E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Mycena galopus
milky Mycena

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi
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Distribution of Mycena galopus
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Species Information

Section Lactipedes (Smith), Section Lactipedes (Maas Geesteranus). Maas Geesteranus includes two other species differentiated by Smith, M. fusco-ocula (the type of which he examined) and M. copiosa (found once in Ohio, the synonymy accepted on the authority of Kuehner). Smith''s version of Mycena galopus (Fr.) Quel. is characterized as an ordinary, slender, gray or blackish Mycena with milk-like fluid when collected, relatively large spores, conspicuous pleurocystidia, and a strong vinaceous brown reaction of the tissues of gills and cap to iodine, (Smith(1)). The description here from Maas Geesteranus(1) unless otherwise specified. Maas Geesteranus says that if there are not milk drops to guide one, reliable characters are the protruding cystidia and the conspicuous vascular hyphae in the stem, (Maas Geesteranus(1)). Smith says "if one does not take the trouble to ascertain the presence of a milklike fluid at the time the specimens are collected, he may never be able to identify the collection correctly. The latex is often scanty and not readily observed. The most accurate way to demonstrate its presence is to break the fruiting body from its point of attachment and carefully observe the broken base for a minute or two. If a milklike juice is present, at least a drop will exude slowly from the broken base. In robust specimens the latex will usually issue readily from any cut or broken portion of the pileus or stipe." (Smith(1)). Smith also describes Mycena fusco-ocula from WA and CA as similar to M. galopus but without milk and with a subviscid and elastic rather than fragile stem. Phillips(1) has a photograph of a species so identified.

Smith says Mycena galopus is very abundant along the Pacific coast from WA to OR and CA, and also in NC and TN. There are collections from BC at the Pacific Forestry Centre and the University of British Columbia. Breitenbach(3) gives the distribution as North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
up to 2.5cm across, conic to bell-shaped, weakly to conspicuously umbonate, somewhat flattening when old, margin flaring and upturned when old; pale watery gray-brown, yellowish brownish, fairly dark sepia brown to very dark sepia gray-brown at center, paler outwards, sometimes with more yellowish or warmer brown shades, margin very pale sepia brown to almost white; surface delicately pruinose becoming bald, shiny, somewhat lubricous, translucent-striate, sulcate, (Maas Geesteranus), fuscous black except for whitish margin, fading, (Smith)
thin up to 0.1mm; sepia brown near cap surface
adnate to slightly uncinate or decurrent with a short tooth, ascending, 13-18(23) reaching stem, up to 0.2cm broad, ventricose; whitish then brownish white, yellowish gray, pale sepia gray-brown, edges whitish; smooth to veined, edges pubescent [fringed] due to cheilocystidia
5-8.5cm x 0.1-0.2(0.4)cm, equal or widening downward, round in cross-section, straight to somewhat flexuous [wavy], curved in lower part, hollow, somewhat elastic; yellowish gray-brown, paler or darker sepia gray-brown, paler to whitish in upper part, darker in lower part; smooth, sparsely pruinose becoming mostly bald, "base densely covered with long, coarse, white fibrils"; "(as a rule) exuding a milk white fluid when incised or broken"
faint or earthy or radishy
not distinct or radishy
Microscopic spores:
spores 10.7-14.3 x 4.9-6.3 microns, elongated pip-shaped (elliptic) to almost cylindric, smooth, amyloid; basidia 4-spored, 25-36 x 7-9 microns, clavate, clamped; cheilocystidia not or only locally forming a sterile band, 50-95 x 8-18 x 2-9 microns, generally fusiform but "not infrequently differently shaped", clamped, "often accompanied by (undeveloped?) much shorter, clavate to obovoid ones, simple to furcate, more rarely with coarse, lateral or apical excrescences", pleurocystidia similar to regularly shaped ones; clamp connections present, (Maas Geesteranus), spores inamyloid or weakly amyloid (Smith)
Spore deposit:
pale cream-colored (Breitenbach)

Habitat / Range

scattered, gregarious or subfasciculate, much more rarely fasciculate [bundled], on debris and decayed wood of various hardwoods, on Alnus (alder) cones as well as on fallen needles of Larix (larch) and Picea (spruce), (Maas Geesteranus), gregarious to scattered on humus under hardwood or conifers, (Smith), summer, fall, (Bacon)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Mycena copiosa Cejp
Mycena fusco-ocula A.H. Sm.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Genetic information (NCBI Taxonomy Database)
Taxonomic Information from the World Flora Online
Index Fungorium
Taxonomic reference: Fuhr. Pilzk.: 108. 1871; Mycena fusco-ocula A.H. Sm.; Mycena copiosa Cejp

Additional Range and Status Information Links


Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Maas Geesteranus(1), Smith(1), Phillips(1) (as M. fusco-occula Smith), Kibby(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, Arora(1), Breitenbach(3)*, Bacon(1)*, Buczacki(1)*, Desjardin(6)*, Siegel(2)*

References for the fungi

General References