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Entoloma & Satellite Genera
by Michael Kuo
The mushrooms in this group have pink spore prints, gills that are attached to the stem, and spores that are angular, warted, or ribbed. For the most part they are saprobes that help decompose forest litter, which means that they usually grow on the ground. The pink-spored mushrooms in Pluteus, by contrast, are wood-rottting saprobes found on decaying logs (additionally, their gills are free from the stem and their spores are elliptical and smooth). Recent research indicates that at least one Entoloma species, Entoloma abortivum, can be a parasite on another mushroom, Armillaria mellea.
I am treating "Entoloma" as a large and diverse genus that includes what some mycologists separate as the genera Alboleptonia, Claudopus, Inocephalus, Leptonia, Nolanea, and Pouzarella. This approach is the one sanctioned by the current Dictionary of the Fungi--but DNA testing of some representative mushrooms indicates that Nolanea and Inocephalus, at least, may constitute separate genera (once changed a little bit) supported by molecular evidence (see the link to the paper by Moncalvo and collaborators, below). The genera Rhodocybe and Clitopilus are similar to Entoloma but differ on sporal morphology (warted, rather than angular, spores in Rhodocybe; longitudinally ribbed spores in Clitopilus); their separation is fairly clearly supported by preliminary molecular results.
My suspicion is that Entoloma identification is currently much more difficult than it will be in the future. Almost all of the species are "morphospecies," separated on the basis of their physical features as observed with the naked eye and the microscope. Very little attention has been paid to the ecological features of the mushrooms--and yet, in the field, many of them seem to be adapted to a fairly specific ecological niche, fruiting only under certain kinds of trees, or in disturbed soil, or at a particular time of year, and so on. Eventually, it may be the case that an assessment of ecological factors like these will narrow down the identification possibilities much more efficiently than microscopic analysis of erudite and debatably significant features.
Some North American species of Entoloma are quite distinctive, well established, and easily recognized. Many others, however, are hard to distinguish, with or without a microscope. The literature is replete with synonymies, poorly described species, species that were named long ago and for which type collections have been lost, and so on. My sense, as an amateur navigating these choppy seas, is that a large number of the species described represent micromorphological "splitting" more than anything necessarily informative about the evolution and speciation of Entoloma--and that a large number of the entolomas one finds do not match up.
The authoritative online source for things Entoloma is Machiel Noordeloos's Entoloma Web site. For readers who want to learn to identify species of Entoloma, Noordeloos's site is a must. In particular, this page offers a concise treatment of the features that divide Entoloma into subgenera (Leptonia, Nolanea, and so on). However, Noordeloos treats Entoloma in northern Europe at his Web site, and North American readers will also need to consult the printed resources listed below (including Noordeloos's Entoloma in North America) in order to identify--or attempt to identify--most species.
Arora, D. (1986). Mushrooms demystified: A comprehensive guide to the fleshy fungi. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. 959 pp.
Baroni, T. J. (1990). Entolomataceae in eastern North America I: new species of Claudopus and Rhodocybe from the southern Appalachian Mountains. Mycotaxon 36: 313-323.
Baroni, T. J. & Horak, E. (1994). Entolomataceae in North America III: New taxa, new combinations and notes on species of Rhodocybe. Mycologia 86: 138-145.
Baroni, T. J. & Lodge, D. J. (1998). Alboleptonia from the Greater Antilles. Mycologia 90: 680-696.
Baroni, T. J. & R. E. Halling (2000). Some Entolomataceae (Agaricales) from Costa Rica. Brittonia 52: 121-135.
Brietenbach, J. & Kranzlin, F. (1995). Fungi of Switzerland: A contribution to the knowledge of the fungal flora of Switzerland. Volume 4 agarics 2nd part. Transl. Walters, V. L. & Walters, J. F. Lucern: Verlag Mykologia. 368 pp.
Czederpiltz, D. L. L., Volk, T. J., & Burdsall, H.H. Jr. (2001). Field observations and inoculation experiments to determine the nature of the carpophoroids associated with Entoloma abortivum and Armillaria. Mycologia 93: 841-851.
Halling, R. E. & T. J. Baroni (1985). Rhodocybe pulchrisperma (Entolomataceae): A new species from North America. Brittonia 37: 182-185.
Hesler, L. R. (1963). A study of Rhodophyllus types. Brittonia 15: 324-366.
Hesler, L. R. (1967). Entoloma in southeastern North America. Germany: Cramer. 245 pp.
Hesler, L. R. (1974). Name corrections in Entoloma. Mycologia 66: 715-717.
Kauffman, C.H. (1918). The gilled mushrooms (Agaricaceae) of Michigan and the Great Lakes region, Volumes I and II. New York: Dover. 924 pp. (1971 Reprint.)
Largent, D. L. & Benedict, R. G. (1970). Studies in the Rhodophylloid fungi II: Alboleptonia, a new genus. Mycologia 62: 437-452.
Largent, D. L. & Benedict, R. G. (1971). Studies in the Rhodophylloid fungi I: Generic concepts. Madrono 21: 32-39.
Largent, D. L. (1971). Rhodophylloid fungi of the Pacific Coast (United States) I: Type studies and new combinations of species described prior to 1968. Brittonia 23: 238-245.
Largent, D. L. (1994). Entolomatoid fungi of the western United States and Alaska. Eureka, CA: Mad River Press. 516 pp.
Moncalvo, J. M., et al. (2002). One hundred and seventeen clades of euagarics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 23: 357–400. An online version of this paper is available at: http://www.biology.duke.edu/fungi/mycolab/publications/117clades.html
Noordeloos, M. E. (1979). Type studies on Entolomatoid species in the Velenovsky Herbarium–I. Persoonia 10: 245-265.
Noordeloos, M. E. (1980). Entoloma subgenus Nolanea in the Netherlands and adjacent regions with a reconnaissance of its remaining taxa in Europe. Persoonia 10: 427-534.
Noordeloos, M. E. (1981). Introduction to the taxonomy of the genus Entoloma sensu lato (Agaricales). Persoonia 11: 121-151.
Noordeloos, M. E. (1981). Entoloma subgenera Entoloma and Allocybe in the Netherlands and adjacent regions with a reconnaissance of their remaining taxa in Europe. Persoonia 11: 153-256.
Noordeloos, M. E. (1981). Entoloma subgenus Nolanea-–Additions. Persoonia 11: 257.
Noordeloos, M. E. (1981). Entoloma in North America. Stuttgart: Gustav Fischer Verlag. 164 pp.
Noordeloos, M. E. (2004). Entoloma. Retrieved from the M. E. Noordeloos Web site: http://www.entoloma.nl/html/entintroeng.html
Ovrebo, C. L. & T. J. Baroni (1988). Three new species of Rhodocybe from Costa Rica. Mycologia 80: 508-514.
Ramsey, R. W. (1996). Trial field key to species of Entolomataceae in the Pacific Northwest. Retrieved from the Pacific Northwest Key Council Web site: http://www.svims.ca/council/Entolo.htm
Smith, A. H., Smith, H. V. & Weber, N. S. (1979). How to know the gilled mushrooms. Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown. 334 pp.
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2005, February). The genus Entoloma. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/entoloma.html