What You Should Know
Galerina vittiformis is a species of agaric fungus in the family Hymenogastraceae, and the type species of the genus Galerina. It can be distinguished by its obtusely conical, striate, rusty brown cap, rusty brown gills, a pruinose stipe that darkens from the base upward, distinctly warted spores with a plage, and fusoid-ventricose cystidia. It is widely distributed in temperate regions, where it typically grows in moist locations, often among mosses. The fungus has been shown to bioaccumulate various heavy metals from contaminated soil. G. vittiformis is a common species in California.
Habitat solitary to scattered to gregarious in moss beds; common, fruiting from fall through mid-winter, widely distributed.
Many other small Galerinas, such as Galerina atkinsoniana, Galerina perplexa, and Galerina sahleri look similar, differing only in micromorphological features. A microscope is required for accurate identification.
There are two forms of Galerina vittiformis—one with 2-spored basidia (featured here) and one with 4-spored basidia that produce slightly smaller spores, Galerina vittiformis f. tetraspora. Galerina atkinsoniana is a very similar species that features cystidia on the cap surface. According to Gulden (2010), "Several species and many varieties and forms have been described in the vittiformis complex which is badly in need of revision."
Galerina vittaeformis is an alternate spelling.
Galerina vittiformis Mushroom Identification
Saprobic; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously in moss; summer and fall; probably widely distributed in North America.
2–6 mm; conic at first, becoming broadly conic or convex; dry; bald; medium orangish brown to dull brownish; fading markedly as it dries out, creating a two-toned appearance; the margin lined, almost to the center.
Narrowly attached to the stem; nearly distant; short-gills present; colored like the cap.
7–35 mm long; 0.5–1 mm thick; more or less equal; fragile; dry; when fresh adorned with tiny fibrils; whitish to yellowish above, brownish below; basal mycelium white.
Insubstantial; unchanging when sliced.
KOH negative to reddish on cap surface.
Spores 9–13 x 6–7 µm; subamygdaliform to widely subfusiform; verruculose; orangish brown in KOH; dextrinoid. Basidia 2-sterigmate. Pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia 40–75 x 5–15 µm; lageniform, with a long neck and a rounded, subacute, or subcapitate apex; smooth; thin-walled; hyaline in KOH. Pileipellis a cutis. Clamp connections present.
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