How you can get better help with your mushroom ID's than we can give you with just a view of their tops

I'd like to help you get the right ID for your mushrooms, but with only a view of the top of the mushroom(s) we can only find a relatively small percentage of the possible distinguishing features we need to determine the species. We usually need at least a view from above the horizontal, looking down to show the top side, but preferably at a low enough angle to also show the stem, if it has one, then another view from below the mushroom, aiming at the junction of the stem and the gills, pores, or teeth, to show how they meet, and showing the whole stem.

If you are interested, here are some additional tips on giving more, and better, information on your next fungus observation, to get better help with their ID's,:

Your first view may be taken without removing it from where it is growing, and in many cases you may be able to show both the top(s) and the stalk (if it has one), ideally from close enough to recognize who it is, if it was your friend, and from far enough to see what any group of mushrooms it may be in looks like, and to see a bit of what it is growing in, and with. You then might carefully remove either your only mushroom, or one of your group, from what it is growing in, getting the whole stalk to the very bottom, as well as possible, without breaking the stalk, if you can, and minimizing damage to any soft parts that were under the surface. You can then lay it on the side, and aim your camera at the junction of the stalk and the gills, pores, or teeth, making sure that junction is in focus, but include the whole stalk, and whole cap, in that view, which will show whether or not there is a ring, or scaliness on the stalk, and any distinctive features of the stalk bottom. We will then have much more to go on for a species ID. This mushroom laying on its side can be together in one photo with any others that it may have been growing with, or it can be in a separate photo (as it has to be if you only have one mushroom).

There may be other features to focus on with different views, or that can be described in written notes in the "Notes" section. You may have views from different distances, including those that best show what the mushroom is growing in, and with. For some mushrooms smells, or even taste, can be distinctive, that can be reported on (you can always taste, and spit it all out), some mushrooms also have color changes upon bruising different parts of the surface, that can be shown, and / or reported on. Some will exude fluids of different colors upon cutting different parts. Spore prints can be made with at least gilled mushrooms, and the colors of these can be shown, or reported on. Some people use chemicals on some mushrooms to test for a color change, that they may, or may not, get when putting a couple of drops of certain chemicals on them. There are also microscopic differences that could be shown. Additional things may be used to determine a mushroom species. It always helps to describe any feature in the "Notes" section that can't be clearly seen from one of your observation photos, among those may be the types of trees or plants that may be close to it.

I don't expect most people to do chemical tests or to offer microscopic views, but they are examples of all of the possible additional information one can give for an ID beyond a view of the top(s) of the cap(s), and I don't expect everyone to do taste tests. A view of mushroom caps is therefore only a small percentage of what an identifier might use to identify a mushroom species, so I would usually at least start with views that show top, the underside of the cap, the whole stalk (if it has one), and how the gills, or pores, or ?, meet the stalk, or meet the surface the mushroom grows from if there is no stalk. With only views of the tops you can't expect very good mushroom identifications.

If you find another observation that only has views from above the mushroom, feel free to link to this post!

Posted on Οκτώβριος 25, 2023 0943 ΜΜ by stewartwechsler stewartwechsler


Good points!

Αναρτήθηκε από sedgequeen 9 μήνες πριν

Thank you @sedgequeen !

Αναρτήθηκε από stewartwechsler 9 μήνες πριν

This is great guidance Stewart! I've been suggesting to our community science fans and youth programs to use the selfie mode on their smart phones to capture the underside of fungi. It cannot always provide a focused image, but you can get a general idea of the gills and other underside features.

Αναρτήθηκε από surrey-bc_biodive... 9 μήνες πριν
Αναρτήθηκε από stewartwechsler 9 μήνες πριν

Found my way here after you helped ID a lichen of mine! Thanks for the advice and I'll be sure to use it!

Αναρτήθηκε από afishybutler 6 μήνες πριν

@afishybutler Happy to help, and I look forward to seeing your future mushroom observations!

Αναρτήθηκε από stewartwechsler 6 μήνες πριν

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