What You Should Know
Mycena maculata is a species of fungus in the family Mycenaceae. It is characterized by its conic or bell-shaped to convex, smooth to greasy caps, which are blackish-brown to dark brown when young, then fade to brownish-gray, usually retaining an umbo, often wrinkled or slightly grooved and with reddish-brown spots in age or after being cut or bruised. The gills are whitish to pale gray, spotted or almost wholly reddish in age, and the stem is long and fairly stout, sometimes with a rooting base when growing in soft well-rotted wood, its base densely covered with long coarse whitish hairs and staining reddish in age.
The edibility of the fungus is unknown. Although the species is known for and named after its propensity to stain reddish, occasionally these stains do not appear, making it virtually indistinguishable from M. galericulata.
Other names: Reddish-spotted Mycena.
Mycena maculata Mushroom Identification
Umbonate, in age plano-convex, a low umbo often persisting; margin incurved in youth, then decurved, entire to obscurely crenate or eroded at maturity; surface oily when moist, otherwise dry, not hygrophanous, striate to striate-sulcate approximately one-half the distance to the disc, elsewhere glabrous; color when fresh, grayish-brown fading to pale-gray or buff-brown, frequently developing sordid reddish-brown spots; context thin, approximately 1 mm at the disc, white, sometimes discoloring reddish-brown where cut or injured; odor not distinct, taste slightly of cucumbers.
Broadly notched to subdecurrent, fairly well-spaced, thin, ventricose, intervenose, pallid when young, becoming pale-gray, occasionally slightly pinkish, often developing reddish-brown spots on the gill faces, not marginate; lamellulae up to 3-seried.
2-9 cm long, 1.5-4.0 mm thick, straight to curved at the base, equal, somewhat flattened in cross-section, cartilaginous, hollow to stuffed at maturity; the surface of apex glabrous, lustrous, pallid, the lower portion grayish-buff, indistinctly striate to twisted-striate, sometimes spotted reddish-brown, a dense covering of whitish hairs at the base, the latter well developed, growing into the substrate, not bleeding a reddish juice; partial veil absent.
7.5-9.5 x 5.0-5.5 µm, ellipsoid, smooth, thin-walled, amyloid, hilar appendage conspicuous, contents granular with one to several vacuolar inclusions.
Gregarious to clustered, mostly on conifer stumps and logs; fruiting from late fall to mid-winter.
Mycena maculata Look-Alikes
Is distinguished by a vinaceous-purple cap, vinaceous-edged (marginate) gills, and a tendency to fruit on pine cones.
Is similar in color but does not develop reddish-brown spots. Additionally, it typically is larger and has a preference for hardwoods.
This Mycena may also develop reddish-brown areas on the cap but can be recognized by a crenate cap margin, stipe which bleeds a reddish juice, and a hardwood habit.
Mycena maculata Taxonomy and Etymology
The species was first described scientifically by the German mycologist Petter Karsten in 1890. The name Mycena maculata was also used by the Australian mycologist John Burton Cleland in 1934, but that usage was considered illegitimate, and the species he described has since been renamed to Mycena austromaculata by Cheryl Grgurinovic and Tom May in 1997.
The specific epithet maculata is derived from the Latin word "spotted".
Photo 1 - Author: James K. Lindsey (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)
Photo 2 - Author: Arne Aronsen/Naturhistorisk museum, Universitetet i Oslo (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: James K. Lindsey (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)
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