Key To Mushroom Club Forayers
Mycelium, Mycological Society of Toronto, Jan.-Mar. 2005
1a. Persons with baskets, paper or other bags, slow moving to meandering, not moving along well-defined paths.
→ 2. Eumycologia
1b. Persons without such paraphernalia moving more rapidly, may be associated with quadrupeds, occasionally stopping for short periods.
→ Pseudomycologia (generally classified as Homo caniphilus or H. motus): Not dealt with here.
2a. Persons with broad often-aged baskets, appearing disheveled, dull-colored, greens, browns, and gray predominating.
→ 3. Generalis Group
2b. Persons with deeper baskets, may often be absent but generally with paper and other bags. Dress various, often ruck-sacked.
→ 4. Mycoedulis and Mycophagus Groups
2c. Persons with baskets containing plastic boxes, which are often segmented. Persons appear focussed. Diagnostic lens carried around neck.
→ 5. Micromycologia Group
3. Generalis Group
3a. Persons with baskets with high fungal diversity, appearing colorful, often with several small brown mushrooms. Vocalization "Look at this" or "Now this is interesting"
→ Mycophilus notabilis
3b. Knowledgeable persons with baskets of moderate fungal diversity, containing honey mushrooms and Chicken of the Woods. Rarely with sac or coral fungi. Vocalization: "These will cook up nicely" and "with white wine and garlic."
→ Mycophilus culinarius*
3c. Persons with baskets with few species, often associated with others. Vocalization always questioning such as "What do you think of this?" or "Have we got this one?"
→ Mycophila perplexa or M. initia
4. Mycoedulis and Mycophagus Groups
4a. Persons present only at the beginning and at the end of forays, generally shy and retiring, often returning with full baskets. Vocalization: None.
→ Mycoedulis areanus
4b. Persons generally clumped or in loose groups, often moving initially rapidly along well-defined routes, quadrupeds rarely present. Always successful with full baskets. Vocalization: Various, often loud.
→ Mycophagus sociabilis**
4c. Persons wandering between groups, often with incomplete baskets and holding several fungi in hand at any one time. Vocalization: "Can I eat this one?" and "Is this one good?"
→ Mycophagus dubius
5. Micromycologia Group
5a. Individuals on hands and knees or at least crouching, often close to decaying logs and tree bases. Often solitary, but generally very loosely associated with similar species. Vocalization: Generally incomprehensible, but muttering about sporangia and calcareous peridia often faintly heard.
→ Myxophila vehementa
5b. Individuals crouching to upright, generally with basket containing at least some macro fungi. Rarely solitary, generally in small groups, often in pairs. Not restricted to decaying logs.
→ Mycophila omnigena
I trust that this key will be of assistance to seasoned members as well as newcomers. Using this as a guide, and with some thoughts about how you may fit in, you will have the opportunity of taking your rightful place in the Society. This may be with a stomach full of the most delicious fungi known to humankind, or with a mind focussed on knowing every fungus in Ontario's forests, or with a great group of people having lots of fun. Alternatively, and I trust this may be the right place for you, "a bit of all three."
MST Ed. note: My attention has recently been drawn to a variant of unknown taxonomic position, described as Mycophilus mentorens. This appears to be in the Generalis Group, and constantly talks to others about the fungi being found. M. mentorens var. sootsii has often been seen in our area.
*A confusing species with affinities to Mycophagus sociabilis.
**This is a species complex with several subspecies including ssp. diversiculinaris and ssp. amicus. M. garrulus is doubtfully separable apart from its louder vocalization.