilous on rabbit or deer dung in moist hardwood forest.

8a (5b) Stipe up to 50.5 cm long, sporocarps very large

................................................................................Coprinus colosseus

CAP 13.0-25.4 cm long when young, smaller as lysis proceeds, oblong-oval becoming broadly campanulate and finally laciniate-revolute; white at first with brownish tipped scales and brown apex, entire cap darkens with maturity. STIPE 35.0-50.5 cm x 1.5-2.5 cm, hollow, with a loose yarnlike thread of hyphae inside; white at first, then darkening as autolysis proceeds; often with rhizomorphs present in the soil at the base; annulus present usually, loose, white. HABITAT and HABIT terrestrial, on loose soil in brushy deciduous forest in clumps, rare.

8b Stipe up to 32.0 cm long, usually much shorter, sporocarps small to large

9a Individual scales of pileal universal veil very small and numerous, pileus size small, 3.0-3.2. cm long

................................................................................Coprinus palmeranus

CAP 3.0-3.2 cm long, acorn-shaped, then becoming revolute; at first white with light brown apex soon becoming grey-white with small scales of the universal veil, at maturity scales tend to become evanescent and vanish. STIPE 8.5 cm x 0.3-0.7 cm, hollow, stuffed with a loose webbing of hyphae, base bulbous with a slender subtending rhizomorph, white; annulus present, small, membranous, white. HABITAT terrestrial on clay soil in open grassy maple woods. REMARKS very similar to C. comatus but much smaller.

9b Individual scales of pileal universal veil large and small mixed, not as numerous, pileus size larger, 4.0-12.0 cm long

................................................................................Coprinus comatus

CAP 4.0-12.0 cm long, at first ovate-oblong, becoming campanulate and finally revolute or laciniate or both; at first white with brown tipped scales and apex, soon becoming black with dark brown scales and apex, the scales usually become somewhat evanescent and disappear in part as lysis proceeds. STIPE 7.5-19.0 cm x 0.35-2.1 cm, hollow, stuffed with a loosely interwoven yarnlike hyphal thread; base bulbous to abrupt; annulus membranous, large, loose, white, occasionally adheres to stipe base as volva. HABITAT terrestrial, widespread on lawns, roadsides, trails, compost heaps, etc.Coprinus comatus
Coprinus comatus
Michael Beug

 

 

COPRINUS Section LANATULI

1a Species coprophilous, on compost, or on decayed straw

1b Species terrestrial, lignicolous or carbonicolous

2a Universal veil of cap thin, weblike and adherent at maturity, sporocarps on compost

................................................................................Coprinopsis undulata

CAP at first 1.0-3.1 cm long, becoming 1.0-3.4 cm wide, long acorn-shaped, then campanulate, at first covered with white to pale tan universal veil, surface pale brown to hygrophanous brown at the apex, becoming dark hygrophanous grey with a brownish tint and dark brownish grey at the apex, becoming slightly plicate-striate. STIPE 2.0-6.0 cm x 0.15-0.6 cm, hollow with loose hyphae in upper half of the lumen, white, surface smooth, silky and glabrous, small patches of universal veil at the base in button stages. SPORE DEPOSIT soot black. HABIT and HABITAT on compost in large clusters.

2b Universal veil of cap thick, of scales that become very loose at maturity, sporocarps on dung or on wet decayed straw

3a Stipe base terminating abruptly into loose mycelium at the substrate surface

................................................................................Coprinus fimetarius(3)

CAP at first 0.2-3.0 cm long, becoming 0.3-2.4 cm wide, long acorn-shaped, becoming campanulate and eventually revolute; at first greyish white greyish brown with white universal veil [sic], then darkening with age but remaining brown at the apex; cap veil breaks up into loose, somewhat upturned scales. STIPE 1.5-15.0 cm x 0.05-0.4 cm, hollow, base often slightly enlarged and with a faint annular or volvate zone near the base; surface white, mostly smooth and glabrous. SPORE DEPOSIT soot black to deep purplish black or deep brownish black. HABITAT coprophilous or on rotting hay or straw.Coprinus fimetarius
Coprinus fimetarius
Michael Beug

3b Stipe base terminating in a long tapering usually solid radicating process which is often inserted deeply into the substratum

4a Spores 12.5-15.4 um long

................................................................................Coprinus macrorhizus(4)

CAP at first 1.0-3.6 cm long, becoming 1.5-4.0 cm wide at maturity, acorn-shaped, then campanulate and eventually revolute; at first white to grey-white with pale brown or yellow-brown apex overlain by white universal veil, eventually dark grey to dark grey-brown at the apex; veil breaks up into loose small scales; some plicate striation develops; surface of the cap lubricous when fresh. STIPE 6.0-23.5 cm x 0.1-0.65 cm, up to 8.0 cm or even more of the stipe length may consist of a radicating pseudorhiza penetrating into the substrate, stipe hollow but rooting base solid with little or no lumen, base somewhat enlarged; stipe surface white, glabrous to thinly fibrillose. SPORE DEPOSIT soot black to dark brownish black. HABITAT coprophilous or on rotting hay or straw.Coprinus macrorhizus
Coprinus macrorhizus
Kit Scates Barnhart

4b Spores 7.5-11.2 um long

................................................................................Coprinus macrorhizus var. microsporus

As described in C. macrorhizus var. macrorhizus except that the spores are smaller (7.5-11.2 x 5.0-6.9 um) and the cap apex is yellowish.

5a (1b) Universal veil feltlike or thin and arachnoid (weblike), usually somewhat adherent, breaking into irregular patches

5b Universal veil of parallel filaments, usually breaking up into small loose scales or somewhat adherent shredlike remnants

6a Species lignicolous, universal veil white

................................................................................Coprinopsis bubalina(5)

CAP at first 1.0-3.5 cm long, becoming eventually 3.0-6.0 cm wide, rounded oblong at first, becoming campanulate then somewhat revolute; at first covered with white universal veil, but soon revealing a honey-colored, yellow-tan to light ochre surface, apex of similar color, entire cap blackens at maturity, some plicate striation present; cap flesh buff colored. STIPE 1.5-8.0 cm x 0.4-1.4 cm, hollow but pithy; whitish buff and bruising tan; surface faintly pruinose, small evanescent remnants of universal veil present near the base. SPORE DEPOSIT black. HABITAT and HABIT lignicolous, on walnut and mulberry slash; solitary to clustered.

6b Species terrestrial, universal veil pale tan to brown

7a Cap apex dark greyish brown and becoming almost black at maturity, no annular line at base of stipe

................................................................................Coprinopsis brunneistragulata

CAP at first 2.0-2.5 cm long, becoming 4.0-6.0 cm wide, ovate, becoming campanulate and finally revolute; at first dark gray with lighter grey universal veil patches and dark greyish brown at the apex, becoming darker grey and brownish black at the apex; some plicate striation present. STIPE 10-12 cm x 0.2-0.5 cm, hollow, base nearly abrupt; white or faintly greyish, surface somewhat fibrillose. SPORE DEPOSIT brownish black. HABITAT and HABIT terrestrial, in lawns; solitary. REMARKS Autolysis is usually incomplete.

7b Cap apex light brown and becoming medium brown at maturity, faint annular ring present at base of stipe

................................................................................Coprinopsis alutaceivelata

CAP at first 1.0-2.0 cm long, becoming 1.7-2.9 cm wide, acorn-shaped, becoming campanulate; at first tan with universal veil, apex under the veil is medium brown, at maturity cap surface is yellow-brown and apex is brown; surface eventually plicate-striate. STIPE 1.0-2.5cm x 0.2-0.3 cm, hollow; faint annular or volval ring present at the base; white, surface glabrous and silky. SPORE DEPOSIT soot black. HABITAT and HABIT terrestrial, on soil and conifer needle duff; loosely clustered.

8a (5b) Universal veil reddish or almost black

8b Universal veil. hyaline or very pallid except at cap apex

9a Universal veil remnants almost black, autodigestion restricted to the gill margin, on decaying sticks

................................................................................Coprinopsis marcida(6)

CAP at first 0.4-0.5 cm long, becoming 1.0 cm wide, acorn-shaped becoming conic, then plano-convex and finally revolute; at first pale grey or white under a dark grey to greyish black universal veil, becoming pale grey with white striae and dark grey at the apex; becomes deeply plicate-striate STIPE 3.5 cm x 0.06-0.11 cm, hollow but filled with water, pale grey to translucent straw color, upper surface glabrous, lower surface covered with coarse strigose grey fibrils. SPORE DEPOSIT soot black. HABITAT and HABIT lignicolous in conifer woods on moss-covered wood; solitary. REMARKS Autolysis is incomplete: only the gill margins are affected.

9b Universal veil remnants sparse, reddish brown in color, autodigestion lyses most of the pileus, on soil mixed with brown cubical rotted wood

................................................................................Coprinopsis sylvicola

CAP at first 1.5-2.0 cm long, becoming 1.8-2.3 cm wide, long and almost cylindrical at first, becoming conic, then campanulate and finally revolute; at first medium grey and medium grey-brown at the apex, becoming generally dark grey and dark grey-brown at the apex; universal veil sparse, composed of minute reddish brown scales or filaments; some plicate striation present. STIPE 7.0-9.0 cm x 0.15-0.25 cm, hollow, greyish to dirty white, surface mostly smooth, some appressed scale-like patches on the lower one-third. SPORE DEPOSIT soot black. HABITAT and HABIT terrestrial or sublignicolous, on leaves and debris among chunks of rotten conifer wood in a mixed forest; small loosely clustered groups.

10a (8b) Cap surface either with no plicate striation or with very little, on sawdust and wood chips

................................................................................Coprinopsis pachyderma

CAP at first 0.8-1.1 cm long, becoming 1.8-2.2 cm wide, acorn-shaped, becoming conic, then campanulate and finally revolute and laciniate; at first pale grey-white and medium brown at the apex, becoming generally darker with maturity; surface faintly striate but with little development of plicate striation; universal veil loose and composed of hyaline to pale brown fibrous scaly remnants; if fresh, small glistening drops present. STIPE 6.0-8.5 cm x 0.2-0.3 cm, hollow, white, surface silky to slightly wooly at the apex, becoming increasingly wooly towards the base. SPORE DEPOSIT soot black. HABITAT and HABIT lignicolous on wood chips and sawdust; loose groups.

10b Cap surface with noticeable plicate striation and often deeply so, terrestrial or lignicolous

11a Autodigestion consumes only about half of each gill, the remainder either drying or petrifying, on greenhouse soil mixtures

................................................................................Coprinopsis tectispora

CAP at first 1.0-1.4 cm long, becoming 1.0 as wide, long acorn-shaped, becoming conic, then campanulate and finally revolute; at first white, then grey with white veil scales and apex becoming dark grey; finely plicate-striate; scales of the universal veil become recurved and loose at maturity. STIPE 4.0-5.0 cm x 0.15-0.3 cm, hollow, white, enlarged at the base and somewhat inserted into the substrate, base with annular zone of fibrils, surface minutely fibrillose. SPORE DEPOSIT deep purplish black. HABITAT and HABIT terrestrial on greenhouse soil; solitary or in loose clusters.

11b Autodigestion of cap complete or nearly so, on soil, litter, wood or woody debris or on charcoal

12a Cap short acorn-shaped when young

12b Cap long acorn-shaped when young

13a Basidia four-spored, on soil or wood

................................................................................Coprinopsis lagopides var. lagopides

CAP at first 1.5-3.0 cm long, becoming 3.0-5.5 cm wide, short acorn-shaped at first, becoming conic, then campanulate and finally revolute; at first pale greyish white to pale brown with concolorous apex, becoming grey to dark brownish grey and dark brownish grey to almost black at the apex; cap surface becomes plicate-striate very early; veil soon breaks up into small loose hyaline to white scales. STIPE 8-15 cm x 0.25-0.5 cm, hollow, white, surface glabrous or with small fragments of hyphae scattered along it or with small white to pale brown patches on or near the base. SPORE DEPOSIT dark brown to soot black. HABITAT and HABIT terrestrial to seemingly lignicolous on soil, woody debris or on rotting maple stumps; solitary or in small groups.

13b Basidia three-spored, on burnt soil of charcoal

................................................................................Coprinopsis lagopides var. trispora(7)

As described in C. lagopides var. lagopides except that the basidia are mostly three-spored and the habitat is recently burned soil and charred debris.

14a (12b) Spores with normal. rounded wall in suprahilar area, no suprahilar depression present

................................................................................Coprinopsis cinerea var. cinerea(8)

CAP at first 1.5-3.5 cm long, becoming 2.0-6.0 cm wide, long acorn-shaped at first, becoming conic, then campanulate and finally campanulate and laciniate; at first white to pale brown and darker brown at apex under a white universal veil layer, becoming dark grey to grey-brown, the veil becoming very small loose scales; striate from the first and becoming deeply plicate-striate. STIPE 5.0-18.0 cm x 0.17-0.7 cm, hollow, often enlarged at the base; white; surface glabrous, sometimes with strigose wooly fibrils at the base. SPORE DEPOSIT deep brownish black to soot black. HABITAT and HABIT lignicolous to seemingly terrestrial (from buried wood ?), on soil, forest litter, wood chips, hardwood sticks, twigs, and stumps; solitary or loose clusters.

14b Spores with a pronounced suprahilar depression

................................................................................Coprinus cinerea var. depressa(7)

As described for C. cinereus var. cinereus except that the spores have a conspicuous suprahilar depression.

 

 

COPRINUS Section ATRAMENTARII

1a Cap with prominent brownish striations, but no plicate-striations

................................................................................Coprinopsis striata

CAP at first 2.0-2.8 cm long becoming 3.0-4.0 cm wide, at first ovate, then conic, then campanulate, and finally revolute, always umbonate; creamy pale tan with prominent radially oriented brown striations from apex to margin, apex brown; no plicate-striation; no superficial evidence of a veil. STIPE 8.0-10.0 cm x 0.24-0.55 cm, hollow, narrow at base, enlarging to maximum diameter about 1/3 of the way up, white with a few small brown scales on the lower 1/3. SPORE DEPOSIT deep brownish black. HABITAT and HABIT terrestrial, on duff in coniferous forest; solitary or in small groups.

1b Cap with no prominent brownish striations, but sometimes with small plicate-striations

2a Cap apex prominently depressed

................................................................................Coprinopsis depressiceps

CAP at first 2.5.3.5 cm becoming 3.0-4.5 cm wide, at first subglobose, then rounded conic, center of cap depressed at apex; grey-brown to dark grey-brown at the apex, with a few small bits of brown fibrils; no plicate-striation. STIPE 8.0-10.0 cm x 0.4-0.9 cm, hollow, long and slender, tapering towards base and apex from the enlarged middle, base rooted deeply into substratum; white above the middle and white with small brown appressed scales below the middle; a small ring-like flange present on the enlarged middle portion. SPORE DEPOSIT dark brownish black. HABITAT and HABIT terrestrial or sublignicolous, on soil around willow trees; solitary or in small clusters.

2b Cap apex plane or umbonate

3a Spores broadly ovate-ellipsoidal to subglobose

................................................................................Coprinopsis pinguispora

CAP at first 3.5-4.0 cm long, becoming 3.0-4.0 cm wide, at first broadly conic-ovate, then spreading conic, never revolute; grey-brown to brown at the apex and eventually becoming entirely dark sordid brown; no plicate-striation and only a few small brown adherent fibrillose scales. STIPE 7.0-11.0 cm x 0.4-0.8 cm, hollow, broadest at a point 1/3 of the way up; white except for a few brownish adherent scales on the lower third; a narrow ring-like flange present on the enlarged portion of the stipe. SPORE DEPOSIT dark brown. HABITAT sublignicolous on clay soil at the base of alder trees.

3b Spores ellipsoidal or narrowly ellipsoidal, never subglobose

4a Cap apex rounded, flattened, or truncate, never umbonate, veil scanty

................................................................................Coprinopsis atramentaria var. atramentaria

CAP at first 2.0-6.5 cm long, becoming 3.0-8.0 cm wide, shape variable at first, globose, subglobose, short acorn-shaped, ovate, later becoming subconic, then broadly rounded conic and often finally revolute or laciniate, never umbonate; light grey-tan and medium brown at apex at first, becoming darker and then blackening prior to lysis; poorly developed plicate-striation sometimes present, surface varies from smooth and glabrous to partially covered with small brown appressed scales. STIPE 3.0-17.5 cm x 0.25-1.0 cm, hollow, slightly enlarged about 1/3 of the way up, a ring-like flange present on this enlarged area; white above the enlarged area and white with small brown appressed scales below it. SPORE DEPOSIT deep brownish black. HABITAT and HABIT terrestrial or sublignicolous or even lignicolous and most often found near or on well rotted wood. Solitary to densely caespitose. REMARKS Large pleurocystidia are visible (with a handlens) between the gills.

4b Cap apex either umbonate or veil abundant and forming areolate patches

5a Cap apex umbonate, veil scanty

................................................................................Coprinopsis atramentaria var. acuminata(7)

As described in C. atramentarius var. atramentarius except that a prominent umbo is present at the cap apex.

5b Cap apex not umbonate, veil thick and often forming areolate patches

................................................................................Coprinopsis atramentaria var. crassivelata(7)

As described in C. atramentarius var. atramentarius except that the universal veil is much more abundant and breaks up into areolate patches on the cap surface

 

 


(3)A notable feature of Coprinus fimetarius is dung habitat, but the name Coprinus fimetarius has been used for Coprinopsis lagopus (Fr.) Fr. which may fruit on woody debris. Breitenbach &Kränzlin give Coprinus fimetarius (L.) ex Fr. p.p. as a synonym of Coprinus radiatus (Bolton: Fr.) Gray (which is now Coprinopsis radiata (Bolton) Redhead, Vilgalys &Moncalvo). Coprinus fimetarius sensu auct. brit. is given as a synonym of Coprinopsis cinerea (Schaeff.) Redhead, Vilgalys &Moncalvo in the online Index Fungorum accessed January 24, 2008. If the species concept is still valid it should be moved to Coprinopsis.

(4)The online Index Fungorum accessed January 24, 2008 gives Coprinus cinereus var. macrorhizus (Pers.) Fr. and Coprinus fimetarius var. macrorhizus (Pers.) Sacc. as synonyms of Coprinopsis cinerea (Schaeff.) Redhead, Vilgalys &Moncalvo. If the species were judged valid it would have to be moved to Coprinopsis.

(5)This species was described from Lafayette, Montana, and has not been reported from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, or Idaho.

(6)This species was described from Montana and has not been reported from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, or Idaho.

(7)This variety has not formally been recombined.

(8)The inline Index Fungorum, accessed January 24, 2008, lists among the synonyms of Coprinopsis cinerea (Schaeff.) Redhead, Vilgalys &Moncalvo the following other taxa: Coprinus fimetarius var. cinereus (L.) F., Coprinus fimetarius var. macrorhizus (Pers.) Sacc., Coprinus fimetarius sensu auct. brit., and Coprinus macrorhizus (Pers.) Rea.


COMMON COPRINUS SPECIES NOT INCLUDED IN KEY

 

Dr. Van De Bogart treated only the Sections Coprinus, Lanatuli, and Atramentarii in his key.

There are numerous other Coprinus species, but the following are commonly encountered and recognizable. Descriptions are derived from Smith(1949), Moser(1983), Arora (1986), Phillips(1991), Hansen et al.(1992), and Breitenbach & Kränzlin(1995).

Incidentally, microscopic details of the species Dr. Van De Bogart treated in his key are available in his articles from Mycotaxon given in the References, or from the CD "MatchMaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest." The latter also contains descriptions of some other less commonly identified species of Coprinus (in the wide sense) that are not included in this key.

 

Coprinellus disseminatus (Pers.: Fr.) J.E. Lange

This species has been called little helmet, fairy bonnet, or crumble cap. It is included in Section Setulosi. Features include small size, delicate consistency, pale colors when young, translucent pleated cap, failure to deliquesce, growth in crowded troops, and black spore deposit. Microscopically there are elliptic spores, cheilocystidia are rare to scattered, and the cap surface has large pileocystidia. CAP 0.5-1.0(1.5) cm across, bluntly conic becoming bell-shaped, then sometimes convex; whitish or buff with honey-brown center, becoming more grayish toward margin when old; deeply striate or pleated to center and translucent when mature, pruinose to minutely scurfy when young; flesh very thin and fragile. GILLS adnate to adnexed, readily seceding, 16-20 reaching stipe; broad; at first white but soon ash-gray, finally black or slightly paler; not deliquescing. STIPE 1.5-4 cm x 0.05-0.2 cm, thin, equal, hollow, very fragile, often curved; white or buff; with minute hairs at first, becoming smooth. HABIT and HABITAT in large dense groups (sometimes hundreds), on or near stumps or decayed wood or debris, or on buried wood, usually in woods or grassy areas. SPORE DEPOSIT dark brown to blackish. MICROSTRUCTURES spores 7-10 x 4-5 um, elliptic; basidia 4-spored, trimorphic; pleurocystidia none, cheilocystidia rare to scattered, clavate to saccate, 60-80 x 10-20 um, occasionally fusoid-ventricose and similar to pileocystidia, paraphyses 10-12 x 8-11 um; large pileocystidia 100-215 x 10-20 um with rounded apices and cylindric above a slightly ventricose base; caulocystidia more or less similar to pileocystidia and readily collapsing; clamp connections not seen. REMARKS Other species in Section Setulosi (with pileocystidia best seen at the youngest stages) occur in the Pacific Northwest. One of them, Coprinus impatiens, is described below. According to Arora, C. impatiens differs in being slightly larger with crowded, at least somewhat deliquescent gills, and in occurring usually in smaller groups of up to twelve. Coprinus disseminatus
Coprinus disseminatus
Michael Beug

Coprinellus impatiens (Fr.: Fr.) J.E. Lange

Features include a small orange-brown to grayish beige pleated cap which dries whitish, gills which deliquesce slowly, a whitish stipe, growth in leaf litter, and black spore deposit. Microscopically there are elliptic spores and abundant cheilocystidia and the cap surface has pileocystidia. CAP 1-4 cm across, ovoid to bluntly conic when young, becoming broadly bell-shaped or convex or remaining bluntly conic, occasionally with small obtuse umbo; hygrophanous, yellowish to dark honey-color, fading as it dries to gray-beige or whitish, becoming gray-brown to sooty in moist condition but fading to whitish; moist, pleated-striate to the disc, disc a translucent zone when fresh and moist; flesh thin, fragile. GILLS deliquescing slowly if at all, ascending adnate but readily seceding, broad, 25-31 reaching stipe; light yellowish at first, becoming blackish brown; edges whitish-fringed. STIPE 2-10 cm x 0.1-0.4 cm, equal or nearly so, hollow, fragile to moderately pliant; pallid dingy yellowish to grayish, becoming whitish when old; surface very slightly pruinose or downy or fibrillose and appearing dull to satiny. HABITAT on foliage or leaf litter, often in small groups of up to twelve. SPORE DEPOSIT black. MICROSTRUCTURES spores 8.5-11 x 5-7 um, elliptic, smooth, distinct apical pore; basidia 4-spored, trimorphic; paraphyses, 18-20 x 10-15 um, inflated, colorless, pleurocystidia none, cheilocystidia abundant, 43-68 x 10-15 um (according to Smith(1949), but Moser (1983) says between 70 and 90 um), colorless, thin-walled, fusoid-ventricose, apices acute; pileocystidia scattered, 40-100 x 9-15 um, fusoid-ventricose, colorless above ventricose part, below with the wall thickened and pale tawny in some, colorless in others; caulocystidia abundant, similar to pileocystidia except that their walls are thin and colorless throughout; clamp connections not seen.

Coprinellus micaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Vilgalys, Hopple & Jacq. Johnson

This species is sometimes called the glistening inky-cap or the mica-cap, in reference to the fine shiny mica-like particles that are appear to be sprinkled on the fresh cap. It is included in the Section Micacei. Other features include a tan to rusty-yellow striate cap, pallid gills which soon become gray or brownish, then black, slender white stipe, gregarious growth on dead wood, and dark brown to black spore deposit. Microscopically there are elliptic to miter-shaped spores, cheilocystidia and pleurocystidia. CAP 1-4cm high, 1.5-5 cm across when expanded, ovoid becoming bell-shaped, then expanding to convex; tan to yellow-brown, orange-brown, or cinnamon-brown (margin often paler), becoming grayer when old; surface sprinkled at first with minute glistening whitish particles which often disappear when old, striate at least halfway to center, margin usually split when mature; flesh thin, soft, whitish to olive-brown. GILLS adnate to adnexed or free; broad; 52-80 reaching stipe; whitish soon becoming gray or brownish, finally black, deliquescing partly or completely; edges whitish-fringed. STIPE 3-8(12) cm x 0.2-0.6 cm, equal or nearly so, fragile, hollow, white or discoloring buff; pruinose; sometimes a slight basal ring present. HABITAT in clusters on stumps, roots, rotting woody debris, or buried wood. SPORE DEPOSIT dark brown to black. MICROSTRUCTURES spores 6.5-11 x 4-6.3 um, elliptic to miter-shaped, smooth, often flattened somewhat, truncate from a central germ pore; basidia 4-spored, 22-31 x 6-10 um; pleurocystidia 70-100 x 50-70 um, vesicular to elliptic, cheilocystidia 20-90 x 20-75 um, vesicular to clavate; veil on the cap surface of spherical cells, in part brownish, encrusted or thick-walled, only occasional septa with clamps; setae on stipe apex. REMARKS The smaller C. disseminatus is somewhat similar in appearance but is translucent. Coprinus atramentarius is fleshier with thicker stipe, grayish cap, and gills that turn lavender-gray then black.Coprinus micaceus
Coprinus micaceus
Steve Trudell

Parasola plicatilis (Curtis:Fr.) Redhead, Vilgalys & Hopple

This species is sometimes called the pleated inky-cap or Japanese parasol. It is included in the Section Hemerobi. Features include delicate pleated cap, narrow gills attached to a collar at the stipe and tending to wither rather than deliquesce, and growth on ground. Microscopically, there are elliptic to miter-shaped or lens-shaped spores, cheilocystidia and pleurocystidia. CAP 0.5-1.5 cm high, 1-3 cm across when expanded, oval or cylindric to conical when young, broadly convex or flat when old or with uplifted margin; buff to yellow-brown, usually with darker disc-shaped center, when old becoming grayish except for center; deeply grooved (pleated) nearly to center, no veil remnants; flesh very thin, fragile. GILLS free but attached to a collar around stipe top, 30-44 reaching stipe, narrow to broad; soon gray and eventually black, but tending to wither rather than liquefy. STIPE 3-7.5 cm x 0.1-0.3 cm, equal or nearly so, small bulb at base, hollow, very fragile, smooth, white or buff. HABITAT solitary, scattered or in small groups in grass, in woods, along paths etc. SPORE DEPOSIT black. MICROSTRUCTURES spores 10-13 x 6-10 um, elliptic to miter-shaped or lentiform (lens-shaped), smooth, with eccentric germ pore; basidia 4-spored, 25-40 x 11-16 um; pleurocystidia 70-125 x 20-35 um, cylindric to ventricose, cheilocystidia 35-60 x 16-25 um, lageniform to clavate or vesicular; cap cuticle of vesicular cells 25-40 x 14-25 um, some septa with clamps. REMARKS Coprinus disseminatus is smaller, occurs in larger numbers, and is easy to distinguish microscopically. Many other Coprinus species have cap patches or hairs.Coprinus plicatilis
Coprinus plicatilis
Steve Trudell

 

REFERENCES

  1. Arora, David. 1986. Mushrooms Demystified Second Edition. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley.
  2. Breitenbach, J., Kränzlin, F. 1995. Fungi of Switzerland Volume 4 Agarics Second Part. Edition Mykologia Lucerne.
  3. Hansen, Lise, Henning Knudsen editors. 1992. Nordic Macromycetes. Volume 2. Nordsvamp, Copenhagen.
  4. Moser, M. 1983. Keys to Agarics and Boleti. Translated by S. Plant. Publisher Roger Phillips, London.
  5. Phillips, Roger. 1991. Mushrooms of North America. Little, Brown, & Co., Boston.
  6. Redhead, Scott. A., Rytas Vilgalys, Jean-Marc Moncalvo, Jacqui Johnson & John S. Hopple, Jr. 2001. "Coprinus Pers. and the disposition of Coprinus species sensu lato". Taxon 50: 203-241.
  7. Redhead, Scott A. 2000. Bully for Coprinus - A story of Manure, Minutiae, and Molecules. McIlvainea 14(2): 5-14.
  8. Smith, A.H. 1949. Mushrooms in Their Natural Habitats. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.
  9. Van De Bogart, Fred. 1976. "The Genus Coprinus in Western North America, Part I: Section Coprinus". Mycotaxon 4(1): 233-275.
  10. Van De Bogart, Fred. 1979. "The Genus Coprinus in Western North America, Part II: Section Lanatuli". Mycotaxon 8(1): 243-291.
  11. Van De Bogart, Fred. 1979. "The Genus Coprinus in Western North America, Part III: Section Atramentarii". Mycotaxon 10(1): 155-174.

 

 

GLOSSARY

annular - resembling a ring or referring to a ring, as in an annular zone on stem

annulus - ring on stem

areola (plural areolae) - small area bounded by cracks

areolate - with a pattern like dried cracked mud

autodigestion - self-digestion

autolysis - self-digestion

caespitose - growing in close groups or close clusters or tufts (may be from a common base, but stems not joined together)

carbonicolous - growing on burned ground

clavate - like a caveman's club; when used of cystidia, implies that the part that extends outward beyond the hymenium is thicker

coprophilous - growing on dung

cuticle - the cap skin or surface layer of cells

deliquesce - melt into liquid

deliquescent - melting into a liquid

equal - of a stem, the same diameter throughout its length

evanescent - soon disappearing, fleeting

glabrous - bald, without hairs or raised fibers or scales or raised patches

globose - spherical, like a globe

hyaline - colorless

hygrophanous - surface changing color markedly as it dries, usually having a water-soaked appearance when wet and turning a lighter opaque color on drying

hymeniform - resembling a hymenium (spore-bearing surface) in form

inflated - enlarged in some part

laciniate - of cap, cut into radial bands at the margin

lageniform - of cystidia, swollen at the base with the middle and top part tapered into a long beak, like a gourd, therefore gourd-like

lignicolous - living in, on, or out of wood

lubricous - greasy or slippery or oily but not viscid (sticky) or slimy

obtuse - blunt, not pointed; greater than a right angle

paraphysis (plural paraphyses) - in Coprinus, flattened broad sterile cells between the basidia, to be distinguished from cheilocystidia and pleurocystidia which are longer in relation to their width

pileal - pertaining to the cap (pileus)

pileocystidium (plural pileocystidia) - sterile cell on the surface of the cap

pileus - cap of a mushroom

plane - having a flat surface

pleurocystidium (plural pleurocystidia) - a sterile cell located on the face (side) of a gill

pruinose - looking finely powdered or finely granular

pseudorhiza - a long rootlike extension of the lower stem

radicating - forming a root

recurved - curved back: when used of cap margin or scales means curved back upward

revolute - rolled back: when used of cap, means rolled back upward

rhizomorph - cordlike strand of twisted hyphae present around base of stem

saccate - shaped like a sac

scurfy - surface covered with branlike particles resembling scales

seceding - refers to gills that have separated in their attachment to the stem and have the appearance of being free

seta (plural setae) - pointed, elongated, thick-walled sterile cells

sordid - dingy-looking

sporocarps - fruiting bodies

stellate - star-shaped

strigose - having long stiff hairs

sub- - prefix meaning nearly, more or less, somewhat, slightly

terrestrial - appearing to grow from the ground, or on the ground, as opposed to growing on wood

tomentum - a covering of densely matted woolly hairs

trimorphic - of three forms

um - one thousandth of a millimeter, same as micron

ventricose - wider in the middle

vesicular - of cystidia, with entire cell swollen or appearing inflated like a large sac or bladder (vesicle), with only the base abruptly tapered

INDEX OF INCLUDED SPECIES

 GENUS AND SPECIES KEY ENTRIES
   
 COPRINUS Pers. per S.F. Gray  
    Coprinus alnivorus Bogart Sec. Coprinus - 2a
    Coprinus alutaceivelatus Bogart Sec. Lanatuli - 7b
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis alutaceivelata (Bogart) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus arachnoideus Bogart Sec. Coprinus - 1a
    Coprinus asterophoroides Bogart Sec. Coprinus - 4a
    Coprinus atramentarius (Fr.) Fr. Sec. Atramentarii - 4a
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis atramentaria (Bull.: Fr.) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus atramentarius var. acuminatus Romagn. Sec. Atramentarii - 5a
    Coprinus atramentarius var. crassivelatus Bogart Sec. Atramentarii - 5b
    Coprinus brunneistragulatus Bogart Sec. Lanatuli - 7a
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis brunneistragulata (Bogart) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus bubalinus Bogart Sec. Lanatuli - 6a
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis bubalina (Bogart) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus cinereus (Schaeff.: Fr.) S.F.Gray Sec. Lanatuli - 14a
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis cinerea (Schaeff.: Fr.) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus cinereus var. depressus Bogart Sec. Lanatuli - 14b
    Coprinus colosseus Bogart Sec. Coprinus - 8a
    Coprinus comatus (O.F. Müll.: Fr.) Pers. Sec. Coprinus - 9b
    Coprinus depressiceps Bogart Sec. Atramentarii - 2a
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis depressiceps (Bogart) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus disseminatus (Pers. ex Fr.) S.F. Gray *
       = Pseudocoprinus disseminatus (Fr.) Kühner  
       proposed name -  
       Coprinellus disseminatus (Pers.: Fr.) J.E. Lange  
    Coprinus fimetarius Linn. per Fr. Sec. Lanatuli - 3a
    Coprinus impatiens (Fr.: Fr.) J.E. Lange *
       = Pseudocoprinus impatiens (Fr.) Kühner  
       proposed name -  
       Coprinellus impatiens (Fr.: Fr.) J.E. Lange  
    Coprinus lagopides P. Karst. Sec. Lanatuli - 13a
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis lagopides (P. Karst.) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus lagopides var. trisporus Bogart Sec. Lanatuli - 13b
    Coprinus lagopus (Fr.) Fr. *
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis lagopus (Fr.: Fr.) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus macrorhizus Pers. per Rea Sec. Lanatuli - 4a
    Coprinus macrorhizus var. microsporus (Hongo) Bogart Sec. Lanatuli - 4b
    Coprinus marcidus Bogart Sec. Lanatuli - 9a
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis marcida (Bogart) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus micaceus (Fr.) Fr. *
       proposed name -  
       Coprinellus micaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Vilgalys, Hopple & Johnson  
    Coprinus pachydermus Bogart Sec. Lanatuli - 10a
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis pachyderma (Bogart) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus palmeranus Bogart Sec. Coprinus - 9a
    Coprinus pinguisporus Bogart Sec. Atramentarii - 3a
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis pinguispora (Bogart) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus plicatilis (Fr.) Fr. *
       proposed name -  
       Parasola plicatilis (Curtis: Fr.) Redhead, Vilgalys & Hopple  
    Coprinus roseistipitatus Bogart Sec. Coprinus - 7b
    Coprinus spadiceisporus Bogart Sec. Coprinus - 6a
    Coprinus striatus Bogart Sec. Atramentarii - 1a
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis striata (Bogart) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus sylvicola Bogart Sec. Lanatuli - 9b
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis sylvicola (Bogart) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus tectisporus Bogart Sec. Lanatuli - 11a
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis tectispora (Bogart) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus umbrinus Cke. & Massee sensu Rea Sec. Coprinus - 7a
    Coprinus undulatus Bogart Sec. Lanatuli - 2a
       proposed name -  
       Coprinopsis undulata (Bogart) Redhead, Vilgalys & Moncalvo  
    Coprinus xerophilus Bogart Sec. Coprinus - 4b

 

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