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Jelly Babies, Piggy Back Shanklets and Sticky Fingers
Fungus Foray, Rudland – September 29th 2012

Notes by Rhona Sutherland

species list below

Twelve of us met on the edge of the moor just north of Sykes House, keen to find some ‘Waxcaps’. Waxcaps are a group of mushrooms that grow in grassland and, being much smaller than many familiar woodland fungi, are quite difficult to see. However, they are often lovely bright colours and once you start looking you might be surprised at the variety found in an ordinary looking bit of unimproved grassland. We certainly think we found nine species in various shades of yellow, red, green and grey.

Ryenats members in wood

Firstly we walked south down the road seeing Psathyrella multipedata – the clustered Brittle Stem, growing on a pile of woodchips and then through a little piece of pine and birch woodland on the edge of the moor where we found lots of different fungi.

Jelly Baby Leotia lubrica Growing along the sides of the very dank path were lots of Jelly BabiesLeotia lubrica. These look like little greenish-yellow rubbery ‘mushrooms’. However they belong to the less familiar second group of fungi called ASCOMYCETES (Cup fungi) and do not have gills or pores at all, although they look as if they should.

The Sickener Russula emeticaThere were also plenty of old wet Lactarius deterrimus along the path with their green-zoned caps and orange milk latex that turns wine-coloured after about half an hour. In under the Scots Pine trees on the needle strewn woodland floor there were many fungi including 3 species of Russula. A Yellow one Russula ochraleuca, a bright red one Russula emetica and an as yet undetermined dark red one.

Scattered amongst these were little groups of delicate white and beige mushrooms with white gills and bendy stipes. When I got them home and looked under the microscope I could see they were growing on the bodies of old blackened mushrooms, and that is a characteristic of Collybia cirrhata – the Piggy Back Shanklet which grows on the remains of Lactarius and Russula mushrooms.

Piggy Back Shanklet Collybia cirrhata

Slimy waxcap Hyrocybe irrigata Out on the short route across the heather we barely saw any more fungi until we reached the old grassland on the slope down to Harland Beck, where we began to see the waxcaps. Identification of waxcaps is firstly based on colour, the shape of the gills and whether the cap and or stipe are Viscid, i.e STICKY. This was quite difficult to determine at first with people holding them to their faces or lips or describing them as ‘slimy’ or not, but then there was one VERY viscid one – the larger greyish Hygrocybe irrigata and it was so sticky that it stuck to Keith’s fingers making identification easy.

You can see (below)the range of species we found and identified using The Quick Waxcap Key from David Boertmann’s book The Genus Hygrocybe. We also saw the Blackening Waxcap Hygrocybe conica but do not have a photo of it. [Ed: there is a good photo here by Stuart Dunlop, on his excellent Donegal Wildlife site.]

Spangle waxcap Hygrocybe insipida
Spangle waxcap Hygrocybe insipida

Honey waxcap Hygrocybe reidii
Honey waxcap Hygrocybe reidii

Vermilion waxcap Hygrocybe miniata
Vermilion waxcap Hygrocybe miniata

Butter waxcap Hygrocybe ceracea
Butter waxcap Hygrocybe ceracea

Golden waxcap Hygrocybe chlorophana
Golden waxcap Hygrocybe chlorophana

Meadow waxcap Hygrocybe pratensis
Meadow waxcap Hygrocybe pratensis

Slimy waxcap Hygrocybe irrigata
Slimy waxcap Hygrocybe irrigata

Parrot waxcap Hygrocybe psittacina
Parrot waxcap Hygrocybe psittacina

The intrepid Forayers finally had to negotiate a couple of walls and fences to get back to Tom Denney’s land. I thank him for his assistance. For those especially interested in fungi there was plenty to keep them interested and for anyone else it was a beautiful day in a beautiful bit of Ryedale with wonderful views and a lovely walk.

[Ed: Many thanks to Rhona for leading this interesting foray and providing the notes, pictures and species list below.]

Species seen:

Latin nameCommon name
Amanita muscariaFly Agaric
Amanita rubescensBlusher
Clavulinopsis helvolaYellow Club
Clavulinopsis laeticolorHandsome Club
Collybia cirrhataPiggyback Shanklet
Cordyceps militarisScarlet Caterpillarclub
Cystoderma amianthinumEarthy Powdercap
Hygrocybe ceraceaButter Waxcap
Hygrocybe chlorophanaGolden Waxcap
Hygrocybe conicaBlackening Waxcap
Hygrocybe insipidaSpangle Waxcap
Hygrocybe irrigataSlimy Waxcap
Hygrocybe pratensisMeadow Waxcap
Hygrocybe psittacinaParrot Waxcap
Hygrocybe reidiiHoney Waxcap
Laccaria laccataDeceiver
Leotia lubricaJellybaby
Lycoperdon nigrescensDusky Puffball
Lycoperdon perlatumCommon Puffball
Paxillus involutusBrown Rollrim
Psathyrella multipedataClustered Brittlestem
Psilocybe semilanceataMagic Mushroom / Liberty Cap
Russula ochroleucaOchre Brittlegill
Russula emeticaThe Sickener
Suillus bovinusBovine Bolete
Tremella foliaceaLeafy Brain
Tricholomopsis rutilansPlums and Custard
Xylaria hypoxylonCandlesnuff Fungus

© Ryedale Natural History Society 2012 Photos © Rhona Sutherland 2012 Back to the Home page