Pinewood Gingertail (Xeromphalina enigmatica not Xeromphalina campanella)

Xeromphalina enigmatica

We now have DNA sequences from 36 of the 495 specimens submitted in 2023. The results returned this week were largely as anticipated or inconclusive, making their significance challenging to assess. However, one significant result was the sequence of a Pinewood Gingertail (Xeromphalina campanella) specimen. This species is fairly common across PEI with 37 observations of Xeromphalina species, 28 of which are Xeromphalina campanella, in 24 Atlas squares.

Xeromphalina are easy to identify:

  • Small size, typically found on decaying wood such as stumps, frequently in large clusters.
  • Wiry stem, dark brown at the base, transitioning to yellow towards the top, culminating in a yellow/golden cap.
  • Fuzzy base.
  • Gills that are spaced out, decurrent (extending down the stem), with cross veins between the gills.
  • Produces a white spore print.

Guidebooks often highlight two common species: Xeromphalina campanella, found on softwood, and Xeromphalina kauffmanii, which prefers hardwood. However, recent sequencing of specimens from Newfoundland and Quebec revealed they are actually a different species, Xeromphalina enigmatica, which will grow on both types of wood. To verify if this phenomenon extends to our area, I included a specimen in our 2023 collection for analysis. The results confirmed our specimen to be X. enigmatica, aligning with these recent discoveries.

This revelation challenges our understanding of the geographical distribution of Xeromphalina campanella, necessitating further DNA sequencing for accurate identification due to the lack of visible differences between X. campanella and X. enigmatica. Given the findings, it's reasonable to presume that PEI predominantly hosts X. enigmatica, rather than X. campanella. Additionally, X. kauffmanii, documented in Nova Scotia and distinguishable by its larger spores, could potentially be present in PEI.

If you encounter a Pinewood Gingertail on hardwood, please collect samples or contact me for collection and DNA analysis in 2024.

Publicado el febrero 19, 2024 09:31 TARDE por ksanderson ksanderson


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