Friday, 19 July 2013

Egghead Mottlegill, Panaeolus semiovatus, Letham, Scotland

Egghead Mottlegill, Panaeolus semiovatus

Mottlegill,  it seems originates from mottled gills due to uneven maturity of black gills, thus giving a mottled appearance.

My first ever trip to Scotland during the month of May.  I normally spend 5 days there during either August or October to take advantage of the new fungi season but this year my friends had moved to a new dwelling, and a new location, 10 miles inland from Arbroath, and so were keen to have me visit.  So I kept my expectations in realistic proportions, erring on the view that I probably wouldn't find anything much.

How wrong I was.  Within 2 hours of arriving at their new abode, and whilst out on a brief dog walk around grass footpaths around the village, I spotted something in dried up manure in someone's garden.  Thought at first it was a Coprinus but on closer inspection realised it was an Egghead Mottlegill.  Its structure and beauty captivated me; in particular its clay coloured shiny cap, and its unusual creased and wrinkled appearance.   Firstly, I saw a mature group, and then a single fresh specimen.  Can see why it is called Egghead.  The shape is like a hard-boiled egg with the bottom chopped off.  The clay and light buff-coloured cap had a light dusting of black gill spores smeared in the wrinkled structure.  Also on the stem there were sprinkles of black spores. 

Taking a photograph of the fresh single Egghead was challenging.  The sun was in the wrong position, kneeling in dung is not my favourite past time, and also the house owners Jack Russell dog was yapping at me a bit too close for comfort - still all worth it to capture this lovely fungus.

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