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Amanita species 02: The Little Brown Amanita

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Amanitaceae > Amanita . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

I find this tiny Amanita in June and July, growing in soil or moss on oak-hickory ridgetops in central Illinois. It is a tiny, brownish species with a basal bulb and a volva that adheres tightly to the bulb except for a tiny extension (a "limb," in Mycologese) at the top. Under the microscope, its spores are amyloid and nearly round. It is very reminiscent of a miniature version of Amanita brunnescens.

Amanita solaniolens, known from Nova Scotia, is apparently similar, but is mycorrhizal with eastern hemlock, features olive to greenish colors, and smells like "old potatoes" (Stewart & Grund, 1974).


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with white oak, appearing in oak-hickory woods; often growing in moss; June and July; Coles County, Illinois.

Cap: 15-40 mm; convex becoming planoconvex; pale brown to grayish brown with a darker center; somewhat radially streaked; the margin not lined; bald; usually without universal veil remnants but occasionally with a few whitish to grayish patches.

Gills: Free from the stem; crowded; with frequent short-gills; white.

Stem: To 60 x 7 mm; more or less equal; terminating in a small, nearly round basal bulb measuring about 10-15 x 10-15 mm; whitish; sometimes discoloring a little brownish on handling; fairly bald; with a thin, high, white ring that flares upwards or hangs skirtlike; with an adherent white volva that extends as a limb for a few millimeters.

Flesh: White; unchanging.

Odor: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: White.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface negative.

Microscopic Features: Spores 5-9.5 µ; globose or subglobose; smooth; amyloid. Basidia 4-spored (rarely 2-spored); unclamped. Pileipellis a slightly gelatinized cutis of elements 2.5-7.5 µ wide. Lamellar trama bilateral; subhymenium subcellular to cellular.

REFERENCES: Herb. Kuo 06130204, 06010403, 05310708, 07080701, 07140701, 07200704, 07270701, 06270804.

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Amanita sp 02

Amanita sp 02

Amanita sp 02

Amanita sp 02

Amanita sp 02

Amanita sp 02

Amanita sp 02

Amanita sp 02

Amanita sp 02
Basidia and subhymenium

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Kuo, M. (2013, May). Amanita sp. 02: The little brown amanita. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: