Home | Community | Message Board

MycologyNow.com Spores
Please support our sponsors.


Welcome to the Shroomery Message Board! You are experiencing a small sample of what the site has to offer. Please login or register to post messages and view our exclusive members-only content. You'll gain access to additional forums, file attachments, board customizations, encrypted private messages, and much more!

Shop: Left Coast Kratom Buy Kratom Capsules, Buy Kratom Extract, Kratom Powder For Sale   Kraken Kratom Kratom Capsules for Sale, Red Vein Kratom   North Spore Injection Grain Bag, North Spore Mushroom Grow Kits & Cultivation Supplies   Original Sensible Seeds Bulk Cannabis Seeds, USA West Coast Strains   Unfolding Nature Unfolding Nature: Being in the Implicate Order   PhytoExtractum Buy Bali Kratom Powder, Kratom Powder for Sale, Maeng Da Thai Kratom Leaf Powder   Bridgetown Botanicals Bridgetown Botanicals, CBD Edibles, CBD Oils, CBD Topicals

Jump to first unread post Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next >  [ show all ]
This thread is very old and might contain outdated or inaccurate information. You may wish to search for newer posts instead.
InvisibleEntropymancer
 User Gallery
Registered: 07/16/05
Posts: 10,207
Guide to Hunting Fly Agarics in North America * 10
    #9327978 - 11/28/08 05:46 PM (13 years, 11 days ago)

Since a lot of people believe that it's virtually impossible to misidentify a fly agaric (until a month or so ago I was under this impression as well), I decided to write a guide to identifying North American fly agarics.

I cover the identifying features of the fly agaric, with emphasis on the concentric rings at the base as a definitive feature. I also cover the look-alike species that occur in North America, and how to distinguish them from the fly agaric. Lastly, since it took me a while to put together a clear concept of the different subspecies of the fly agaric, I cover that as well. This was written to be consistent with the currently accepted nomenclature, but comments regarding the anticipated change of nomenclature are included throughout.

But really, I'm no mycological expert, I just put my best effort into understanding the North American fly agaric.  For that reason, I was wondering if the hunting experts of this forum might take the time to critique my guide, and correct me if I've got anything wrong. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

Edit: I've also written a segment on the use and preparation of the mushrooms. It covers both culinary use and use as a psychoactive agent at low and high doses. It's not terribly detailed, since people have so many different ways of using them, and dosage varies so widely, but it's at least a good overview, and at the end I've collected together some useful links. This is appended after the identification guide.

Without further preamble, here it is:




Hunting Fly Agarics in North America
A Guide to the Mushroom and Its Look-alikes




Note: Throughout this guide, I will tend to refer to the mushroom in question as the fly agaric, rather than as Amanita muscaria. This is due to the fact that North American fly agarics are coming to be considered a distinct species from the Eurasian Amanita muscaria. Already the western American Amanita muscaria var. flavivolvata has been renamed to Amanita amerimuscaria by Tuloss and Geml.

Proper identification is critical if one is picking this mushroom with the intent to consume it; in addition to our friendly fly agarics, the genus Amanita contains some deadly poisonous mushrooms such as the death cap (A. phalloides) and the destroying angel (A. bisporigera, A. ocreata, A. virosa, A. verna).  Fortunately for us, these deadly poisonous Amanitas are white-capped, and I'm unaware of any red-capped variety of Amanita that contains these lethal hepatotoxic (liver-destroying) amatoxins. 

Still, it's always best to be safe and informed when picking mushrooms from the genus Amanita, or indeed any mushroom. For that reason, I'll detail in this article not only the key features by which you can recognize the fly agaric mushroom, but also how to distinguish it from the common look-alikes.  This guide is specific to the North American varieties and their look-alike species; there may be look-alikes on other continents which I do not address here.





Distinguishing Features of the Fly Agaric

The Cap and Warts

The most popularly recognized feature of the fly agaric is its distinctive bright and spotted cap. It can range in color from a deep crimson red to lighter shades of orange, or yellow-orange. There are even varieties of A. muscaria which are white-capped (A. muscaria var. alba), though these are probably best avoided to prevent mistaking them for a poisonous Amanita.

The cap is spherical or oval on very young specimens, opening out to a convex shape. With age, they become broadly convex, planar, or plano-depressed. The margin of the cap is often lined, particularly in more mature specimens. Here is a picture of a patch of Amanita muscaria with specimens exhibiting all of the possible cap shapes:



The spots or warts range from white to whitish-yellow; these are remnants of the mushroom's universal veil. On North American fly agarics, the universal veil is typically yellowish white. Here's a picture of a very young specimen almost entirely enclosed in its universal veil:



While the distinctive cap is the most popularly recognized trait of the species, being featured in fairy tale illustrations (as in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland) and in folk art, it is by no means a definitive means of identification. There are other red- or orange-capped species of Amanita with white or whitish-yellow spots. The best means of identifying the fly agaric is a careful examination of the stipe, particularly the base of the stipe.


The Stipe

The stipe, or stem of the mushroom, is marked by a characteristic pendant annulus (that is, a drooping skirt-like ring), which is a remnant of the partial veil. Younger specimens will not bear an annulus unless their partial veil has broken. Here's a picture of a specimen in which the partial veil has just begun to break (it's still attached on the right, and beginning to separate on the left):



The base of the stipe is bulbous, substantially wider than the rest of stipe, and either spherical or egg-shaped.

Just above the bulbous base of the stipe, there are concentric zones of shagginess. These fuzzy concentric rings are the most critical feature in identifying the fly agaric, and one should look for this characteristic feature in every collected specimen. Here's a photo where this feature can be clearly seen:



Other Features

The spore print is white. This is not by any means a distinguishing feature, as virtually all Amanita species have a white spore print.

The gills are white, and may be attached or free from the stem. In terms of spacing, they may be either close or crowded. Again, these traits are common amongst Amanita species.


Microscopic Features

The spores are smooth, non-amyloid, and broadly ovate. They typically measure around 10 x 7 µm. Clamps are often present at the bases of basidia.





The North American Look-alikes

In general, all three of the following species are mycorrhizal with the same sorts of trees as the fly agaric. That means that if any area looks like a perfect spot to find your fly agarics, then it's also a perfect spot to find these look-alikes.

Also, these species all occur in eastern parts of North America. I'm not aware of any convincing look-alikes on the west coast. But that doesn't mean west coast fly agaric hunters should let their guard down. Always inspect the base of the stipe on every mushroom to confirm your finds.


Amanita crenulata
Region: Eastern North America



Considering its appearance and location, this mushroom could easily be mistaken for a pale fly agaric. One source indicates that it often groups with Amanita muscaria var. guessowii, which is a very good reason to closely inspect every mushroom in a patch of fly agarics

Key differences from the fly agaric:
  • Volval remnants at the base of the stipe are not organized into concentric rings, but instead presents as a single wooly ring.
  • Stipe tends to taper upward toward the cap
  • The annulus is quite fragile and may be lost as the mushroom matures.
  • Cap is often more grey-toned when young, developing yellowish tints with age

Microscopic differences:
  • Spores are more rounded, ranging from subglobose to broadly elliptical, typically measuring around 8 x 7 µm
  • Clamps absent from bases of basidia



Amanita flavoconia
Region: Eastern North America



Key differences from the fly agaric:
  • Lacks the fuzzy concentric rings above the base of the stipe
  • Base is somewhat less swollen, and is marked by powdery yellow volva remnants
  • Stipe tends to taper more toward the cap; the stipe is generally yellowish, but may be pale enough for the color to be mistaken

Microscopic differences:
  • Spores are amyloid
  • Spores are more narrowly elliptical, typically measuring around 9 x 4 µm



Amanita flavorubescens
Region: Eastern North America, less common but present in western North America


Key differences from the fly agaric:
  • Base of the stipe is only slightly swollen, and typically smooth
  • Cap is yellow-brown when young, typically fading to yellow with age
  • Warts vary from yellow to bright orange-yellow, stipe may be yellow or white and typically tapers toward the cap
  • Bruises shades of pink or red, most commonly in the interior of the base, but sometimes throughout the fruiting body

Microscopic differences:
  • Spores are amyloid
  • Spores are more narrowly elliptical, typically measuring around 9 x 5 µm



Amanita frostiana
Region: Eastern North America



This species can be a very convincing look-alike for the yellow-orange varieties of the fly agaric! While it's not known to contain amatoxins, the dangers of eating are not really known. This is a great reason to take great care in identification while picking.

Key differences from the fly agaric:
  • The base of the stipe doesn't bear the fuzzy concentric rings that are typical of the fly agaric
  • The base of the stipe generally bears a collar around the base of the stipe, but this collar is not always present. See the first image of A. frostiana above to get an idea of the appearance of the collar.
  • The cap is smaller in size than a typical cap of the fly agaric, but due to morphological variability, this is not really a reliable indicator.
  • The stipe often (but not always) tapers towards the cap more significantly than in the fly agaric.
  • The annulus (skirt-like ring) is fragile, and may fall off with age.

Microscopic differences:
  • Spores are globose to subglobose, typically measuring around 8.5 µm across
  • Otherwise similar to fly agaric spores, being non-amyloid, and having clamps present at the bases of basidia



Amanita jacksonii
Region: Throughout eastern North America, from Canada to Mexico



This mushroom is easily distinguishable from the fly agaric, but might be mistaken by novices. It is a North American form of the European edible Caesar's mushroom (Amanita caesarea); the edibility of this North American version is dubious, and it should not be consumed.

Key differences from the fly agaric:
  • The flesh is distinctly yellow-hued, while fly agarics are white.
  • There are no warts upon the cap.
  • The base is encased in a white sack-like volva, as opposed to the distinctive concentric rings at the base of the fly agaric
  • The annulus occurs very near the top of the stipe.

Microscopic differences:
  • Spores are larger and more narrowly elliptical, typically measuring around 12 x 8 µm



Amanita parcivolvata
Region: Eastern, and particularly southeastern North America



Key differences from the fly agaric:
  • Warts on the cap are somewhat less prominent
  • Lacks the distinctive concentric rings of shagginess
  • Cap tends to be bright red, while the varieties of fly agaric that occur in the same regions tend to be much more yellowish-orange.
  • Flesh tends to be substantially more yellow than the fly agaric (particularly the stipe

Microscopic differences:
  • Spores are larger and more narrowly elliptical, typically measuring around 12 x 7 µm
  • Basidia are four-spored, and basal clamps are rare



Amanita pantherina
Region: Throughout North America, Europe, and western Asia



This is not a mushroom that would be easily mistaken for a fly agaric (except perhaps Amanita muscaria var. regalis), but it deserves some degree of discussion here.  It is frequently lumped together with fly agarics when discussing their use as psychoactive mushrooms, which makes a degree of sense considering both contain ibotenic acid and muscimol. When planning this guide, consideration was given to whether it should also include information on identifying Amanita pantherina as well as fly agarics. Ultimately I decided against it for a variety of reasons.

For one thing, there's a great deal of ambiguity surrounding A. pantherina.  While everyone seems to agree it's more potent than fly agarics by weight, some people strongly recommend against its use, citing a much heavier load of muscarinic side-effects; others wholeheartedly encourage it as an alternative to fly agarics, citing the absence of muscarinic side-effects. It's difficult to make sense of these starkly contrasting accounts.  There are also some who speculate that A. pantherina may contain some other toxic or psychoactive chemicals, though I'm not aware of what these other chemicals might be.

The biggest factor in restricting this guide to fly agarics is that I can personally endorse their use. Properly identified fly agarics consumed in appropriate dosages (with pursuant appropriate precautions) are a wonderful mushroom.  In North America, they're virtually never fatal (though there have been some near-misses when a reckless overdose is consumed as a result of misidentification, or through ignorance of their active chemicals).  A. pantherina on the other hand is associated with fatalities in North America. When this fact is combined with all the ambiguity surrounding the mushroom, I simply do not feel right including it in this guide to the fly agarics. Perhaps I malign it unfairly, and it too is safe when consumed in appropriate dosage with appropriate precautions. But this guide is a guide to mushrooms which I know to be safe when consumed properly; I don't feel comfortable discussing a similar but potentially unsafe mushroom alongside it.

Anyone thinking of consuming A. pantherina is strongly encouraged to do their own research and draw their own conclusions. The look-alikes that are to be avoided when consuming this mushroom are different than the fly agaric look-alikes, and anyone hunting it should familiarize themselves with those look-alikes.

Key differences from the fly agaric:
  • Cap is a distinctive brown, fading with age.
  • Bears a distinct collar of volval material at the top of the basal bulb instead of concentric rings

Microscopic differences:
  • Spores are quite similar to those of the fly agaric. They are non-amyloid, smooth, and elliptical, typically measuring around 11 x 8 µm






The Varieties of the Fly Agaric

There are quite a number of different varieties of fly agaric out there.  All of them fit the identification guidelines outlined above, and all can be eaten for their psychoactive properties (or parboiled and cooked for their exquisite culinary properties), but there are differences between them.

The subject of nomenclature is a bit muddled at the moment, as the currently accepted system of nomenclature doesn't accurately reflect the phylogenetic relationships of the different varieties of fly agaric (phylogenetics is the study of the evolutionary inter-relatedness of different organisms). This is supposed to be rectified in the reasonably near future by Rob Tuloss renaming the muscaria group. I'll try to be as clear as possible in discussing this issues and anticipating the new nomenclature.

Currently, all varieties of fly agaric are considered to be subspecies of Amanita muscaria. However, recent phylogenetic analysis from 2006 by Geml, et al. reveals that what we currently consider to be Amanita muscaria is actually composed of three separate clades (clades are separate groups of organisms which share a common ancestor in their evolutionary history). There are two Eurasian clades, one general and the other subalpine, and a North American clade.

The Eurasian clades are typified by the brightly capped subspecies currently known as Amanita muscaria var. muscaria, and are present only in Alaska and the most northwestern portions of North America (their precise range has not yet been determined). It is anticipated that the Eurasian varieties will be split into two species (subalpine and general).  The North American clade is typified by the reddish-orange subspecies currently known as Amanita muscaria var. flavivolvata.  It is anticipated that all North American fly agarics (with the exception of the above-mentioned Eurasian specimens, and the PNW Yellow which I'll address later) will be renamed to Amanita flavivolvata, or a subspecies thereof.

The other significant result coming from this phylogenetic study is that cap color is actually a polymorphic trait! That means that the color of the cap is variable within a single species (for a more detailed explanation of the term, see the wikipedia entry on polymorphism).  The study looked at both Eurasian and North American samples of A. muscaria var. formosa (including var. guessowii), A. muscaria var. flavivolvata, A. muscaria var. alba, and A. muscaria var. regalis, and discovered that all four subspecies were found both in the Eurasian and North American clades.  This indicates that these color variations are not distinct subspecies, but simply variations in form that are found throughout each species.

It should be noted that using phylogenetics as the sole factor in organizing taxonomies is not always advisable when based only on a few preliminary DNA studies. Phylogenetic trees can be subject to revision or reinterpretation with the incorporation of new data.  Also, for some of the varieties described below, phylogenetic analysis has not been able to demonstrate that they branched from their parent species at a single common ancestor. This would mean that the distinguishing features are just polymorphic traits that are biased within geographically separated populations, but are not truly distinct subspecies.

Since the renaming of the muscaria group has not yet occurred, it's useful to treat the various subspecies under the currently accepted nomenclature.



Amanita muscaria var. flavivolvata (= Amanita amerimuscaria Tuloss & Geml)


Region: Western North America. From southwest Canada, down through the Sierra Nevadas and the Rocky Mountains of the desert of southwest America, and at least as far south as Andean Columbia. There may be significant gulf coast populations, with isolated occurences as far up the Atlantic coast as Massachusetts, but it's also possible that these collections were actually A. muscaria var. persicina. Consequently, the eastern limit on the region of A. muscaria var. flavivolvata is currently ambiguous.

Habitat: Mycorrhizal with oaks, conifers, and a handful of deciduous trees.

Characteristic Features
  • Universal veil and warts are initially yellow; color fades with exposure to sunlight.
  • Cap is a bright red color when it first emerges, fades rapidly to red-orange, or even yellow-orange with exposure to sunlight.

This is the characteristic fly agaric of the New World, particularly in the west; eastern varieties typically have some differences in coloration (see var. guessowii and var. persicina).  All fly agaric hunters of the western coastal and mountain regions will be looking primarily for this variety.

Recently this variety was renamed as Amanita amerimuscaria. The precise relationship of this variety to the yellower eastern American varieties of the fly agaric is currently under investigation.




Amanita muscaria var. guessowii


Region: Eastern/northeastern North America.  From northeast Canada, as far south as the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, and as far west as the great plains (Michigan is the furthest west point where the subspecies has been collected).

Habitat: Mycorrhizal primarily with conifers, but can also occur with some deciduous trees.

Characteristic Features
  • Volval material is cream-colored
  • The cap is typically yellow to yellow-orange around the edges, with a darker orange center. It is much paler than with typical var. flavivolvata, even in young specimens.

This eastern North American species is often misnamed as Amanita muscaria var. formosa, and not without good reason. It is essentially a formosa-like variant of the North American clade of the muscaria group.

DNA studies have not yet shown that all guessowii are descended from a single ancestor, and it's possible that the yellow cap is simply a common polymorphism in eastern fly agarics.  Therefore it's possible that the term var. guessowii will become obsolete, and the mushroom will simply be known as the yellow form of Amanita amerimuscaria.  If it can be demonstrated that this variety is monophyletic (descends from a single ancestor), then it would likely be renamed to Amanita amerimuscaria var. guessowii.




Amanita muscaria var. persicina


Region: Eastern/southeastern North America.  Ranges from the gulf coast states up to New Jersey or southern New York.

Habitat: Mycorrhizal predominantly with oak and pine

Characteristic Features
  • Annulus (skirt-like ring) is white above and yellowish below. It's quite fragile, and as a result may not be seen in all specimens.
  • The characteristic fuzzy rings above the base of the stipe are weakly structured; they are often not notable in collected samples.
  • Cap is yellow-orange to melon- or peach-colored. The hue can fade slightly with exposure to rain and sunlight.

These eastern North American fly agarics can be easily confused with A. muscaria var. guessowii. It can often require the examination of multiple specimens to be sure of the assignment.

DNA studies have not yet shown that all persicina are descended from a single ancestor, and it's possible that the peach-colored cap is simply a common polymorphism in eastern fly agarics.  Therefore it's possible that the term var. persicina will become obsolete, and the mushroom will simply be known as the peach-colored form of Amanita amerimuscaria.  If it can be demonstrated that this variety is monophyletic (descends from a single ancestor), then it would likely be renamed to Amanita amerimuscaria var. persicina.




Amanita muscaria var. muscaria


Region: Europe, north Asia, and western Alaska.

Habitat: Mycorrhizal with birch, diverse conifers, and a few deciduous trees such as dwarf willow and eucalyptus.

Characteristic Features
  • Strikingly bright red cap. Does not typically fade to orange tones as A. muscaria var. flavivolvata does.
  • Universal veil is white. Warts are typically white, but may take on yellowish tones.

This brightly red-capped variety is typical of the Eurasian clades of the muscaria group. It's only present in the furthest northwest reaches of North America, particularly Alaska (its precise range in North America is currently being evaluated).




Amanita muscaria var. alba


Region: Scattered throughout North America and parts of Eurasia

Habitat: Mycorrhizal with coniferous and some deciduous trees.

Characteristic Features
  • Cap color varies from white to silvery white
  • Warts vary from white to tan
  • Possesses the characteristic shaggy concentric rings above the base of the stipe that are typical of fly agarics

The specimens of this subspecies which are found to occur sparsely throughout Eurasia belong to the Eurasian clades of the muscaria group (since this is a guide to North American fly agarics, we're not overly concerned with them.  The specimens which occur scattered through North America are a morphological variant of the North American clade of the muscaria group, and will presumably be renamed as Amanita flavivolvata var. alba.  These are as edible as other fly agarics, but because of their visual similarity to lethally toxic Amanita species, it is advised that the typical mushroom hunter not pick them. The novelty of eating a white-capped fly agaric is not worth the risk of eating a deadly Amanita.

This white-capped variation seems to have arisen independently in several different regions, in both the Eurasian and the North American clades. It is clearly not monophyletic (descended from a single ancestor), and thus referring to it as a distinct subspecies is not really accurate. It's possible the term var. alba will become obsolete, and the mushroom will simply be known as the white-capped form of Amanita muscaria or Amanita amerimuscaria depending on where it occurs.




Amanita muscaria var. regalis (= Amanita muscaria var. umbrina Fr. = Amanita regalis (Fr.) Michael)


Region: Alaska and Scandinavia

Habitat: Mycorrhizal with pine and spruce, as well as birch and some other deciduous trees.

Characteristic Features
  • Cap is liver-brown in color
  • Warts vary from tan to yellow in color

In the past, this variety of fly agaric has typically been considered to be a completely separate species, Amanita regalis, but recent phylogenetic evidence has shown this assignment to be erroneous. The var. regalis specimens from Scandinavia are actually a morphological variation present in one of the Eurasian clades of the muscaria group. The Alaskan var. regalis specimens are similarly variations within the North American clade of the muscaria group (Amanita amerimuscaria).  Since it is clearly not monophyletic, the term var. regalis may become obsolete, and the mushroom would simply be known as the brown-capped form of Amanita muscaria or Amanita amerimuscaria depending on where it occurs.

Because it has traditionally been considered a seperate species, I'm unaware of anyone consuming it for the psychoactive effects typical of the fly agaric, but it presumably has a similar chemical composition. To the untrained eye, it may be mistaken for an Amanita pantherina mushroom, but a careful examination of the base of the stipe should differentiate the two.




The PNW Yellow: Amanita muscaria var. unknown


Region: Pacific Northwest

Habitat: Unknown. Mycorrhizal, presumably with conifers, possibly some deciduous trees as well.

Characteristic Features
  • The skin of the cap is distinctively yellow (but still moist like other forms of the fly agaric).
  • Warts and universal veil are white

This fly agaric of the Pacific Northwest is distinctive in that it does not belong to the North American clade of the muscaria group, unlike the other fly agarics that grow in the same region. When renamed, it will not be a subspecies of Amanita flavivolvata. At present it is not clear to me whether "PNW yellow" refers only to specimens of a strikingly pure yellow color, or whether it refers to mushrooms that are morphologically similar to the varieties currently known as var. guessowii and var. formosa.




Amanita muscaria var. formosa


Region: Eurasia (considered to be widely distributed throughout North America by some sources; see below)

Habitat: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods and conifers.

Characteristic Features
  • Cap is a shade of yellow-orange. This tone is solid throughout the cap.
  • Differs from var. flavivolvata in that the universal veil and warts are typically white

This is the yellow-capped Eurasian variety of the fly agaric. Since it is a Eurasian variety, it's not particularly relevant to this guide, except to the extent that people erroneously apply the name to North American varieties. Most commonly the name is misapplied to A. muscaria var. guessowii, to which it bears a substantial resemblance. As was mentioned earlier, var. guessowii and var. formosa are analogous in form, but occur in different clades. It's also not uncommon for A. muscaria var. persicina to be referred to as var. formosa, due to the similarity between mature samples of each (but again, these varieties occur in different clades of the muscaria group). The term var. formosa has even been applied to the western fly agarics, though it's not clear whether these specimens are the so-called "PNW Yellow" or just light-colored Amanita muscaria var. flavivolvata (=Amanita amerimuscaria). 

In fact, the term var. formosa is really an ambiguous term that is rapidly becoming obsolete, since it refers to a polymorphic form.  Since it has arisen several times independently among Amanita muscaria populations, it is not monophyletic and it's therefore improper to refer to it as an explicit subspecies. It will likely come to be known as the yellow-capped form of Amanita muscaria.


































Preparing and Consuming the Fly Agaric

Of course, finding the fly agaric is only half the battle. Once you have the mushroom, you've got to figure out what to do with it.  In this portion of the guide, I'll discuss the use of the mushroom as culinary morsel, as a tonic, and as an entheogen.  For convenience, the entheogenic use and use as a tonic will be grouped into a single section, since the preparation methods are the same, and both sets of effects are due to the same active principles; the only difference is the dosage.

But before discussing either one, it's prudent to review the chemistry of the fly agaric mushroom, as this is of importance to the preparation method, regardless of the intended use.

The Chemistry of the Fly Agaric

Muscarine

The first novel compound found in Amanita muscaria was muscarine, isolated in 1869. Muscarine mimics the action of acetylcholine at a particular type of acetylcholine receptor (the G protein-coupled sort), called the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor in honor of this molecule. 

The physical effects of muscarine are intense perspiration (sweating), salivation (drooling), and lachrymation (tearflow from the eyes).  It is not psychoactive. Despite the fact that these symptoms obviously don't resemble fly agaric intoxication, for almost a century the it was widely and illogically believed that muscarine was the primary compound responsible for the effects of the fly agaric.

Muscarine is only a trace component of the fly agaric mushroom; it is reported to comprise 0.0003% of the mushroom by weight.  Still, considering that perpiration, salivation, and lachrymation are all occasionally reported at high doses, it seems likely that this trace presence of muscarine does account for some of the bodily side-effects of the mushroom.


Bufotenine and Hyoscyamine

In 1953, a one publication reported the isolation of bufotenine from A muscaria. In 1955, another publication reported the isolation of l-hyoscyamine. All subsequent efforts to verify the findings have failed to turn up either compound.

Both reports are currently considered to have been in error. It is the general consensus that neither bufotenine nor hyoscyamine occur in the fly agaric mushroom.


Muscazone

Muscazone is a rearrangement product of ibotenic acid (see below).  There have been reports about the isolation of muscazone from both European and North American specimens.  Since muscazone is easily formed by chemical treatment of ibotenic acid, it's entirely possible that this compound is an artifact of the isolation process, and does not occur naturally in the mushroom. 

Whether or not it actually occurs naturally in the fly agaric mushroom, the psychoactivity of this compound is dubious, and it is not considered to play a role in fly agaric inebriation.


MCTHC

A beta-carboline compound, 1-methyl-3-carboxyl-tetrahydro-beta-carboline (or MCTHC for short) has been isolated from European specimens of the fly agaric. It is not known whether this can contribute to the effects of fly agaric inebriation, but it is a possibility.

Multiple efforts to isolate this compound from North American fly agarics have failed. It is entirely possible that this compound occurs only within the Eurasian clades, and does not occur in the North American clade of A muscaria.


Muscimol and Ibotenic Acid

In 1964, the two primary active compounds in the fly agaric were finally isolated and characterized. These are ibotenic acid, and muscimol.  Both are isoxazole compounds, which tend to be rare in the world of natural products. Consequently, they aren't really related in structure to any other common drug.

This also makes it describe their effects by relating the experience to the typical categories.  They don't make you trip like tryptamine or phenethylamine psychedelics (serotonergic drugs). They aren't really dissociative like ketamine or DXM (NMDA antagonist drugs). They aren't deleriants (anticholinergic drugs), although a certain degree of delerium can occur with high doses. They affect a different set of neurotransmitters than any of these; they produce an agonist action at GABA receptors. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter in your brain that mediates alertness and sedation.

If I had to compare the effects of the fly agaric to a common drug, I'd have to say it's most similar to alcohol (though of course there are differences, alcohol doesn't tend to lend itself to visionary experiences at high doses, for one this). This comparison even makes pharmacological sense, considering that alcohol is also a GABA receptor agonist. At lower doses, the effects are more similar to benzodiazepines, which are also GABA receptor agonists.

To get specific, ibotenic acid is α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-isoxazole acetic acid. When ibotenic acid is decarboxlated, it yields muscimol, 3-hydroxy-5-aminomethyl-isoxazole.  This decarboxylation occurs when the molecule is subjected to high heat, or when its bombarded with a particular frequency of light (one which occurs naturally in sunlight). Both ibotenic acid and muscimol are quite soluble in water.  The decarboxylation of ibotenic acid to muscimol is an important reaction to keep in mind when preparing it for consumption.

Between the two compounds, muscimol is the more potent, and the one that's essential to the mushroom's activity.  Muscimol is substantially active in doses of 10-15 mg, and results in an inebriation that mimics the effect of the whole mushroom, both in effects and in the timeline of the experience.  In doses of 50-100 mg, ibotenic acid produces virtually the same effects as 10-15 mg of muscimol.  It is the prevailing assumption that ibotenic acid is not itself psychoactive, but a certain portion of it is decarboxylated to muscimol by one's body after consuming the substance. It is this muscimol fraction that produces the psychoactive effects after consuming ibotenic acid. For this reason, the mushroom is more potent if all of the ibotenic acid has been decarboxylated to muscimol prior to consumption.

But that isn't the main reason that the decarboxylation reaction is important. The main issue of concern is the potential neurotoxicity of ibotenic acid. When injected into the brains of mice, it has been shown that ibotenic acid creates lesions in the brain tissue. Of course, we aren't injecting it into our brains, and I'm unaware of neurotoxicity having been demonstrated in the vase of oral ingestion. Still, there is the possibility that ibotenic acid crosses the blood-brain barrier after being consumed. If it were a matter of passive membrane diffusion, there'd be nothing to worry about since ibotenic acid is so polar; however, it is the assumption in the scientific community that both muscimol and ibotenic acid cross the blood-brain barrier by active transport (a biological process uses energy to pull them across the membrane when they otherwise wouldn't pass). To the best of my knowledge this idea has not been tested, but if it's correct than there is some cause for concern.

We have no way of knowing whether the concentration of ibotenic acid that enters the cerebral fluid may be high enough to cause any neurotoxicity.  If ibotenic acid is neurotoxic in humans when consumed orally, it's my suspicion that the neurotoxic effects are no worse than a night of heavy drinking, but to be honest that's completely unfounded speculation. It's also possible that ibotenic acid doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier, or even if it does that it may not be in sufficient concentration to present any risk of neurotoxicity. We simply don't know.

Don't let all this scare you away though; there is something we can do about the issue. If you want to play it safe (which I quite recommend), then eat some garlic whenever you are eating Amanita muscaria for its psychoactive effects (even if you think you've converted all the ibotenic acid to muscimol already, playing it safe never hurt anyone).  Garlic contains a chemical called S-allyl-l-cysteine that protects against any possible neurotoxicity the ibotenic acid might have otherwise caused.


Cullinary Use of the Fly Agaric

The popular consciousness is strongly conditioned against using the fly agaric as an edible mushroom.  often people warn against easting the mushroom, calling it poisonous or dangerously toxic. Even most mycological sources of information recommend strongly against consuming the mushroom.

This is a terrible shame, as the fly agaric is absolutely delicious. In fact Japanese researchers found that muscimol is about twenty times more effective by weight than monosodium glutamate (MSG) at enhancing flavors

The idea that consuming the fly agaric is dangerous and toxic is fed by two main contributing factors. First, it's from the genus Amanita, which does contain some deadly toxic mushrooms like the death cap and destroying angel.  Although it's quite easy to distinguish these mushrooms from the fly agaric (as discussed in the hunting portion of this guide), and no Amanitas of the muscaria group are known to contain the deadly amatoxins, the simple fact that they're in the same genus causes many sources to issue undue and excessive warnings against consumption of the fly agaric. The other factor is that people who consume the fly agaric unaware of its psychoactive properties will often feel as though they're dying while under its influence, though they're really in no physical danger. When they awaken following the semicomatose sleep induced by the fly agaric, they feel that they have anrrowly escaped death and are lucky to be alive. The combination of these two factors has understandably led to the popular belief that the mushroom is one which should be avoided, not eaten.

It should be noted that this superstition is not universal. There is at least one region of Japan where the mushroom is pickled and eaten. It is also eaten as a food in parts of Russia, France, Austria, and Italy (presumably prepared in a fashion that eliminates its potentially-unpleasant psychoactivity).

As William Rubel says, "while field guides are accurate guides to classification, in the area of edibility, they can be more of a guide to local preference and prejudice than scientifically accurate."

The "toxic" principles of the fly agaric are quite water-soluble. In fact, "toxic" is something of a misnomer when talking about the fly agaric, as the same chemicals considered to be toxic by those wishing to eat the mushroom for the culinary experience are the same chemicals that are prized by those consuming the mushroom for its psychoactive properties. Persons who want to avoid the psychoactive effects and use the fly agaric in their cooking will need to remove these "toxic" principles.

Preparation

Removing the psychoactive alkaloids from the mushroom is a very simple. Since they're water-soluble, removing them is just a simple matter of boiling.

Just slice your mushrooms thinly and boil them for a few minutes in a potfull lightly salted water (about one teaspoon of salt per liter of water), then discard the water. Your mushrooms should now be ready to cook with!

If you'd like to play it safe, you can repeat the above process one or two more times with fresh water. After that, there's no way that any muscimol or ibotenic acid will be left in the mushrooms.


Use

Once you've boiled the active chemicals out of the mushroom, you can get as creative as you want. Fly agarics go well with just about anything (with the exception of Mexican food).

Sauteeing the mushrooms in butter or olive oil brings out an aboslutely delicious flavor. It goes well with garlic, onions, and many many other herbs and spices, so feel free to experiment.

Sauteed fly agarics are wonderful in omelets, in stirfries, served over meat or over rice. When finely chopped, adding a layer of the sauteed mushroom (flavored with a hint of garlic) to a grilled cheese sandwich transforms it from a simple food to a mouthwateringly delicious one. It's also a great addition to an egg scramble. In fact, the mushroom pairs well with virtually any dish featuring eggs, cheese, or meat.

It's a great addition to sauces as well. Adding a bit of fly agaric to tomato sauce does wonders to bring out the flavors. It's also a great flavor-enhancer when added to gravy.

Without cooking it, the mushroom can be pickled, as is traditional in Japan.

Either sauteed or uncooked, the mushroom can be finely chopped and added to an oil-and-vinegar dressing.  It's quite a delicious salad-topper when sauteed in olive oil, with a dash of garlic added for flavor, then mixed with a roughly equal portion of balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of Italian seasonings sprinkled in.

Get creative! This mushroom is truly a prime edible.


Psychoactive Use of the Fly Agaric

The psychoactive use of these mushrooms is a rather broad topic. There's not one "right" way to prepare these things, people have devised many effective methods. There's also not one "right" way to use them. At low doses they're a pleasant tonic. At medium doses they're a mild inebriant. And at large doses they're a visionary entheogen.

A major factor that complicates the discussion is that dosage is so variable. The potency is reported to vary through the season within an area. The potency will be diminished if it rained while the mushroom was in its mature state (rain washes out some actives). It will be more potent if the mushroom got a lot of sun when it was in its mature state and the ground was amply moist when it was in its premature state.

For this reason, all dosage recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt.  If you're working with dried materials, it's best to powder everything to make a relatively homogenous mix, and get to know it's potency by working with it at relatively cautious dosages, and adjust from there as you get a feel for the material. If you're working with fresh-picked material, the best solution is to just be a shaman and eat what seems right (though as always, I advise caution, and working with lower doses first to get a feel for the material you have).

Preparation

It is "common knowledge" that the mushrooms must be dried before using to decarboxylate the ibotenic acid to muscimol. This has been challenged by some users of the mushroom though.

Some self-styled shamans claim that eating the fresh raw flesh of the mushroom is best when it's available (though it's not established that ibotenic acid is neurotoxic when consumed orally, I'd always be on a heavy garlic regimen if you attempt this).

More commonly when fresh mushroom is available, a user of the mushroom may cook with it (in the same sorts of dishes described under culinary use). Sauteeing the mushrooms in butter on medium-high heat unlocks their delicious flavor, but should also encourage decarboxylation of ibotenic acid. But you might as well throw in a minced clove of garlic (when the mushrooms are 3/4ths finished, the garlic sautees faster) to be on the safe side. They could also theoretically be canned or pickled with garlic and herbs for longer-term storage.

For drying the mushroom as a means of preserving it, people often use the oven. But frankly, the evidence seems to indicate that as much decarboxylation will occur if the mushroom is allowed to air-dry in the sunlight as if it's baked in the oven. And in the oven (or dried over a fire), the mushroom is apt to weep juices, which have been reported to be psychoactive.

Frankly I think that a preparation based on this property might be worth exploring when the mushrooms come in season again (though that's months away). Considering the preparation described in the Rig Veda, I think baking or roasting the mushroom until it weeps, squeezing the juices out of the mushroom through a muslin filter, and mixing the juice with milk and honey may be the traditional ancient soma preparation.

Probably the most common method of preparing these mushrooms is as a tea. A tea can be made from dry powder, or from fresh chopped mushrooms. Considering the comments in the sulinary section above, it seems prudent to add 1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt to the water when brewing a tea.  But even on such a simple preparation, there are disagreements. Some sources claim that the mushrooms should not be boiled, as it would degrade the activity; instead they should be infused in water at 170F. I'm not sure what chemicals would degrade at during the boiling (ibotenic acid and muscimol wouldn't, they're both quite thermostable), and people have reported success with brews that were prepared on the stove at a rolling boil, so the warning against boiling may just a common myth.

Some people dealing with dried specimens just eat them as-is. The taste is far from pleasant, but it's not altogether disagreeable. The texture is somewhat like jerky. I don't know that I'd recommend it, but it's an option.

For other preparations, I could imagine a fly agaric fudge might not be a bad way to dose.


Use As a Tonic - Low Dose

At the proper dosage, the fly agaric is a pleasant tonic. It has the nice combination of being energizing while simultaneously having a distinct calming effect (remember, it's mechanism of action is related to benzodiazepines).  It's also nice in the winter because it warms the body, making cold weather more bearable.

Many people overlook these effects if they are looking to achieve an inebriated state but haven't taken a large enough dose, since it's so different and understated compared to the effects they were expecting. Personally, I find it to be a great seasonal tonic.

Dose: 1-2 tablespoons at a time, no more than 1/2 cup throughout the day. In terms of fresh material, that's generally between 1/6 and 1/4 cap at a time, depending on the size and potency of the cap. For dried material, somewhere between 1-5 g is probably optimal with this dose. Perhaps try a tablespoon and adjust from there.


Use As an Inebriant or Entheogen - Medium and High Dose

At higher doses, the effects become more drastic and inebriating. Typically the experience passes through two or three stages, depending on the dose. First there's the pre-alert stage, after you've consumed it; depending on the mushrooms, there may be some queasiness or other bodily side-effects (sweating, temperature fluctuations etc.) at this stage. After 45 minutes to two hours, this typically gives way to a second stage, a disoriented inebriation, which has some notable similarities to alcohol. If the dose was high enough, after about an hour of inebriation the experience will progress into a visionary/dreaming/entheogenic stage. This can manifest in many ways, and so I'll leave any further particulars to the experience reports (see Related Reading below).

Dose: Due to the high variability of fly agaric materials, it's hard to provide accurate dosing information. With fresh caps, one is often enough, or it may take three (or even more if they're small caps). With dried mushrooms, it's been reported that somewhere between 5-20g is a good dosage, depending on the potency. Mushrooms from online vendors seem to be somewhat weaker, requiring more in the range of 10-30 g to produce similar effects. The key is to start slow and get a feeling for the potency of your material before treading into deeper waters.


Related Reading

Some of these sources must be taken with a grain of salt. Some of the authors have pet theories about the fly agaric, and expound them a little too zealously

[LIST]
  • Warriorsoul's notes on Amanita muscaria and related species
  • Michael S. Smith's Amanita notes
  • Magic Clown's Amanita notes
  • James Arthur's Amanita Recipe


  • Edited by Entropymancer (12/04/12 02:36 AM)


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleDannyGlick

    Registered: 04/14/08
    Posts: 3,889
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Entropymancer]
        #9328142 - 11/28/08 06:24 PM (13 years, 11 days ago)

    On A muscaria var. guessowii.

    From mushroom observer:
    There’s a chance that this name may not last much longer. Recent DNA studies have not yet located any consistent means of organizing yellow collection of muscarioid taxa in North America so that it appears that they have a single ancestor (justifying a taxonomic classification as variety or species or…). At the present time [with more research in the offing, but not begun], it is possible that the material known presently under this name could end up being called “the yellow variant” of Amanita amerimuscaria Tulloss & J. Geml.


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleHerbBaker
     User Gallery


    Registered: 08/17/07
    Posts: 2,506
    Trusted Identifier
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Entropymancer]
        #9331317 - 11/29/08 11:52 AM (13 years, 11 days ago)

    Nice guide!:thumbup:
    Maybe include Amanita crenulata as a look alike.

    Amanita amerimuscaria has replaced Amanita muscaria ssp. flavivolvata
    :spock:


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleLouiseLouise
    starstruck
    Male User Gallery


    Registered: 11/02/04
    Posts: 3,898
    Loc: Searching w/my good eye c...
    Trusted Identifier
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Entropymancer]
        #9331464 - 11/29/08 01:00 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    Nice work :thumbup:


    --------------------
    "That's why you get in close to them, and then take the picture!! Don't be a pussy!" ~CC


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleMr. Mushrooms
    Spore Print Collector
     User Gallery

    Registered: 05/25/08
    Posts: 13,018
    Loc: Registered: 6/04/02
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Entropymancer]
        #9332031 - 11/29/08 03:04 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    Excellent layout and well-written.  Other than that I only have one question and two comments.

    In your note you project the likely rename will be Amanita flavivolvata.  I have heard it was Amanita amerimuscaria or something like that.  What is your source for the projected rename?

    1) While the phylogenetic hypotheses are mildly interesting, to date no one has posted a single explication of the methods used to derive the putative lineages, clades, etc.  Until such time as that is offered they remain putative, and, to some, a poor way to remake taxonomy.  Phylogenetic trees are often pruned and reassembled.  Such is life with history, a poor substitute for real science.  While DNA analysis can yield the identity of a mushroom without question its usefulness beyond that is merely a matter of opinion.  That is, of course, unless you are a new kid on the block trying to get published and make a mycological name for yourself (or entranced with someone who is), imnsho.

    2)  The lack of microscopy is, in my opinion, the only relevant thing missing in your otherwise excellent article.  For example, Amanita flavoconia spores are amyloid while the spores of Amanita muscaria are not.  Nevertheless, the microscopy aspect isn't as necessary in a field guide, though often included.  It's not a damn monograph.


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


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleDannyGlick

    Registered: 04/14/08
    Posts: 3,889
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Mr. Mushrooms]
        #9332334 - 11/29/08 04:09 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    Basically nothing is carved in stone as of yet,eh?:smirk:


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleMr. Mushrooms
    Spore Print Collector
     User Gallery

    Registered: 05/25/08
    Posts: 13,018
    Loc: Registered: 6/04/02
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: DannyGlick]
        #9332346 - 11/29/08 04:10 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    Let me check.


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


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleMr. Mushrooms
    Spore Print Collector
     User Gallery

    Registered: 05/25/08
    Posts: 13,018
    Loc: Registered: 6/04/02
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Mr. Mushrooms]
        #9332358 - 11/29/08 04:12 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    I guess there was once but now it's all broken.




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


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleDannyGlick

    Registered: 04/14/08
    Posts: 3,889
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Mr. Mushrooms]
        #9332360 - 11/29/08 04:12 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    Ok.:grin:


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleMr. Mushrooms
    Spore Print Collector
     User Gallery

    Registered: 05/25/08
    Posts: 13,018
    Loc: Registered: 6/04/02
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: DannyGlick]
        #9332378 - 11/29/08 04:18 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    In case anyone was wondering, that guy is Thordaval, Norse God of the Shroomery and his original commandments.  Then I guess something went whacky in OTD, he got pissed off, broke the tablets and said, "fuck it, let their be flames."

    That's how OTD got to be like it is.  Or at least that's what I heard. 

    :shrug:


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


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleEntropymancer
     User Gallery
    Registered: 07/16/05
    Posts: 10,207
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Mr. Mushrooms]
        #9332389 - 11/29/08 04:19 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    Thanks for the feedback.

    It appears you all are correct about subs. flavivolvata being named as Amanita amerimuscaria. Looking over my sources of information, the renaming to A. flavivolvata was speculation. Looks like Tuloss & Geml have indeed given it the species name amerimuscaria.

    SenorHongos, I appreciate those comments. Including comments on microscopic differences won't take long, and seems like a good idea. Also, I'll add in some comments on the shortcomings of phylogenetics as the basis for taxonomic differentiation.

    Warriorsoul, good call on A crenulata as a look-alike. Especially considering it occurs in the Northeast, I could imagine it being mistaken for a guessowii.


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    OfflineN2loma
    Foaming Pipe Snake
    Male User Gallery


    Registered: 05/17/08
    Posts: 925
    Last seen: 12 years, 2 months
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Mr. Mushrooms]
        #9332397 - 11/29/08 04:21 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    Good work!  :regularshroom:

    Should Panthers deserve a mention?


    --------------------
    "So can you tell me what exactly does freedom mean/
    If I'm not free to be as twisted as I wanna be" -Divide by Disturbed

    Good Guitars Don't Cry


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleMr. Mushrooms
    Spore Print Collector
     User Gallery

    Registered: 05/25/08
    Posts: 13,018
    Loc: Registered: 6/04/02
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Entropymancer]
        #9332400 - 11/29/08 04:22 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    Excellent, and thanks for redirecting this thread back to its original purpose.  :thumbup:


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


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleEntropymancer
     User Gallery
    Registered: 07/16/05
    Posts: 10,207
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: N2loma]
        #9332483 - 11/29/08 04:43 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    Quote:

    N2loma said:
    Should Panthers deserve a mention?




    I left them out due to the ambiguity surrounding them. Some people say they're more potent than fly agarics, but also have heavier muscarinic side-effects. Others say they're more potent than fly agarics, but desirable because of the lack of muscarinic side-effects. Some people say there are other chemicals in panthers that make them more toxic and dangerous to use (though they don't mention what chemicals those might be).

    Furthermore, while fly agarics are practically never fatal in North America, pantherina overdoses have been associated fatality (Buck RW. (1963) Toxicity of Amanita muscaria. J Am Med Assoc 185:663)

    Considering those factors, I'm not really comfortable lumping pantherinas in with fly agarics, or supporting their use. While it's not a very convincing look-alike, I suppose I could put it in the look-alike section and include these comments about my reservations regarding its use as a psychoactive agent.


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleHerbBaker
     User Gallery


    Registered: 08/17/07
    Posts: 2,506
    Trusted Identifier
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Entropymancer]
        #9336219 - 11/30/08 10:41 AM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    I like the changes you made.
    The pantherina are in the same boat as muscaria with the species representing at least two seperate clades, the north American clade being represented by several known and some yet to be published European panther lookalikes.

    I have heard one way to differentiate a panther from a muscaria is that the flesh of muscaria has a slightly yellow tone right below the skin and panthers do not.

    Along with A. pantherina, there are no reliably documented cases of death from these mushrooms in the past 100 years.. the same chemotoxic group includes  A. gemmata, A. multisquamosa, A. frostiana, A. crenulata, A. strobiliformus, Tricholoma muscarium and others

    guessowii has a yellow cap with a center that is a slightly darker orange color.

    formasa was typified by a solid orange-yellow tone throughout the cap.

    persicina tends to be yellowish above the annulus
    and is a melon to peach color even when young.i wouldnt really call it red.

    flavivolvata hasnt been shown to occur east of texas


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleLouiseLouise
    starstruck
    Male User Gallery


    Registered: 11/02/04
    Posts: 3,898
    Loc: Searching w/my good eye c...
    Trusted Identifier
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Mr. Mushrooms]
        #9336270 - 11/30/08 11:11 AM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    :handth:


    --------------------
    "That's why you get in close to them, and then take the picture!! Don't be a pussy!" ~CC


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleLouiseLouise
    starstruck
    Male User Gallery


    Registered: 11/02/04
    Posts: 3,898
    Loc: Searching w/my good eye c...
    Trusted Identifier
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Entropymancer]
        #9336395 - 11/30/08 12:00 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    Which comes back to what senior mentioned, microscopic differences.
    Fact is that these mushrooms overlap in so many cases, I believe we're not near ready to put something like this in stone.
    A lookalike is all a matter of viewer.

    On pantherina:
    R.E. Tulloss
    Quote:

    The annulus in this species is often pulled up by the expansion of the pileus and, hence, looks funnel-shaped. The annulus in A. velatipes G. F. Atk. is often pulled into a similar shape. The rather pronounced collar of volval remains encircling the top of the bulb is shared with a number of taxa in what might be called the "pantherina  complex"


    This is a very interesting observation, and comes into play when Amanita pantherina var. velatipes resembles Amanita muscaria var. formosa

    The edibility of many of these mushrooms are unknown, but, toxicity can also be a matter of view:
    Michael Kuo:
    Quote:

    Amanita multisquamosa has done a taxonomical "360" over the past hundred years or so. Originally described and named by Charles Peck in the 1890's, it was soon renamed Amanita cothurnata by Atkinson. This name stuck until the 1970's, when the mushroom was reduced to the status of an Amanita pantherina variety, A. pantherina var. multisquamosa. Now the mushroom has recaptured species status, coming full circle back to its original name, Amanita multisquamosa.

    Do not eat this or any other Amanita!




    Quote:

    Amanita pantherina is very poisonous. It appears to contains the same toxins that are present in Amanita muscaria, but in higher and potentially fatal concentrations.




    Personally, I choose to steer clear of ingesting these species (I tend to agree with Kuo on edibility too), but nontheless they are absolutely beautiful, exciting to find, and fun (occasionally that ripping your hair out-drive me crazy kinda fun :yesnod: )
    I still think the OP is a great piece of work :stoned:


    --------------------
    "That's why you get in close to them, and then take the picture!! Don't be a pussy!" ~CC


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleMr. Mushrooms
    Spore Print Collector
     User Gallery

    Registered: 05/25/08
    Posts: 13,018
    Loc: Registered: 6/04/02
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Entropymancer]
        #9336502 - 11/30/08 12:35 PM (13 years, 10 days ago)

    Impressive and one of the best threads in this forum.  I particularly enjoyed your attention to an intoxicating mushroom that isn't hallucinogenic in the same way Psilocybes are.  I also enjoyed your request for comments and the way you used them in the edit.  Lack of ego is a beautiful thing, imo.

    5 shrooms (more if I could give them)


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


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    InvisibleLouiseLouise
    starstruck
    Male User Gallery


    Registered: 11/02/04
    Posts: 3,898
    Loc: Searching w/my good eye c...
    Trusted Identifier
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Mr. Mushrooms]
        #9336621 - 11/30/08 01:02 PM (13 years, 9 days ago)

    Quote:

    Lack of ego is a beautiful thing




    :mushroom2:


    --------------------
    "That's why you get in close to them, and then take the picture!! Don't be a pussy!" ~CC


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    Offlinedrjugglz
    Evil ScientistExtraordanaire!
     User Gallery


    Folding@home Statistics
    Registered: 02/09/05
    Posts: 485
    Last seen: 11 years, 8 days
    Re: Expert feedback? My guide to Hunting Fly Agarics [Re: Mr. Mushrooms]
        #9336634 - 11/30/08 01:05 PM (13 years, 9 days ago)

    On Amanita Muscaria var. Formosa:

    These are pretty abundant in Michigan. I find quite a few of these every fall.

    Late Sept - Early Nov.

    :thumbup:


    --------------------
    “To use your head you have to go out of your mind.”
    ~ Timothy Leary


    Extras: Filter Print Post Remind Me! Notify Moderator Top
    Jump to top Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next >  [ show all ]

    Shop: Left Coast Kratom Buy Kratom Capsules, Buy Kratom Extract, Kratom Powder For Sale   Kraken Kratom Kratom Capsules for Sale, Red Vein Kratom   North Spore Injection Grain Bag, North Spore Mushroom Grow Kits & Cultivation Supplies   Original Sensible Seeds Bulk Cannabis Seeds, USA West Coast Strains   Unfolding Nature Unfolding Nature: Being in the Implicate Order   PhytoExtractum Buy Bali Kratom Powder, Kratom Powder for Sale, Maeng Da Thai Kratom Leaf Powder   Bridgetown Botanicals Bridgetown Botanicals, CBD Edibles, CBD Oils, CBD Topicals


    Similar ThreadsPosterViewsRepliesLast post
    * Fly Agaric: From Caps to Caps **UPDATED** new .gif presentation ! AsanteA 3,676 6 11/16/04 05:22 PM
    by Asante
    * Fly Agaric Look-a-like? Just curious ATLien 3,368 11 10/31/03 02:23 AM
    by canid
    * Florida Fly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria) Questions
    ( 1 2 all )
    World Spirit 8,496 39 03/08/05 02:21 PM
    by blindctg
    * How the Fly Agaric got it's name wombatvvv 1,938 2 03/08/02 09:16 PM
    by mjshroomer
    * the Fly Agaric turboneger 2,821 10 04/03/05 03:50 AM
    by BobHumboldt
    * Are these fly Agarics? WhAcKeD 1,030 8 07/30/04 02:30 AM
    by Anonymous
    * Fly Agaric: Question that needs clearing up. Sin Bad 2,057 7 11/21/04 01:24 AM
    by ORHunter
    * are these fly agaric gooking69 792 5 10/13/04 04:20 AM
    by PlatinumCaps

    Extra information
    You cannot start new topics / You cannot reply to topics
    HTML is disabled / BBCode is enabled
    Moderator: ToxicMan, karode13, inski, Alan Rockefeller, Duggstar, TimmiT, Anglerfish, Tmethyl, Lucis, Doc9151
    44,770 topic views. 2 members, 17 guests and 10 web crawlers are browsing this forum.
    [ Print Topic | ]
    Search this thread:

    Copyright 1997-2021 Mind Media. Some rights reserved.

    Generated in 0.035 seconds spending 0.008 seconds on 15 queries.