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Amanita muscaria

Amanita muscaria
Photo Information
Copyright: Steve Reekie (LordPotty) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1381 W: 144 N: 3872] (12503)
Genre: Fungi
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-03-12
Categories: Fungi
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): New Zealand Fungi [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-03-16 6:41
Viewed: 4394
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I know the Fly Agaric is a very common mushroom,and one that has appeared many many times on Trek Nature,but it is such a beautiful one that I can't resist posting one every now and then.
These were also growing on the Coal Creek walkway,but not in the native broadleaf,podocarp or beech forest.
In New Zealand,these are nearly always found in cultivated areas,usually under exotic pines like Pinus radiata as you can see from the pine needles around it.
These were at the very beginning of the walkway,before the pines and exotic vegetation gave way to the native forest.

Here is some information about A.muscaria copied from Wikipedia:

Kingdom: Fungi
Subkingdom: Dikarya
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Subphylum: Agaricomycotina
Class: Agaricomycetes
Subclass: Agaricomycetidae
Order: Agaricales
Family: Amanitaceae
Genus: Amanita
Species: A. muscaria

Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita, is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Native throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Amanita muscaria has been unintentionally introduced to many countries in the Southern Hemisphere, generally as a symbiont with pine plantations, and is now a true cosmopolitan species. It associates with various deciduous and coniferous trees. The quintessential toadstool, it is a large white-gilled, white-spotted, usually deep red mushroom, one of the most recognizable and widely encountered in popular culture. Several subspecies, with differing cap colour have been recognised to date, including the brown regalis (considered a separate species), the yellow-orange flavivolata, guessowii, and formosa, and the pinkish persicina. Genetic studies published in 2006 and 2008 show several sharply delineated clades which may represent separate species.

Although generally considered poisonous, it has been consumed as a food in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America after parboiling in plentiful water. However, Amanita muscaria is now primarily famed for its hallucinogenic properties with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol. It was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia and has a religious significance in these cultures. There has been much speculation on traditional use of this mushroom as an intoxicant existed beyond Siberia, however, such traditions are far less well-documented. The American banker and amateur ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson proposed the fly agaric was in fact the Soma talked about in the ancient Rig Veda texts of India; although this theory has been refuted by anthropologists, it gained common credence when first published in 1968.

The common name in English is thought to have been derived from its European use as an insecticide, when sprinkled in milk. The fly-killing agent is now known to be ibotenic acid. An alternative derivation proposes that the term fly- refers not to insects as such but rather the delirium resulting from consumption of the fungus. This is based on the medieval belief that flies could enter a person's head and cause mental illness.

(for more detailed information,see the rest of this article A.muscaria)

Hope you like this colourful one too.
Thanks for looking.

Miss_Piggy, Noisette, eqshannon, haraprasan, Hormon_Manyer, red45, Silvio2006, bahadir, valy67, boreocypriensis, ramthakur, rcrick, albert, bobcat08, gannu, bartove has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Hormon_Manyer: Acid soils etcLordPotty 2 03-17 06:31
To eqshannon: Hi BobLordPotty 1 03-16 08:54
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2009-03-16 7:08]

very deadly image, brilliant colors. tfs.

Hello Steve
very beautiful shot of this amanita muscaria
the colors are really fantastic
well composed shot with great sharpness and POV
TFS Jacqueline

Hallo Steve
I wonder where are they hiding this time? I mean the fairies and the elves. I cannot see them behind this huge mushroom. This is so beautiful. I wish I could see one of these colourful fungi for real. We just have the plain white or off-white ones in our area. The texture on the top of the red is photographed so well and displays beautifully. It almost looks unreal. Thanks for sharing.
Best regards

I had a friend, and old black man, who lived on the Mendocino beach near me...and we had these in our yard. He came by one day and asked if he could take some. He told me that he put them in capsules...first only a bit then a bit more in each and took them every so often during a 2-3 day period...it was most unusual for man of his age and race. he was a dedicated conversationalist and knowledgeable man who was once a long time ago on the city Council of Los Angeles..

I know this brand name:-0 I have never partook. I am already crazy from birth!!! Your photo is exceptional Mr Potty Esq! Good show!

Namastay Steve,
A very good capture of this beautiful mushroom. Superb sharp details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-03-16 9:53]

Hello Steve,
Splendid photo in very beautiful light. The colours are so natural! Great sharpness and details. Excellent low POV.

Hi Steve,

Yes, a very common and an often photographed specie, but I never get bored of it. :) It's interesting to see how other photographers capture it. You're doing it quite well, with great sharpness and details. This pic managed to make my test. :) My Fly Agaric shots if interested: I, II and III.

Mycological help: the reason why You find Amanita muscaria more often in cultivated area with Pinus and also Picea in NZ, is this fungus specie's only growing on acid substrate, which it gets under pines. Here in our mountains I found it also under the above named conifers + birch (Betula pendula) in most of the cases.
In Your otherwise brilliant note I don't understand what You mean on 'persicina'. It was never a subspecie, or variant of 'Fly Agaric', its basionym is still its legitimate: Amanita persicina R.N. Hilton & S. Clancy (1988). Distribution area: Australia, New Zealand.

Off topic: my son said thank You very much for Your opinion on his photos. I, as his father, do so. Thanks for Your gesture, Steve.

Tfs, best regards from Your Hungarian friend, László

hello steve
super sharpness with good details of the fungi
beautiful colours
great shot
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2009-03-16 12:35]

Hi Steve!

Common but not boring. Red colour always looks great in such shots. Good shot with interesting note. Also thanks to Laszlo for help!

  • Great 
  • Marx44 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 172 W: 97 N: 926] (3891)
  • [2009-03-16 13:12]

Hi Steve
Very beautiful image of a alone fungi, with fine POV,
Excellent sharpness & details,

Ciao Steve, splendid fungi with fantastic colors, beautiful details and wonderful sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Steve, wonderful close-up shot of this colourful mushroom with excellent composition and details.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2009-03-16 14:37]

Hello Steve !
Common mushroom, maybe, but I do not find it very often in my forests, so it's always nice to see them on picture. You managed to capture this one with excellent details, and I also like the colors, the composition, the grass and dry leaves all around it. I really appreciate all your wonderful pictures in your gallery. Very well done !

Hi Steve,
Another great work from you MF! Simply stunning.. well done..
TFS and cheers,

Your Panasonic is doing a great job, Steve.
However, to use the cliche, it is the person behind it who actually does it.
It is a very good looking mushroom and its hat is beautiful.
The picture is exceptionally sharp and colourful.
Well done and TFS.

Hi Steve,

Great shot of this magic mushroom, I did a simler shot quite a while ago now "http://www.treknature.com/viewphotos.php?l=3&p=113997" those colours are amazing, nature does have a way of saying "keep clear" or i'll bite :)

Cheers Rick :)

Hello Steeve,
Great capture of this beautiful amanita, very good light and colours
Well detailed and interesting note too

Hello Steve,

A very nice neat copy of this Fly Agaric. Throughout the growth area around its base is visible. Beautiful. A good picture is never boring Steve, although perhaps a few hundred have been placed on TN.

Regards and TFS BOB

  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2009-03-17 15:37]

Steve,Superb shot. looks like toppings on the bread. Fantastic composition. Ganesh Sorry finished smileys

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