The Wild Side of Life! - SSMC Members Area

Welcome Secret Sunday Mushroom Club Members!

Here you will find documents and useful resources to assist with learning to identify mushrooms and other fungi, for locating foraying sites, to help you to record rare finds, to find out where other people made their finds (the fungal records database), and documents to help you to stay within the law.

 

ALL OF THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS ARE PRESENTED HERE FOR EDUCATIONAL USE. THE COPYRIGHTS ARE HELD BY VARIOUS AUTHORS AND THEY ARE PRESENTED HERE FOR USE ONLY BY FIELD MYCOLOGY STUDENTS UNDER THE PROVISIONS MADE IN COPYRIGHT LAW FOR EDUCATIONAL USE. PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHORS IS REQUIRED TO SHARE OR PUBLISH THESE DOCUMENTS ANYWHERE.

Understanding the Mushroom ID Books - A key to the language and practices of field mycologists. This document was put together by Natascha Kenyon, with additional sections by Fred Gillam. The diagrams used are all taken from various educational guides as is permissible under provisions for educational use. Do not share as this will be a breach of multiple copyrights held by various people. Original References to works included in this document available on request. Click here to download this file

An easy key to the gilled  mushroom families.  This logic diagram will help you to place a gilled mushroom with a central stem (so not oysters / oysterlings / polypopres / brackets / boletes / hedgehogs) into broad family / genus groupings. Copyright Fred Gillam 2016. NOT FOR PUBLIC SHARING. Click here to download this file

Mushroom Odours, an extract taken from Rumack & Spoerke, 1996 A Handbook of Mushroom Poisoning: Diagnosis and Treatment
NOTE: SORRY for the blurry quality of this scan, which is only just about readable. If anyone would like to type it up to improve the quality this would be much appreciated as I do not have a copy of the original book which is out of print. This is a really useful document! Click here to download this file
 

DODGY LOOK-ALIKES GALLERY... I'LL BE ADDING TO THIS IF WE FIND SOME GOOD EXAMPLES SIDE BY SIDE

Purple/blue Cortinarius species vs wood blewits (they do look quite similar)

Here is A picture for your files of a (probably very) toxic web cap, a Cortinarius species and one of several of them that look like a wood blewit - Clitocybe / Lepista nuda. With the characteristic rusty brown spore print of a Cortinarius it becomes easy to be confident when picking blewits; the picture underneath shows what a real wood blewit spore print should look like! Picture attribution: unknown 



 

Contrast the pale buff colour with a hint of peach/pink against the dark rusty brown of the Cortinarius above.

Here is a picture of a wood blewit and its Cortinarius look-alike side by side, kindly supplied by Jo Cooper of the Secret Sunday Mushroom Club. Spot the rusty ring zone on the Cort stem...

Wood Blewit & Cort Comparison

 

Beware the funeral bell!

Here is a picture of a funeral bell, containing the death cap toxins it must be avoided at all costs, especially if you are searching for honey fungus (Armillaria species). It is actually even more similar to the sheathed woodtuft, Kuehneromyces mutabilis, which is a good edible species. Note that the funeral bell does not grow with the stems clustered together at the base but rather in swarms, though may be close together. The caps can be two toned when viewed from above and the examples in this picture are perhaps darker than usual. Funeral bells usually occur in much smaller numbers than honey fungus and they lack the 'beard stubble' scales in the middle of the cap. Their spore print is brown rather than white. Don't go thinking that white spores alone make a mushroom edible though, this is certainly not the case!

 


Pic attribution: Eigenes Werk, Copyleft (Mehrfachlizensierung GFDL, jegliche CC-BY-SA) siehe unten  

 

 Galerina marginata - the funeral bell

 

Deadly dapperling, Lepiota brunneoincarnata and other amanitin containing relatives vs. shaggy ink cap, Coprinus comatus in the button stage

Here is another one to watch... can you spot the 'deadly dapperling' button in this cluster of shaggy ink caps (below - 3rd from the left)? It is a bit unusually bell shaped but when keyed out that's what it was. It contains the death cap toxins (amanitin) too!!! Careless picking could have been fatal here.

 


DOWNLOADABLE FUNGAL KEYS - UK FUNGI

Key to the genus Leccinum (scaber stalked boletes) by Geoffrey Kibby - not quite as up to date as Geoffrey Kibby's latest work but pretty reasonable. Click here to download this file

Key to the genus Lactarius (milk caps) by Patrick Leonard - not quite as up to date as Geoffrey Kibby's latest work but pretty reasonable. Click here to download this file

Key to the genus Xerocomus (red-cracked boletes and allies) by Alan Hills - not quite as up to date as Geoffrey Kibby's latest work so lots have been redefined as Xerocomellus species, but pretty reasonable to work with nevertheless. Click here to download this file

A quick key to waxcaps - unknown attribution. Click here to download this file

 

USEFUL LINKS FOR MYCOLOGISTS

The State of the World's Fungi, a report by The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2018 - can be downloaded here...
https://www.kew.org/state-of-the-worlds-fungi?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=osocial&utm_campaign=SOTWF

Learn to use Irecord - Register your rare and unusual finds with a NBRC - National Biological Records Centre account using irecord. Signing up will give you the ability to record significant finds which will contribute to the pool of knowledge available on fungi conservation in the UK. https://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/

Here is a copy of Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act which lists protected species that you are not allowed to pick. The species listed are mostly plants and there aren't many fungi. The 'hedgehog fungus' listed is actually lion's mane, Hericium erinaceus, so not a hedgehog fungus at all!(toothed rather than spiny). https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/69/schedule/8

Here is the current UK Red Data List for fungi. Interestingly there are rarer fungi than those on the list that are unlisted so it really needs some work. This does not have legal weight but is still a good pointer as to what to avoid damaging from a conservation point of view and what to record should you find it. http://www.britmycolsoc.org.uk/mycology/conservation/red-data-list/rdl-taxa/

This link goes to Magic Mapping, the government's own detailed mapping system that not only gives you access to routemaps and ordnance survey but by turning on and off the various map layers (on the left hand side of the display) it will enable you to track public access land, Countryside & Rights of Way Act Land, SSSI's and other nature reserves, Forestry Commission woods, different types of habitats and much more. A very valuable resource. https://www.magic.gov.uk

Check out Explore Woods, a resource run by the Woodland Trust. Just pop in your location and search for woods where walkers are allowed near you. With reviews and maps (right hand side) https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/map/ T

The UK Fungal Records Database compiled by the British Mycological Society. I include this with some hesitance as it could potentially be mis-used by commercial collectors. Please use it respectfully. It lists all species found on BMS surveys and forays and by members and you can search either by county or by species name. It will give you lots of sites in your area for species like chanterelles and ceps, so what I am saying is please don't use it to track down rarities like lion's mane - Hericium species - and then pick them. I know you wont, you all seem like a decent bunch to me. Rare species locations (i.e the actual name of the wood or meadow) do not tend to be included in many cases but some are. It can be a valuable aid if you are looking for a particular species in your area but please adhere to sensible picking limits at all times! http://www.fieldmycology.net/frdbi/frdbi.asp

 
MYCOLOGY LAB RESOURCES  - BIOLOGY MICROSCOPES, IRON SULPHATE CRYSTALS AND STAINS

This is the best place to get them...

https://micro-science.co.uk/product/ferrous-sulphate-crystal-1-2-cm/

 

Best wishes all and have lots of fun with the learning. Happy hunting! Fred