What You Should Know
Laccaria fraterna is a species of Laccaria from Australia growing in Eucalyptus and Acacia introduced into the United States. It is characterized by a reddish-brown cap with a finely striate margin which soon fades to buff-brown, flesh-pink gills, and a fibrillose stipe with matted, white mycelium at the base. According to Mueller, Laccaria fraterna is believed to be an introduced species and is associated with ornamental trees like Eucalyptus.
For many years this mushroom was known locally as Laccaria laccata, only L. laccata var. pallidifolia is common.
Other names: Gumtree Deceiver.
Laccaria fraterna Mushroom Identification
1.5-4 cm broad, convex, broadly so in age, the disc sometimes slightly depressed to umbilicate; margin incurved at first, finely striate when moist, occasionally uplifted at maturity; surface hygrophanous, smooth to innately fibrillose, reddish-brown fading to buff-brown, sometimes with a darker marginal band; flesh thin, colored like the moist cap; odor faintly fungal; taste mild.
Adnate to subdecurrent, moderately broad with alternating lamellulae, intervenose, pinkish to flesh-colored.
Stipe 1.5-5 cm tall, 2-5 mm thick, fragile, hollow, cartilaginous, round, sometimes flattened; equal to tapering to a slightly enlarged base; surface pallid to white fibrillose over a vinaceous-brown background, more coarsely fibrillose in age the fibrils then buff-brown, matted white mycelium at the base; flesh dull vinaceous-brown, unchanging; veil absent.
Spores 8-10.5 x 7.5-9 µm, subglobose to broadly elliptical, spinose, nonamyloid; spore print white.
Scattered to gregarious under Eucalyptus, Acacia and other ornamental trees; fruiting from mid to late winter.
Spores ornamented with spines 1-2 µ long, with bases about 1 µ wide; inamyloid. Basidia 2-spored. Cheilocystidia absent. Pileipellis a cutis of elements 5-15 µ wide, with frequent bundles of upright elements; terminal cells clavate or merely cylindric.
Laccaria fraterna Look-Alikes
Has a paler cap; however, to separate Laccaria species with confidence requires microscopic examination of the spores and other features.
Violet colored member of the same genus; once it has dried out it becomes pale buff and virtually indistinguishable from dry specimens of Laccaria fraternal.
Distinguished by its stem, which has a lilac base and a tawny upper section.
Tiny deceiver with a contorted cap. Like Laccaria fraterna it has two-spored basidia, whereas most other Laccaria species found in Britain and Ireland have four-spored basidia.
Laccaria fraterna Taxonomy and Etymology
Described scientifically in 1887 by British mycologists Mordecai Cubitt Cooke and George Edward Massee (1845-1917), the Gumtree Deceiver was initially placed in the genus Agaricus and given the name Agaricus fraternus. Its currently-accepted scientific name Laccaria fraterna dates from a 1965 publication by British mycologist David Pegler (b. 1938).
Synonyms of Laccaria fraterna include Agaricus fraternus Cooke & Massee and Naucoria fraterna Sacc.
The generic name Laccaria translates to 'lacquer' (shiny paint) - not that all deceivers are shiny, although most do have a lacquered look when young and fresh! The specific epithet fraterna means 'brotherly, or about a brother'. This may be because apart from its redder coloration the Gumtree Deceiver bears a brotherly similarity to Laccaria laccata, which is the type species of this genus.
Photo 1 - Author: Tex (Stopwhispering) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Michael W (michael w) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Michael W (michael w) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
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