Psilocybe tasmaniana

Psilocybe tasmaniana Guzmán & Watling (1978)

Psilocybe subaeruginosa Guzmán & Watling (1978)
Psilocybe australiana Guzmán & Watling (1978)
Psilocybe eucalypta Guzmán & Watling

Macroscopic feat.:
  • Cap/Pileus: 1-2 cm broad. Convex to subcampanulate, but not umbonate or papillate. Surface smooth, subviscid when moist, striate only near the margin, which is often adorned with whitish remnants from the veil. Tawny orangish brown, hygrophanous, fading in drying to a dull straw color or dingy yellow.
  • Gills/Lamellae: Attachment adnate, becoming purplish brown with spore maturity, with the edges remaining whitish.
  • Stem/Stipe: 40-65 mm long by 1-2 mm thick. Equal overall. Surface silky fibrillose, white to nearly concolorous with the cap. Flesh bruising bluish where injured, especially at the base. Partial veil well developed, finely cortinate, white, soon disappearing.

Microscopic feat.:
  • Basidio/Spores: Dark purplish brown in deposit, ellipsoid to subellipsoid in side view and subovoid in face view, 10-13 (15) by 7-8.8 µm.
  • Basidia: 4-spored.
  • Pleurocistidia: 19-24 by 5.5-9.9 µm, fusoid-ventricose with an abbreviated apex, 1.6-2.7 µm broad.
  • Cheilocystidia: Fusoid ventricose to sublageniform, with extended neck 5-11 by 1.6-3.3 µm.

Habitat: Grows solitary or gregariously in April and May on dung (possibly kangaroo) or in dung-enriched debris in open areas within Eucalyptus forests. Reported from Tasmania, New Zealand, and Australia.

Comment: Active, potency unknown. This species is closely related to Psilocybe subaeruginosa and Psilocybe cyanescens. Chang and Mills (1992) tried to make Psilocybe tasmaniana, Psilocybe australiana i Psilocybe eucalypta subordinate synonyms of Psilocybe subaeruginosa. For reasons described on pages 91-92, I am skeptical of their interpretations. Furthermore, they made conclusions about the identification of mushrooms that they called Psilocybe tasmaniana that are not referenced against any type listed by Guzmán and Watling, which is surprising considering the strong taxonomic proposals they put forward. If their identifications were in error, and they then "proved" synonymy between the collections, the analyzed collections may indeed be biologically compatible because they incorrectly delimited one species into the other aforementioned taxa. Interestingly, Johnston and Buchanan (1996), while endorsing most of the proposed synonymy of Chang and Mills, selectively exclude Psilocybe tasmaniana as a species found in New Zealand (nor do they list it as a synonym!) although Chang and Mills (1992) references a collection from Taranak, New Zealand. Clearly, more studies are needed, using better reference standards and systematics, to adequately answer the questions raised here.

source - Paul Stamets "Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World"

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© psilosophy 2001-2022