The following description is based on the interpretation of the original description by Reid (1980).
The cap of Amanita murina is campanulate to expanded, with an obtuse umbo, mouse-colored, and has a striate margin.
The gills are free, crowded, white or slightly rose-tinted.
The stem is thin, white, subfibrillose, with a skirt-like ring according to the original description (according to Reid's interpretation, the ring is barely free, easily comes away on the fingers, and is absent in dried material). The volva is membranous and limbate, white on the outside, and (Reid says) gray on inner surface.
Odor and taste for this species were not recorded.
Combining Reid's measurements of spores of the lectotype, we get 7.0 - 9.0 (-10.0) × 6.2 - 8.0 µm and are globose to subglobose, rarely ellipsoid and amyloid.
The species was originally described from the state of Queensland on sandy soil (Reid 1980). Cleland and Cheel report the species from New South Wales. All material cited by Wood (1997) was from New South Wales and occurred in sclerophyll forest.—R. E. Tulloss
The editors of this site owe a great debt to Dr. Cornelis Bas
whose famous cigar box files of Amanita nomenclatural information
gathered over three or more decades were made available to RET for computerization
and make up the lion's share of the nomenclatural information presented on this site.
Cooke. 1890. Grevillea 18 (fasc. 88, after p. 360): pl. 1.
The following text may make multiple use of each data field.
The field may contain magenta text presenting data from a type study
and/or revision of other original material cited in the protolog of the present taxon.
Macroscopic descriptions in magenta are a combination of data from the protolog and
additional observations made on the exiccata during revision of the cited original
The same field may also contain black text, which is data from a revision of the present
taxon (including non-type material and/or material not cited in the protolog).
Paragraphs of black text will be labeled if further subdivision of
this text is appropriate.
Olive text indicates a specimen that has not been
thoroughly examined (for example, for microscopic details) and marks other places in the text
where data is missing or uncertain.
The material on this tab is derived from (Cooke 1889) and the revision of Reid (1980). Analysis of these sources is provided by the page editor(s).
from protolog: 38 - 51 mm wide, mouse-gray (light brownish gray), broadly campanulate, with obtuse umbo, polished, subglabrous; context not described; margin striatulate; universal veil not mentioned, not depicted.
from protolog: free, subcrowded, white or slightly tinged with pink; lamellulae not described.
from protolog: 76 × 6.5 mm, whitish, fibrillose below; bulb small and subglobose [per fig. based on field drawings per (Reid 1980)]; context not described; partial veil pendent,small, white, superior [per fig. based on field drawings per (Reid 1980)]; universal veil limbate, whitish, membranous, irregular, enclosing stipe base [per fig. based on field drawings per (Reid 1980)].
from Reid (1980): 31 - 33 × 9.3 - 11.3 μm, at least some 4-sterigmate. [Note: Reid doesn't describe the basidia from the lectotype in the text, but provides a scale drawing (Reid 1980: fig. 25b) including two apparently mature basidia from which the above measurements are derived.—ed.]
from Reid (1980): Reid provides three sets of dimensions. From the spore print, he gives two sets 7.0 - 8.8 × 6.8 - 8.0 μm and 7.5 - 9.0 × 6.2 - 7.2 μm. From the gills he reports spores up to 10.0 × 7.5 μm. From this data we could project the following: [-/-/-] 7.0 - 10.0 × 6.2 - 8.0 μm, (Q = 1.03 - 1.33). Continuing with Reid's observations on the type: hyaline, thin-walled, amyloid, globose[?] to subglbose to broadly ellipsoid to ellipsoid; apiculus "oblique"; contents not recorded; color in deposit not recorded.
from protolog: In sandy soil.
from protolog: AUSTRALIA: QUEENSLAND—Brisbane - unkn. loc., s.d. Bailey 651 (lectotype, K, with spore print and pencil sketch), Bailey 659 (paratype, K, with pencil sketch).
In selecting the a lectotype, Reid (1980) picked the collection accompanied by a spore print. He reports that both collections were accompanied by pencil sketches of the basidiomes in fresh condition.
Reid (1980) assigns two collections to this speice. Neither is a precise match to the protolog. For example, neither has a striate cap margin; and one is pale yellowish gray-brown while the other is dark gray-brown with blackish brown over the disc. For the moment, Reid's descriptions of the two collections will be present here; and, as usual for the site, they are edited so as to conform to the common layout of descriptions on this site.
Pileus: 56 mm wide, dark gray-brown, blackish brown over disc, shallowly convex, glabrous; context white: margin smooth; universal veil absent per figure.
Lamellulae: not described; however, white per figure.
Stipe: 77 × 15 mm (measured at apex), narrowing upward and white per cited figure; bulb 24 mm wide, white and not strongly differentiated from the stipe per figure; context white, stuffed at least below and stuffed or hollow above per figure; partial veil white, thick, free at margin only, with mealy or "snow-like" consistency, readily coming away on fingers, "collapsing without trace" in exsiccatum, superior and radially splitting per figure; universal veil limbate, membranous, externally whitish, with grayish inner surface, with highest point of limb 40± mm from bottom of bulb per figure, with point of attachment of limb 26± mm per figure. [Note: estimated dimensions of universal veil assume that the figure is to scale.]
Basidia: up to 50 × 13.5 μm, 4-sterigmate; clamps absent. [Note: Essentially in agreement with regard to length of two largest in scale drawing of multiple basidioles (Reid 1980: fig. 25g) as measured by ed.: 47 - 49 × 9.0 - 10.2 μm.]
Universal veil: On stipe base: filamentous hyphae dominating, 2 - 12 μm wide; inflated cells most common away from surfaces of limb, globose or pyriform; vascular hyphae scant; clamps absent.
Lamella edge tissue: inflated cells with ultimate element either clavate or ovate, up to 15.5 μm wide, in short chains. [Note: With inflated cells of this tissue mislabeled as cheilocystidia.
Basidiospores: divided into two shape categories by Reid; "globose" 7.0 - 8.0 μm wide; "subglobose" 75 - 8.5 × 6.8 - 7.2 μm; "without apiculus." [Note: The remark "without apiculus" demonstrates that Reid did not observe the spores in lateral view very often...if at all; hence, this spore data is of relatively little use to us for comparative purposes.—ed.]
Material examined: AUSTRALIA: VICTORIA—LGA - Wilson's Promontory, Tidal River, Lilly Pilly Gully, 2.v.1976 D. A. & D. G. Reid s.n. (K). [Note: this collection is not mapped on this site.]
Comments: "This specimen is more robust than those of the type collection; it also lacks the striate margin of the cap and shows more...[globose and ovate inflated cells]in the volval tissue. Nevertheless it has about the same color, the same evanescent ring and identical spores."
[Notes: This reasoning should be questioned on several points. (a) Reid doesn't report or provide illustrations of the universal veil tissue of the original material and presents no grounds whatsoever to justify his claim of similarity of the microscopic anatomy of the universal veil in such material to that of the present collection. (b) Without offering supportive hypotheses, there is no reason to believe that the present collection's cap color is the same as that of the material described by Cooke and Massee. (c) It is extraordinary that the spores of the present collection could be said both to lack apiculi and to be identical to the spores of the holo- and paratypes. Moreover, apparently it isn't true that the apiculi are lacking; some are illustrated in Reid's figure of spores for the present collection. Even setting this aside, could the spores be called identical given the evidence that Reid has included in his monograph? In his idiosyncratic manner, Reid breaks the spore data for the original material up as follows:
Note the overall dimensions given have the following range 7.0 - 8.5 × 6.8 - 8.0 μm, with estimated Q values ranging from 1.0 - 1.10.
It seems very unusual to judge these two sets of data as describing "identical" spores. Revision of the original material and the present collection are both required in order to have useful understanding of the material...not to mention assessing any possible taxonomic relationship.—ed.]
(2) Basidiome not illustrated, described as exsiccatum.
Pileus: 30 - 45 mm wide, pale yellowish gray-brown; context not described; margin nonstriate; universal veil absent or as patches (thin, white, flat).
Lamellae: not described.
Stipe: 45 - 80 mm long, "rather tall and narrow, often appreciably longer than" pileus diameter, white, cottony below partial veil; bulb not described; context not described; partial veil indistinct, soon collapsing on stipe; universal veil with narrow free margin, "sometimes well-developed, sometimes poorly formed."
Basidia: up to 68 × 12.0 μm, 4-sterigmate; clamps absent. [Note: Essentially in agreement with scale drawing of single apparently mature basidium (Reid 1980: fig. 25d) as measured by ed.: 69 × 11.4 μm.]
Universal veil: On pileus: with structure similar to that seen on stipe base; "The superficial layer seems to be hyphal, with the thin-walled hyphae up to 10 μm wide and without highly refractive walls; below this there are similar hyphae together with a very few scattered sphaerocysts and oval elements." On stipe base: "as in previous collection from same locality (see above), except that in one specimen there are numerous broad hyphae, 14 μm wide, which appear very conspicuous owing to their very highly refractive walls. However, these hyphae do not appear to be a constant feature since they may be either present or absent in different parts of the same volva and completely lacking fro the volae of other fruit bodies."
Material examined: AUSTRALIA: VICTORIA—LGA - Wilson's Promontory, Tidal River, Lilly Pilly Gully, 6.vii.1976 D. A., P. M. & D. G. Reid s.n. (K). [Note: this collection is not mapped on this site.]
Reid makes no argument for this collection's identification as A. murina. Because of the minimal information on the collection and the limited information on spore size and shape, the case for this collection being assigned to the present species is no better than in the previous case.
—R. E. Tulloss
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"Australian Mouse-Colored Death Cap"
1. Amanita murina, Queensland, Australia.
(1) From Cooke (1890) plate 1,
from the very end of Grevillea 18 (fasc. 88). With annotation
"Figured from the specimens sent with notes." That is to say, this is not
an accurate drawing from life and probably should not be used as the basis for any anatomical conclusions. A later republication of this illustration shows the stipe concolorous with the universal veil at the stipe base and shows the saccate volva grayish buff in cross-section.
Each spore data set is intended to comprise a set of measurements from a single specimen made by a single observer;
and explanations prepared for this site talk about specimen-observer pairs associated with each data set.
Combining more data into a single data set is non-optimal because it obscures observer differences
(which may be valuable for instructional purposes, for example) and may obscure instances in which
a single collection inadvertently contains a mixture of taxa.