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OfflineToxicManM
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Amanita muscaria
    #1914164 - 09/14/03 12:19 AM (14 years, 14 days ago)





Amanita muscaria is perhaps the best known mushroom, at least in terms of art. It appears in artwork dating back about as far back as there is art to be dated.

Rather than present a formal mycological description, here we will cover a few macroscopic features that may be noted in the field to confirm that a mushroom is indeed Amanita muscaria.

Probably the most important character is the multiple rings of tissue at the top of the volva. There are occasional specimens which lack these, but if there are not others in the same group of mushrooms which have them, then you should consider that your mushrooms may not be A. muscaria.

There is normally a skirtlike ring on the stem, but the ring is very fragile, and it is not unusual for specimens to be missing the ring. Buttons should show a partial veil obscuring the gills.

Cap color is not a very good character for identification. Cap color in this species ranges from an extremely deep red through oranges, tans, and yellows to a very near white color. The specimens in the photographs above are all of Amanita muscaria variety flavivolvata (recognized by the conspicuously yellow universal veil). This variety has a strikingly red cap when young. Sunlight fairly rapidly fades the caps, and the photos above shows some specimens with caps that have faded to an orangish-tan coloration.

Normally, the friable univeral veil splits into warts which are left on the cap - a conspicuous feature widely represented in art. However, the warts can easily be washed off, and specimens with no warts at all can be found.

If cut in half, the flesh inside is solid, firm (if fresh), and white. The red color from the cap extends a couple millimeters down into the cap flesh below the surface of the cap.


The primary effects from eating A. muscaria are due to ibotenic acid and muscimol. Muscimol has between 5 and 10 times the potency of ibotenic acid by weight. In experiments, about 6 milligrams of muscimol cause the central nervous system effects. This quantity is typical of a single cap of A. muscaria. The fatal dose is about 15 caps, but the level of toxins varies considerably from specimen to specimen. The toxins exist in all parts of the mushroom.

During drying, some of the ibotenic acid undergoes spontaneous decarboxylation into muscimol. Historically, the native peoples who have used A. muscaria have dried their mushrooms for later use. With storage, the muscimol and ibotenic acid are gradually destroyed. After even one year, quantitative studies of alkaloid content are unreliable. After seven years, only traces remain.

Onset of symptoms is almost always between 30 and 120 minutes after ingestion. There have been unusual cases where onset was delayed up to 6 hours.

The most common symptoms are nausea and vomiting, although not everyone experiences them. The first symptom experienced is usually loss of coordination. The person often finds themselves unable to walk or walks as if drunk. Another striking symptom is that the activity level will rise and fall - for a time the person seems asleep and may be difficult to arouse, then they become almost uncontrollably active. Muscle twitching frequently develops. Some persons experience hallucinations. The most commonly described hallucination is macropsia - the perception that an object is much larger than it actually is. Changes in color perception, subjective changes in one's physical abilites, and amnesia may occur. Generalized siezures rarely occur, but are most frequent in children.

Typically the symptoms peak in 2 to 5 hours, and the duration of the symptoms is 8 to 24 hours. With very few exceptions, all symptoms disappear within 48 hours. Many persons report a hangover type headache.

Overall, there is usually a greater risk of harm from medical overtreatment than there is from the mushrooms themselves.

In the state of Colorado, Amanita muscaria is the most common cause of mushroom poisoning where a species can be identified, followed by Amanita pantherina, then Chlorophyllum molybdites. Anyone who is considering eating them should do so in small quantities, to minimize the potential unpleasant effects, until they know the actual potency of their specimens and what the effects will be.


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Happy mushrooming!


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: ToxicMan]
    #1914167 - 09/14/03 12:20 AM (14 years, 14 days ago)

That's the first draft of the bit I'm planning on putting in the FAQ.

Questions?
Comments?


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Offlinecanid
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: ToxicMan]
    #1914189 - 09/14/03 12:34 AM (14 years, 14 days ago)

i haven't finished reading it yet TM but this is a great writeup so far.


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Attn PWN hunters: If you should come across a bluing Psilocybe matching P. pellicolusa please smell it.
If you detect a scent reminiscent of Anethole (anise) please preserve a specimen or two for study and please PM me.


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OfflineGWAR
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: ToxicMan]
    #1914194 - 09/14/03 12:35 AM (14 years, 14 days ago)

i want to eat some amanitas i found in my yard, whats the safest way to do it?


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Offlineaminitaman
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: GWAR]
    #1914216 - 09/14/03 12:46 AM (14 years, 14 days ago)

[edit: amanitaman, flaming is not allowed. i'm dead ready to give you an official warning for your behavior if you don't wise up. after that it will be a ban.]


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Edited by concretefeet (09/14/03 01:14 AM)


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OfflineGWAR
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: aminitaman]
    #1914250 - 09/14/03 01:01 AM (14 years, 14 days ago)

I ruined it? really? where i come from picking and consuming amanitas is perfectly legal. i mean, i have a nice patch in my backyard. i just wanted some 'information' for the 'purpose' of eating them. im sorry amanitaman.. not to be rude, but i always just thought the point of an FAQ was to answer questions that people ask a lot...

oh yeah.. nice write up ToxicMan. we need more amanita info on this site i think.


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"Freedom to all the people... Brave, true and strong... Freedom to all the people... Unless I think you're wrong!!!"


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OfflineMagmaManiac
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: aminitaman]
    #1914259 - 09/14/03 01:04 AM (14 years, 14 days ago)

well done sir. i liked it. anyway does that variety of A. muscaria have anything to do with A. flaviconia.


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: MagmaManiac]
    #1915070 - 09/14/03 12:24 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

GWAR - your question is a good one. I'll make sure to research it and add a section on that.

MagmaManiac - Other than being in the same genus, there is no particular relationship. A. flavoconia is in subgenus Lepidella, section Validae, and A. muscaria is in subgenus Amanita, section Amanita (A. muscaria is, in fact, the type species for the genus Amanita). One clear difference between them is that the spores of A. flavoconia are amyloid and those of A. muscaria are inamyloid. It is interesting that, in spite of all that, they look an awful lot like each other, and they are probably confused for each other by the unwary. My references indicate that A. flavoconia is suspected of being poisonous, but it sounds like more research needs to be done. The fact that A. flavoconia is in subgenus Lepidella leads me to recommend strongly that nobody should try eating them to find out - the deadly species of Amanita are in that subgenus.

You will probably be interested to note that A. frostiana is frequently an incorrect name given to some collections of A. flavoconia, and A. frostiana is very closely related to A. muscaria. Rod Tulloss says that the great majority of collections of A. frostiana are actually misidentified specimens of A. flavoconia.

Finally, as near as I can tell from Dr. Tulloss' writings, the variety everybody has been calling A. muscaria var. formosa in the US is almost certainly *not*. Apparently that is a European variety, and ours is different. The correct name is A. muscaria var. guessowii.

It'll be nice when they finally get all this stuff sorted out.


Happy mushrooming!


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Happy mushrooming!


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Anonymous

Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: ToxicMan]
    #1915110 - 09/14/03 12:39 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

- Post History Deleted Upon User's Request -


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InvisibleGGreatOne234
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: ToxicMan]
    #1915155 - 09/14/03 01:06 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

Quote:

The specimens in the photographs above are all of Amanita muscaria variety flavivolvata




I would recommend that say this specie-name in the very begining (under the photos)..... otherwise people might just look at the photos and read the first few sentences and move onto the next thing thinking that they are positively Amanita muscaria var muscaria;

-That was what i almost did myself.
-But i ended up reading through the whole thing,
--Excellent work ToxicMan!~ Beautiful shrooms and shroom pics.


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OfflinePsilocybeingzz
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: GGreatOne234]
    #1915410 - 09/14/03 02:42 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

I see the animitas, but arent those other ones pantherina


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OfflineParkgatan
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: Psilocybeingzz]
    #1915518 - 09/14/03 03:23 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

I just picked about 20 A. Muscaria today, what a coincidence that you are all discussing this!

Here in Sweden is the place for them...I've never seen so many anywhere in my life as here in the Scandinavian countries.

I have little experience with this particular mushroom. Friday we did a "toast and eat" to test the strength of our mushooms. Now I've got an oven full of them an no clue what to do with them when they dry.

Are there special precautions/procedures when dealing with A. Muscaria? Can you put THAT in the FAQ?


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Offlinecanid
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: Parkgatan]
    #1915574 - 09/14/03 03:49 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

Quote:


I see the animitas, but arent those other ones pantherina




i take it you didn't read the entire post.


--------------------



Attn PWN hunters: If you should come across a bluing Psilocybe matching P. pellicolusa please smell it.
If you detect a scent reminiscent of Anethole (anise) please preserve a specimen or two for study and please PM me.


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Offlinesirreal
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: ToxicMan]
    #1916162 - 09/14/03 07:43 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

Can they be found everywhere in the U.S? I heard they can be.

Maybe you could include something about that in your faq.

I have looked where I live , but cannot find any.

Southeast mich., BTW.

You could also give details regarding what kind of environment they thrive in.


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I see what everyone is saying. It is so hard to form an opinion when you see both sides so clearly!


Edited by sirreal (09/14/03 07:44 PM)


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InvisibleHermes_br
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: Parkgatan]
    #1916242 - 09/14/03 08:19 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

this guy seems to be well experienced with them...

check it out
http://www.jamesarthur.net/recipe.html


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OfflineMagmaManiac
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: Hermes_br]
    #1916473 - 09/14/03 09:51 PM (14 years, 13 days ago)

VERY interesting article right there. ^^^^^


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InvisibleEffedS
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: ToxicMan]
    #1939066 - 09/21/03 11:57 PM (14 years, 6 days ago)

Awesome write up!
I must haev missed this one.
Thanks a lot Toxicman. Feel free to use my images of A muscaria var formosa for the FAQ if you wish!


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OfflinePaid
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: ToxicMan]
    #1939523 - 09/22/03 02:48 AM (14 years, 6 days ago)

Great Faq addition mate :-)
Love reading your posts, so
informative :cool: :thumbup:

 


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Offlineshred805
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: GGreatOne234]
    #11869593 - 01/21/10 12:51 AM (7 years, 8 months ago)

great write up


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Offlinedodeski
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Re: Amanita muscaria [Re: shred805]
    #11869683 - 01/21/10 01:06 AM (7 years, 8 months ago)

drew my attention, kept me captivated, and was very informative and straight to the point A+


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