Frequently Asked Questions

How can I become involved?

You can help collect on a future foray by signing up on the email listserver. If you have expertise and interest in helping identify fungi collected contact us and we will give you the details on the identification portion of future forays.

How is the mycoblitz funded?

So far, the Pt. Reyes mycoblitz has been funded from the pockets of the participants. With additional funding we could process the collections more quickly, bring in experts for taxonomically difficult groups of fungi, and improve the identification resources provided on this website. Contact us, for information on tax-deductible means through which you can support these efforts.

What are the regulations for collecting at Pt. Reyes?

Mushrooms can be legally collected for personal (non-commercial) consumption but quantities are limited to two gallons plus one mushroom per adult per day. These regulations are directed at edible fungi. If you are involved with the mycoblitz forays you will not be collecting for consumption. We obtain special permits for these activities and the park rangers are usually alerted to our purposes on the day of the foray.

Can I eat this mushroom?

You can eat any mushroom you want to, but unfortunately some of them will kill you, and they will do it in a slow painful way. In fact, one of the most common mushrooms at Pt. Reyes is the "death cap" Amanita phalloides. For this reason it is a very risky behavior to eat any wild mushroom unless you are absolutely sure of its identity. Learn them first; enjoy eating them later.

How many fungi are at Pt. Reyes?

We don't know the answer to that question. We now have records for over 450 macrofungi from Pt. Reyes, and the accumulation curve for our collections suggests that there are many more to be found. Even if we had found all of the macrofungi, this would be a small subset of all the fungi.

Will there be other forays?

Probably, the next foray is tentatively scheduled for December 30, 2007. If you are interesting in being notified, sign up on our email list.

When were the previous forays held?

Forays were held on:

How do I learn more about fungi?

Seeing lots of identified fungi at local fungus fairs and joining one of the local mycological societies is a good way to start. Web resources such as MykoWeb and the book Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora are also very helpful.

How good are the identifications listed on this webpage?

This varies with the genera involved. We are pretty good at applying the accepted names to many of the big showy mushrooms in genera such as Agaricus, Amanita, Boletus, and Suillus and to common species in many other genera. Some groups are much more difficult and we do not have the required expertise to identify them, but we are trying to acquire it.

Have you found any new species?

New species are easily missed because most of our current efforts have been focused on taxa we can identify. Those that are difficult often fall through the cracks due to the volume of collections that get processed within a two-day period. However, we do have indications that some of our collections may be new to science.  For example the Amaurodon sp. is likely a new species.  The only other described species in the genus with purple spores in water is from Australia.   Some of our preliminary nucleotide sequence data from Inocybe species also suggest that some of the Point Reyes collections do not fit neatly within previously described and sequenced species.