Name: Hypomyces lactifluorum
Authority: (Schwein.) Tul. & C. Tul. 1860
Vouchered by: Brad Bomanz
Date found: 8/31/2005
Collected by: Steve Booker
Voucher ID: 38
Confirming Mycologist: Dr. Andrew Methven
Latitude: 038.654 N
Longitude: 090.065 W
City: Collinsville
County: St. Clair
State: Illinois
Site location: Monks Mounds
Habitat: bottomland - swamp
Moisture conditions: very moist
Substrate: leaf - mold
Reference document: The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms - 1981
Author:Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN No: 0-394-51992-2
Page no:373
Spore length: 33 - 40 microns
Spore width: 6 - 7 microns
Spore color: clear
Spore texture: stongly warted; equally two-celled
Spore shape: spindle shaped
Spore print color: white
Chemical reaction: n/d
This specimen parasitized the Russula brevipies. Host was vouchered for confirmation. Hypomyces lactiflorum is a widespread ascomycete species that attacks and takes over basidiomycetes, usually Russula brevipes. Russula brevipes then becomes the support for Hypomyces lactiflorum and instead of gills with basidiospores forming on the underside of the cap, the fungus produces ascospores in sacks over the entire fruiting body. The firm crisp fruiting body that results is known as the Lobster mushroom. The bland uninteresting Russula brevipes and possibly some white Lactarius species are transformed into a choice edible. Potentially a poisonous species could also be parasitized, so only eat the thick, crisp firm "Lobster Mushrooms" and avoid any spindly or flabby look-alikes. Close examination by Dr. Methven (see annotation above) combined with the 2015 DNA analysis confirmed that this specimen is Hypomyces lactifluorum.

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