Return of the Panther

Panther Amanita (Amanita pantherina)
Panther Amanita (Amanita pantherina) showing partial veil, brown cap and whitish warts.

Yesterday I noticed lots of Chocolate Slugs (Arion rufus) while walking at Seal Bay Regional Park. Most were simply crossing the trail, moving from one forested side across the relatively easy going “smooth” path to the other. Later in my walk I found some amanitas and once I spotted one group of these mushrooms, I saw several more. Many had signs of slug predation – scooped out depressions of white mushroom flesh against the darker caps. I didn’t photograph any of these since I was searching for a “perfect” specimen!

Panther Amanita (Amanita pantherina)
A lighter brown Panther Amanita (Amanita pantherina) just emerging from the forest floor.

Unlike the Fly Amanita (Amanita muscaria) and Jonquil Amanita (Amanita gemmata) that I came across on my fall walks in the forest these were different. The Panther Amanita (Amanita pantherina) has a dark brown to tan cap that is covered with white warts (the remains of the universal veil). Distinguishing features for this species of amanita include a white stalk, a partial veil and a collarlike volva which Arora describes as “adhering to the bulb except for a free rim at apex of bulb.” A. pantherina fruits in both the spring and fall and grows in association with Douglas-fir (which Seal Bay Regional Park has in abundance). These mushrooms had all of these characteristics so I’m reasonably confident that this is indeed the Panther Amanita.

Considering that there wasn’t much blooming in the forest at Seal Bay it was fantastic to find these mushrooms. To learn more about North American mushrooms find a copy of David Arora’s Mushrooms Demystified in your local bookstore or library.

2 comments

  1. I know that Amanitas veiry in color, but aren’t Panther Amanitas supposed to have brown “Spots” covering the cap, spreading outward? This might just be misleading, i’m no expert…. Nice photos though, thanks!

  2. Thanks for the comment Sarobando – I was going with Arora’s description of A. pantherina which describes the cap as “dark brown to light brown, tan, dull yellowish, or paler … adorned with many white to pale buff universal veil remnants (warts), but these often washed off by rain; margin usually striate [marked by lines; finely furrowed].” I did have one top down photo that shows the striations but it was a little soft so didn’t post it. Try Googling Amanita pantherina – while there’s some variability in the colour of the brown cap I couldn’t find one with brown spots.

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