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Elmer: A question from a novice --
how do I determine if this mushroom is a Corinopsis atramentaria
or a Coprinellus micaceus.
I think it is a Corinopsis atramentaria but how can I be certain.
The Trudell book says that Coprinellus micaceous is "brighter colored",
but it also says that there is a "wide variation in color"
Mike P: In my experience, C. atramentaria is more grayish,
C. micaceous definitely yellow-brown.
They key is the marked yellow tints.
Also, the mica-like scales that are usually apparent on caps of the latter.
They may not be obvious if the mushroom is not fresh.
Based on color, I would call your collection C. micaceous,
though I'm not 100% sure.
Sava: I fully agree with Mike. Compare the colors:
The powder (mica) on the cap of C. micaceus may indeed completely disappear,
but if you look hard, you might see it in younger specimens even if it is not
obvious. Hand-lens would come in handy here and in many other situations.
Get yourself one!
For two years now,
I've been happily using a good-quality "Soviet" Belomo lens:
If you shop for
lenses, keep in mind that higher magnification is not necessarily better.
The most useful is 10x.
Judy: Coprinopsis atramentaria is taller,
and the cap dull brown/greyish with no granular material on the cap.
The cap is also strongly striate.
Coprinellis micaceous is shorter in stature (kind of stubby),
striate but not strongly so,
more orangy-brownish and usually has lighter colored granular flecks
on at least part of the caps.
If quite young, the cap has a lot of them covering most of the cap.
They also grow in larger clusters, fairly close together
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