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Amanite tue-mouches, Fausse Oronge, Fly Agaric, Légyölö galoca, Roter Fliegenpilz, Vliegenzwam

Amanita muscaria (L.) Lam. 1783


Amanita muscaria (L. ex Fr.) Hooker, Fly Agaric, Amanite tue-mouches, Fausse Oronge Roter Fliegenpilz, Légyölö galoca. Cap 8–20cm across, globose or hemispherical at first then flattening, bright scarlet covered with distinctive white pyramidal warts which may be washed off by rain leaving the cap almost smooth and the colour fades. Stem 80–180×10–20mm, white, often covered in shaggy volval remnants as is the bulbous base, the white membranous ring attached to the stem apex sometimes becoming flushed yellow from the pigment washed off the cap. Flesh white, tinged red or yellow below the cap cuticle, Taste pleasant, smell faint. Gills free, white. Spore print white. Spores broadly ovate, nonamyloid, 9.5–10.5×7–8µ. Habitat usually with birch trees, Season late summer to late autumn. Common. Deadly poisonous. It contains many different toxins see below. Distribution, America and Europe


location: North America, Europe edibility: Deadly fungus colour: Red or redish or pink normal size: 5-15cm cap type: Convex to shield shaped stem type: Ring on stem, Volva on stem spore colour: White, cream or yellowish habitat: Grows in woods, Grows on the ground


This is one of the easiest species to recognize and describe, and consequently its properties have been well documented for centuries. The common name Fly Agaric comes from the practice of breaking the cap into platefuls of milk, used since medieval times to stupefy flies. It is a strong hallucinogen and intoxicant and was used as such by the Lapps. In such cases the cap is dried and swallowed without chewing. The symptoms begin twenty minutes to two hours after ingestion. The central nervous system is affected and the muscles of the intoxicated person start to pull and twitch convulsively, followed by dizzines and a death-like sleep. During this stage the mushrooms are often vomited but nevertheless the drunkenness and stupor continue. While in this state of stupor, the person experiences vivid visions and on waking is usually filled with elation and is physically very active. This is due to the nerves being highly stimulated, the slightest effort of will producing exaggerated physical effects, e.g. the intoxicated person will make a gigantic leap to clear the smallest obstacle. The Lapps may have picked up the habit of eating the Fly Agaric through observing the effects of the fungus on reindeer, which are similarly affected. Indeed, they like it so much that all one has to do to round up a wandering herd is to scatter pieces of Fly Agaric on the ground. Another observation the Lapps made from the reindeer was that the intoxicating compounds in the fungus can be recycled by consuming the urine of an intoxicated person. The effects of consuming this species are exceedingly unpredictable; some people remain unaffected while others have similar, or different, symptoms to those above, and at least one death is attributed to A. muscaria. This unpredictability is due to the fungus containing different amounts of the toxins ibotenic acid and muscimol according to season, method of cooking and ingestion, as well as the subject’s state of mind. Ibotenic acid is mostly concentrated in the coloured skin of the cap. This very unstable compound rapidly degrades on drying to form muscimol which is five to ten times more potent. Traditionally, where A. muscaria is used as an inebriant, it is the dried cap which is taken. Ihave added a new image sent to me from Hungary by Dr. Barthó Loránd, many thanks. The pictures taken at night are from Orange in Australia and are growing without there being any trees ( http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/gallery/D... ), ( http://www.mycobank.org/MycoTaxo.aspx?Li... ), ( http://www.mushroomexpert.com/amanita.ht... ), ------- Amanita muscaria poisoning typically occurs in either young children or people ingesting it for a hallucinogenic experience. Occasionally, immature button forms have been mistaken for edible puffballs. Additionally, the white spots may be washed away during heavy rain and it can then appear similar to the edible A. caesarea. ---------Amanita muscaria contains a number of biologically active agents, at least two of which, muscimol and ibotenic acid, are known to be psychoactive. A toxic dose in adults is approximately 6 mg muscimol or 30 to 60 mg ibotenic acid;] this is typically about the amount found in one cap of Amanita muscaria. However, the amount and ratio of chemical compounds per mushroom varies widely from region to region and season to season, which further confuses the issue. Spring and summer mushrooms have been reported to contain up to 10 times as much ibotenic acid and muscimol compared to autumn fruitings. --------A fatal dose has been calculated at approximately 15 caps. Deaths from A. muscaria have been reported in historical journal articles and newspaper reports; however, with modern medical treatment a fatal outcome would be extremely rare. Many older books mistakenly list it as deadly, giving the impression that it is far more toxic than it really is. The North American Mycological Association has stated there are no reliably documented fatalities in the past 100 years. The vast majority (90% or more) of mushroom poisoning deaths are from having eaten either the greenish to yellowish death cap (A. phalloides) or one of the several white Amanita species known as destroying angels. -----The active constituents of this species are water soluble, and boiling and then discarding the cooking water will at least partly detoxify A. muscaria. However, drying may increase potency as the process facilitates the conversion of ibotenic acid to the more potent muscimol. According to some sources, once detoxified, the mushroom becomes edible ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_mus... ),

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MayraSpringmann 7 years ago

Lovely!!! Great series!!

EvaDeDiegoZamarro 7 years ago

thanks a lot!
the photo: fantastic!!!

pmbagga 7 years ago

Superb !!

AlexKonig 7 years ago

hi eva, i think marta was right

EvaDeDiegoZamarro 7 years ago

hi! i have a photo of fungi ,i don't know what is it, i think a cladonia but i don't know. i think you maybe can help me


Spotted by

Heerlen, Limburg, Netherlands

Lat: 50.88, Long: 5.99

Spotted on Oct 16, 2011
Submitted on Mar 9, 2012

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