Mycena epipterygia (Scop.) Gray

Nat. Arrang. Br. pl. I: 619 (1821).

© A. Aronsen 2006

Growing in various habitats. On mossy lawns, in mixed woods, among conifer needles, and on decaying wood of deciduous trees. Common and widely distributed.

Pileus 5-25 mm across, parabolical or conical to campanulate, flattening with age, shallowly sulcate, translucent-striate, at first pruinose, then viscid, covered with a completely separable, tough, gelatinous pellicle, pale grayish citrine, yellowish grey, greenish yellow, olivaceous yellow, greenish brown, pale grey-brown, olive brown, pale sepia brown, dark red-brown, black-brown, but also whitish or with some purplish, olivaceous or citrine shade, the margin more or less scalloped, concolorous to somewhat paler. Odour indistinctive, faintly fragrant to farinaceous or disagreeable and rancid when cut. Lamellae 17-23 reaching the stipe, ascending, narrowly to broadly adnate, decurrent with a tooth, smooth to somewhat ribbed, at first whitish to very pale citrine, turning very pale grayish, not infrequently becoming flushed with a more or less pronounced pink shade, sometimes becoming stained with reddish brown spots, the edge gelatinized, separable as a tough, elastic thread, concolorous. Stipe 45-80 x 1-2 mm, hollow, somewhat elastic to fragile, equal, terete, straight to curved or flexuous, smooth, viscid, minutely puberulous above, at first citrine or greenish yellow, gradually turning pale yellow to pale grayish or whitish, at times reddening with age, the base covered with long, coarse, white fibrils.

Basidia (22-)27-35 x 7-10 µm, clavate, generally 4-spored but also 2-spored, with sterigmata up to 7 µm long. Spores 8-11 x 4.5-8 µm (in 2-spored forms 9-13.5 x 7-8 µm), Q = 1.8-2.2, Qav = 2, pip-shaped to broadly pip-shaped, smooth, amyloid. Cheilocystidia 12.5-55 x 4.5-10 µm forming a sterile band, embedded in gelatinous matter, clavate, covered with fairly few, unevenly spaced, rather coarse, simple to furcated or branched, cylindrical to somewhat inflated excrescences 2-14.5 x 1-4.5 µm. Pleurocystidia absent. Lamellar trama dextrinoid. Hyphae of the pileipellis 1-3.5 µm wide, embedded in gelatinous matter, branched, anastomosing, covered with simple to furcated or branched excrescences 1-10 x 1-2.5 µm, terminal cells up to 6.5 µm wide. Hyphae of the cortical layer of the stipe 1-3.5 µm wide, embedded in gelatinous matter, smooth or very sparsely covered with cylindrical excrescences 1-7 x 1-2.5 µm, terminal cells 4-8 µm wide, subcylindrical or clavate, covered with a few to more numerous rather coarse excrescences. Clamp connections present in all tissues.

Microphotos of cheilocystidia 1

Microphotos of cheilocystidia 2

Microphotos of pileipellis

Microphoto of the cortical layer of the stipe

Mycena epipterygia is a species in Mycena sect. Hygrocyboideae (Fr.) Singer. This species is highly variable and probably comprises several cryptospecies that may be hard to segregate morphologically. Maas Geesteranus (1992) recognized 12 varieties. Only two of these are treated here: var. pelliculosa and var. epipterygiodes. The two varieties that formerly was listed at the present site, var. viscosa and var. badiceps, are now treated on species level as M. viscosa and M. simia.

In a recent study Perry & Desjardin (2016) compared ITS sequence data of M. epipterygia from California, Washington, Tennessee, British Columbia, Italy and Sweden. They found pairwise differences between these sequences of 0%-10.3%, "suggesting that the taxon is highly variable for this marker and likely represents multiple cryptic taxa at the species level".

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© Arne Aronsen 2002-2023