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Gastrocybe lateritia

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Bolbitiaceae > Conocybe (Gastrocybe) . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This slimy, wilted, toppling-over mushroom looks like Conocybe albipes with a bad hangover--and if you have a hangover you are likely to miss it, since Gastrocybe lateritia rarely lasts much longer than about noon. In fact the hangover idea (for the mushroom, not you) may not be far from the truth; researchers (Hallen, Watling & Adams, 2003) theorize that Gastrocybe lateritia may be a Conocybe with wilted features "caused by a bacterial infection."

The cap of this mushroom is very slimy, flimsy, and rusty brown; its weight soon causes the weak stem to bend over and collapse. The gills are rusty brown and are usually fairly well formed, but they can also be vein-like, fused, or nearly unrecognizable as gills. Both cap and gills dissolve into a mushy mess very quickly.

DNA studies (Moncalvo et al., 2002; Hallen, Watling & Adams, 2003) have placed Gastrocybe lateritia in the genus Conocybe, though a formal transfer has not been made.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing alone or scattered in grass; summer; probably widely distributed east of the Great Plains, but more common in the Great Lakes region.

Cap: Up to 3 cm across; collapsed-conical; slimy; reddish brown to rusty brown; grooved; turning quickly into mush.

Gills: Rusty brown; usually well formed (before turning into mush), but sometimes fusing together or only rudimentary; fragile; soon dissolving.

Stem: 5-13 cm long; up to about .5 cm thick; equal; white; soon tilting over with the weight of the cap.

Flesh: Insubstantial.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: Not obtainable.

Microscopic Features: Spores 9-16 x 6-8 µ; more or less elliptical (occasionally with nubs at either end); smooth.

REFERENCES: Watling, 1968. (Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Singer & Ponce de Leon, 1982; Barron, 1999; Hallen et al., 2003; Hallen & Volk, 2003.) Herb. Kuo 09270504.

Further Online Information:

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Gastrocybe lateritia

Gastrocybe lateritia

Gastrocybe lateritia

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Kuo, M. (2007, February). Gastrocybe lateritia. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: