Entoloma - biting the bullet

Steve
Frequent user
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: Sheffield, Yorkshire

Entoloma - biting the bullet

Post by Steve » Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:47 pm

Hi,
Is anyone interested in joining me on looking at the genus Entoloma? We are going to hold a free “Entoloma and other grassland fungi” workshop over the weekend September 10-11 next year at Longshaw Estate in the Peak District, which has been claimed by some to be the no.1 site for grassland fungi in the UK. Or is that Hadrian’s Wall? Or somewhere in Pembroke? That all depends on identifying Entolomas accurately as they form the big E in CHEG (Clavaria etc, Hygrocybe, Entoloma and Geoglossum). Rob Foster, a National Trust (Peak District) Volunteer Fungi Surveyor will be leading us on an investigation of these charismatic but difficult fungi.
Here are a few Entolomas we found on a grasssland survey, not easy if you are happier hunting fungi in the woods. Out of approx 170 Entolomas which we counted, the vast majority (102) were identified in the field as Entoloma conferendum. 8 specimens of E. conferendum were checked and all produced star-shaped or concave cubic spores. Others which we named were Entoloma porphyrophaeum and E. rhodopolium (edge of a wood). E. sericeum, E. incanum and E. sericellum are ones we are fairly happy with in the field. On this last survey we found a number with delicate blueish tints which are hard to capture, and some which gave E. conferendum-like spores but looked quite unlike this species macroscopically. This is just about the worst time of the year to be spending hours on a couple of mushrooms when you have about 50 others to check – eventually I gave up on the heavy texts and ran through Bon, which has the spore diagrams nicely next to the text. From that I was tempted to identify the brown-capped blue-stalked little Entolomas as E. asprellum. Just out of desparation. If anyone can suggest a pointer or two for our un-named little Pinkgills that would be good. But I would rather leave them as Entoloma sp.1, 2,3 etc than stick on a label that means nothing.
Steve (National Trust Volunteer Fungi Survey, Longshaw Estate)
1 Entoloma conferendum.jpg
Entoloma conferendum
2 Small pale Entoloma.jpg
a small pale Pinkgill, presumably E. conferendum from spores.
3 Blue stemmed Entoloma.jpg
A blue-stemmed Entoloma, perhaps E. asprellum.
4 Blueish Entoloma.jpg
Another blueish Pinkgill.
5 Tiny Entoloma.jpg
A beutiful tiny Pinkgill with subtle blue tints
6 Small dark Entoloma.jpg
A small dark Pinkgill.
Last edited by Steve on Fri May 06, 2016 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Chris Yeates
Frequent user
Posts: 670
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 7:01 pm
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Re: Entoloma - biting the bullet

Post by Chris Yeates » Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:13 pm

Steve wrote: Longshaw Estate in the Peak District, which has been claimed by some to be the no.1 site for grassland fungi in the UK. Or is that Hadrian’s Wall? Or somewhere in Pembroke? That all depends on identifying Entolomas accurately as they form the big E in CHEG (Clavaria etc, Hygrocybe, Entoloma and Geoglossum). Rob Foster, a National Trust (Peak District) Volunteer Fungi Surveyor will be leading us on an investigation of these charismatic but difficult fungi. . . . . . .
Hi Steve
This raises some interesting issues. The term "claimed by some" is one of those phrases which if you try it in an article on Wikipedia gets flagged as "weasel words".
While making no such claim I suspect the Hebden Valley area in SW Yorkshire (with its richest areas also National Trust property) could take some beating, and it's nothing like the size of Longshaw. I've just done a "CHEG check" and have come up with a total of 77 species (including 35 Entoloma species). The key factor is the quality of the workers who have collected here. This is no degree casting aspersions on you and your Longshaw colleagues - I would readily include myself outside that "quality" when it come to CHEG species. But Prof. Roy Watling grew up in this area for heavens sake, the BMS have visited it.
And this leads on to the second issue - if you pour lots of effort into a site you will get some outstanding results. This is a mycological phenomenon - it is much easier to establish a pecking order (pun intended) when assessing the importance of sites for their birds or their flowering plants.
There is a steep narrow clough near Marsden where in recent years I have found a 2nd British record a 4th and one http://www.indexfungorum.org/names/Name ... dID=805098 of a species new to science (when what was clearly the same fungus turned up two years later in Germany we were able to describe it - I know of no further records, but if it's in Yorkshire and Germany it must be all over the place . . . ). It's a nice enough area, but the reason I visit it is because it's handy for the bus.
In a previous life I worked in a Biological Records Centre and from time to time we would be faced with planning applications on valuable sites. We deliberately aimed in our surveys not to just visit the sites we knew were the richest. This was because if you presented the argument "this site has x number of species - many of them rare" the developers pet ecologist would say "yes but that's just because you have put so many person/hours of survey into it" we knew we had to prove we had also looked at other areas which had proved to be not as rewarding. Left to myself I could have spent all my time in Anston Stones Wood - but I didn't :( . I was once told that Peter Skidmore, the excellent entomologist at Doncaster Museum and one of the key figures in protecting the remainder of Thorne and Hatfield Moors https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorne_and_Hatfield_Moors, would visit a site and swish his sweep net a given number of times and that would be his collecting for the day. That way he would be able to compare sites in a more objective way.
In conclusion I think that what you and the gang are doing at Longshaw is wonderful, but one just needs to bear some of these things in mind when assessing the quality of sites. After all it may well be that the best site in the country for CHEG species has never seen a mycologist . . . . .

cheers
Chris
"You must know it's right, the spore is on the wind tonight"
Steely Dan - "Rose Darling"

roy betts
Frequent user
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:28 pm

Re: Entoloma - biting the bullet

Post by roy betts » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:19 am

Hello Steve, I would be interested in joining a 'Grassland Fungi Workshop' next Sept. (I was up in Dovedale in '06 helping Malcolm Storey with one of his several Grassland Surveys that year). As often is the case, the more you see a species the more familiar you get. Serrulatum should be an easy one but it seems surprisingly variable (gill edge colour). Bloxamii was easy, but now we have madidum as well to consider. Roseum & xanthochroum are 'easy' due to their colour (although need checking microscopically to make sure as there are other pink and yellow spp). In addition to your list, I'm pretty confidant in the field with prunuloides, griseocyaneum, exile, ameides (strong smell), longistriatum, infula, papillatum. Also getting to grips with chalybaeum, turci, cetratum and rhombisporum (easy under the microscope).

Steve
Frequent user
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: Sheffield, Yorkshire

Re: Entoloma - biting the bullet

Post by Steve » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:15 pm

Hi Chris and Roy,
Many thanks for the very interesting comments.
You are quite right Chris - the species list is all about the hours put in by who, and most importantly the hours of microscopy. I've started helping out the local Wildlife Trust around Sheffield - Yorkshire VC side - and some of their sites are wonderful for fungi. At one stage I had a list of fungi from Sheffield streets which was far bigger than most local "ancient" woodlands, and almost half as long as Longshaw's. I had more fungi on my allotment than Lady's Spring Wood - an SSSI! We really started the Longshaw survey as a great opportunity to learn and share our finds. But when within a month the apocalypse of Network Rail's plans loomed, the list of species suddenly seemed to matter. It was probably the only site in our region where the fungi might be of some importance in stopping the rail developments.
Roy - it would be brilliant if you could join us. We're now working with NT fungi surveyors from Ilam in the southern part of the Peak District. We had a very useful waxcap workshop together a couple of weeks ago - here's a picture by Fungi John of us poring over yellow-orange-red waxcaps amongst others.
Attachments
Waxcap Workshop.JPG
Looking at Longshaw's waxcaps - together!

Steve
Frequent user
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: Sheffield, Yorkshire

Re: Entoloma - biting the bullet

Post by Steve » Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:30 pm

This was present in small numbers at a local Sheffield nature reserve last week. It's one I'd be happy to name without doing microscopy - or even touching the toadstool. It's hardly lilac at all in this specimen, but we have found some purplish ones at Longshaw.
Attachments
Lilac Pinkgill.jpg
Lilac Pinkgill - Entoloma porphyrophaeum

Steve
Frequent user
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: Sheffield, Yorkshire

Re: Entoloma - biting the bullet

Post by Steve » Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:46 pm

Hi,
Now the frantic days of autumn recording (and Christmas!) are over, we can relax :) and enjoy our finds. I'll be adding some Entolomas from our survey of the Longshaw Estate during the past couple of years - well away from the manic September zenith of Pinkgill phenology.

We were lucky to find this elusive Pinkgill at Longshaw this autumn. We were actually looking at some large Waxcaps. But where you find one fungus you often find aother, so we drew a 10 metre wide circle around the Hygrocybes, looked very thoroughly and found this. I had never seen it before but the overpowering acetamide smell was key to the ID. I took a single specimen to examine and keep in the herbarium (double-bagged), and noted the lovely colour change in the stem base from green to sky-blue. This is one of Rotheroe's "Top Twenty" indicators of Waxcap Grasslands of conservation importance. (Thanks to Rob Foster for the info).
Steve
Attachments
Entoloma incanum.JPG
Entoloma incanum - hard to spot
Entoloma incanum - Mouse-pee Pinkgill - .jpg
Entoloma incanum - green and blue of stem colour is breathtaking.

Steve
Frequent user
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: Sheffield, Yorkshire

Re: Entoloma - biting the bullet

Post by Steve » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:12 pm

Hi,
Here's an Entoloma which has to be Entoloma vernum, as it was found in spring 2015! In a mixed woodland, Longshaw, Peak District, altitude about 1000 ft. Wet and cold.
The only fly in the ointment was that descriptions of E. vernum are not very consistent...at all.
No-one seemed to be happy to 100% confirm this find on good old WAB, which I had just started to use and now miss as much as my wee doggie... :cry: . And why should they have put a name to it if it's not consistently described?
Sometimes it's like we're playing a game with all kinds of rules! So we put this down as Entoloma cf. vernum.
I suppose that's the best we can do in the circumstances.
However, we took lots of notes (I think), photos and micrographs and have a herbarium specimen, so theoretically we should be able to get an ID sometime. If we live long enough :lol:
Steve
Attachments
1 Field pictures.jpg
Field photos
2 Macro photos1.jpg
Macro shots
3 Macro photos 2.jpg
Macro shots
4 Spores.jpg
Spores in water
5 Gill Edge.jpg
Gill edge - not exciting
6 Cap cuticle in water 1.jpg
Cap cuticle in water

Steve
Frequent user
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: Sheffield, Yorkshire

Re: Entoloma - biting the bullet

Post by Steve » Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:26 pm

The first 3 Entolomas we came across during our survey at Longshaw in January and June 2014, were all with 2-spored basidia. I posted this on WAB:

Honey Pinkgill – Entoloma cetratum
I presume this Entoloma is easy because it’s (unusually for the genus) a species with 2-spored basidia. We found this 3 times at Longshaw last year, in two different woods. One was a remnant ancient woodland, with a larch plantation in its midst. The other was a woodland pasture heavily underplanted with conifers. We have many previous records of Honey Pinkgill at Longshaw. At first sight it’s just a dull yellow-brown LBM, with not much to say it’s a Pinkgill. The features I used to name it were the obvious angular Entoloma spores, and the basidia which are 2-spored.
I used a well-worn 1960’s Vickers Microscope and a hand-held 2005 Konica Minolta digital camera pointed down the eyepiece.
Steve
Attachments
1 Field.JPG
Entoloma cetratum: Field photo
2 Field.JPG
Entoloma cetratum: Field photo
3 Studio.JPG
Entoloma cetratum: studio photo
4 Basidia.jpg
Entoloma cetratum: basidia
5 Spores.JPG
Entoloma cetratum: spores

Steve
Frequent user
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: Sheffield, Yorkshire

Re: Entoloma - biting the bullet

Post by Steve » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:06 pm

The Entoloma cetratum specimens looked at in June did cause a bit of a headache, as they matched the previous find very closely. However, some of the basidia were 4-spored :o . To record this I took multiple shots at different focus levels- which can be stacked (with the freeware Combine ZP I find that it's best just to stack 2 images). A lot of agarics can have variable basidia -sometimes I find it very hard to decide whether Galerinas are mostly 2 or 4-spored. Having 1, 2 or 4-spored basidia on the same gill means that there can be a big variation in spore size. That means you have to decide whether to ignore the very big ones as "fliers" - or not. Some authors like Bon just give an average, typical spore size. In Field Mycology Magazine there tends to be the opposite - a big statistical analysis of spores to precise decimal fractions of a micron, and with length/width ratios (Q value). Another variable is the medium in which you place the spores - some reagents will affect them more by osmosis and either swell or shrink them. In the medical labs we would always use physiological saline to match the in-vivo osmolarity of tissue fluids.
But back to Entoloma cetratum - has this species been found with 4 as well as 2-spored basidia?
Steve
Attachments
1  Field a.jpg
Field
2 Studio a.JPG
Studio
3 spores.jpg
Spores
6c.jpg
Basidia
6d.jpg
Basidia
7 stack.jpg
Basidia stacked image

Steve
Frequent user
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: Sheffield, Yorkshire

Re: Entoloma - biting the bullet

Post by Steve » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:11 pm

Here is yet another specimen which we found in mixed woodland and identified as Entoloma cetratum, based on the habitat, macro features and the 2-spored basidia. But it yet again had some 4-spored basidia. Stacked micrographs show that the 2-spored ones are indeed - 2 -spored, and not just visual artefacts of 4-spored basidia due to a narrow depth of focus.
Steve
Attachments
1 Entoloma cetratum; field photo.jpg
Field photo
2 Entoloma cetratum; macro.jpg
Macro
3 Spores 600a.jpg
Spores
4 Basidia stacked image.jpg
Basidia - stacked image (Combine ZP)
5 Basidia stacked image.jpg
Basidia - stacked image (Combine ZP)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest