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sdubuisson

Hydnellum species?

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Found this in a mixed pine forest under some slash pine. I'm thinking some hydnellum species, but I can't seem to find anything that looks exactly the same. I didnt think to test for bleeding since I had no idea what this was. I tried spore printing, but since it was old specimines, nothing really showed up. The cap presented white with a red core when newer. I also found an older specimen that was deep red with a brown pore surface. Not sure if they are different species since they were found about .5miles away from one another. Thanks for any advice! 

Note! The zoomed out picture shows a single different variety to the right. Ignore that one! It is the two white with red core that im concerned about. 

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Hydnellum peckii may be one proposal.

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I'd say the ones in the 3rd/4th photos are either Hydnellum or Phellodon. Sarcodon and Bankera are two other genera of "tooth fungi", but these latter two feature fruit bodies that look more like regular mushrooms and have softer flesh than the former two. Hydnellum and (the similar) Phellodon generally form irregularly-shaped fruit bodies that may fuse together into masses with small "caps" or globs sprouting from the larger caps/globs. (Some species of Phellodon produce smallish funnel-shaped fruit bodies that look a lot different than Hydnellum.) Hydnellum have fairly consistently tough/woody flesh and the consistency of Phellodon may be more leathery than woody. Hydnellum tends to form funkier/weirder globs on the upper surface. 

Looks like you're got either Hydnellum or Phellodon here; at least the ones in the 3rd and 4th photos --which are better focused-- look like they fit. I have been a bit confused by these two genera. The best way to tell the difference is spore print color. Although, as you say, hoping to get a good spore drop from these types may be frustrating. Hydnellum have brown spore prints and Phellodon white spore prints. These are slow developing fungi and it may take a few days before enough spores drop in order to evaluate print color. Under the microscope, Hydnellum and Phellodon spores may look very similar; each producing small nodulose/warty spores that are often nearly round (but shape may vary with species). The one seen in the 3rd photo does not appear to be too old for obtaining a print.  

Phellodon confluens is a species that may look pretty similar to the ones seen in the 3rd and 4th photos. But, these also look like Hydnellum (as originally proposed). IDing Hydnellum to species can be difficult. H. peckii is one of the Hydnellum species that "bleeds", although this trait may disappear in older specimens. (There's a similar species of bleeding Hydnellum; the two species differ according to whether or not the flesh tastes bitter.) I have brought home Hydnellum fruit bodies, examined them, scoped spores, and still ended up uncertain of the species ID. I see the location here is southern LA. Perhaps there are only a few regional possibilities? Or maybe one of Phellodon/Hydnellum is regionally more likely? Not sure of this. You may also be able to get some useful info by observing a color reaction when KOH is applied to the flesh. A few of the Hydnellum species --eg. H. spongiosipes-- associate only with hardwood trees. So, you may eliminate these these types, assuming no hardwoods are present. 

Not very confident about proposing something for the first two photos. Like you say, they appear to be old, and the upper surface is not seen in either photo. 

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