Identification: Anyone good at identifying fungi?

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by StephenJK, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. StephenJK

    StephenJK Active Member

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    I'd like help identifying these macrofungi. Photos were taken in an older 2nd growth hemlock forest in Washington State just north of the Columbia River. I guess the first two are polypores though I haven't a clue what species. The 3rd looks like Collybia to me and I guess the 4th one is some kind of birds nest maybe Nidula niveotomentosa?
     

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  2. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hi @StephenJK ,

    1. Although colouring suggests one of the redbelts/Fomitopsis, the shape and top surface makes me think odd coloured G. oregonense: Did you touch it - was it relatively lightweight and slightly squishable or heavy and hard?
    2. Ganoderma oregonense, the western varnished conk
    3. Lichenomphalia umbellifera, one of the regions few "mushroom" lichens
    4. agreed, a birds nest and likely Nidula niveotomentosa
     
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  3. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Interestingly I saw specimen that looked exactly like the last two on my walk yesterday (Sunshine Coast, BC).
     
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  4. StephenJK

    StephenJK Active Member

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    Thank you! I did not touch the one in the first photo. It was was rather small - maybe a couple of inches in diameter. I have attached some additional photos of what I take to be polypores I found growing on the trunk of a dead hemlock tree. These were huge - some of them close to 1-1/2 feet wide. They look like they might be G. oregonense...?
     

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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  5. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    @Eric La Fountaine - yes it is a good time of year to see Lichenomphalina, always such a cool critter to find!

    @StephenJK - Your 3 new photos above are likely Ganoderma applanatum
     
  6. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I have a few pics, but not great. Some interesting details.
     

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  7. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me my ignorance Frog, so Lichenomphalia umbellifera is not a fungi but lichen? In my naivete, judging from the shape of the creature alone, I would never guess so. Are there any visible characteristics helping a person like me to decide what is what?
     
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  8. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  9. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    @Sundrop - in the PNW we really only have two lichen (genera) with "mushrooms" as the fruiting body (of the primary fungal partner), so it is a bit easier to offer up some ways to distinguish these from the mushrooms of "non-lichenized" fungi, than if we were in places that have more.

    In the case of Lichenomphalia, the two main features to look for are 1. dark green "algae-looking" thin surface over rotting but intact log 2. Arising from this are un-clustered small (~2-4cm tall) beige/tan mushrooms with gills that run down the stem (decurrent)... kind of umbrella-ish.

    [I teach lichen classes and lead lichen walks etc]
     
  10. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    @Eric La Fountaine - if you regularly carry a handlens with you, I recommend closely examining the peridioles/eggs of birds nest fungi you come across: In some species the peridioles bear sticky tails ... the better to attach to a vector for dispersal :-)
     
  11. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Frog. I am trying to understand. Are there also true mushrooms, looking the same, but without these features?
     
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  12. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Eric. The problem is, I have never seen lichens in a shape of mushrooms, never even had an idea that something like that existed. It is something very new to me.
     
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  13. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    @Sundrop - excellent questions! Yes there are some that look similar ... how similar they look to each person will depend on how familiar that person is with mushroom identification / nature observation.

    For example, (non-lichenized*) omphalinoid mushrooms as a group have this overall general appearance (size, umbrella look, decurrent gills) but the colours/textures are different, sometimes habitat too, and they lack the dark green thin surface over the log.

    Take a look at some online photos of PNW omphalinoids such as Chrysomphalina aurantiaca & spp., Xeromphalina fulvipes & spp., Arrhenia chlorocyanea, Cantharellula spp., Myxomphalia spp.

    * Caveat: In some cases species may not have been examined to prove that they are non lichenized: There may be other cryptic mushroom-producing lichens out there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
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  14. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Frog. So the presence of that green surface over the log helped you with identifying, yes? That the gills run down the stem is visible only on the additional pics? Sorry for torturing you like this.
     
  15. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    No torture @Sundrop … I like discussing lichen :-)

    I can see the evidence of decurrent gills in the above photos - the very slightly visible attachment point on the stipe. But yes always much better to have a clear shot of topside and underside.

    The dark green (thallus) combined with habitat combined with the general appearance of the mushroom. Also is often a winter/spring thing, though seasonality I would not rely on so much.

    Thallus = body of the lichen.
     
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  16. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Frog for the explanation. All this was very interesting!
     
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  17. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Frog, thanks for pointing out some fascinating features of the lichen world. I had no idea that some lichens produce fruiting bodies like many basidiomycete fungi. A quick Internet search confirms what is apparent: the Lichenomphalia umbellifera fruiting body is derived only from the fungal component of the lichen, and its spores can only produce fungal hyphae. This brings up the question of what good are these spores? Is there a way for the algal component of the lichen to produce free-living algae that could somehow unite with the hyphae to create a new lichen body?
     
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  18. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I can't speak specifically for Lichenomphalia's preferred reproduction strategy (though now that you've asked I'll have to pursue that <grin>), but fungal spores from some lichens can and do land next to a compatible alga, and can generate an entirely new lichen thallus.
     

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