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ladyflyfsh

Giving Out ID's

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We have lots and lots of new members here and I want to once again stress that it is very difficult in most circumstances to give a 100% certain Identification on some mushrooms from a photo. It is also important that unless you are an expert, you not reply with certainty with an ID name for someone asking unless you really know your stuff. I have stumbled across some posts here, where people have given an ID with certainty (certain to them) which were incorrect. So, once again, I will tell you NEVER take anyone's word for it at 100% certainty without doing your own due diligence and researching your own mushrooms since you saw them up close and personal and we didn't. Never take our word for it, but use the info we give you as a starting point to go research your mushroom finds on your own. Please don't give your expert advice unless you really are an expert! And don't believe everything you read here. If you would like to make an educated guess at what you think something is, please say in your post this is my guess at what I think it might be, but that doesn't mean that's what it is.Thanks!



~Admin


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ladyflyfsh, I have learned to only go to reputable sites online for help with ID, too. I used to do Google image searches and, even as a beginner, would find mushrooms misidentified on many web pages. If I hadn't recognized they were misidentifications, I would have been misled.

If I can't find something in my books, now I usually head to Michael Kuo's Mushroom Expert site first when I have a question. He has some nice keys on his site, too.

I'm embarrassed to admit, I've misidentified some on my blog. I've gone back and corrected some of the bad IDs, but I'm sure I missed some. At least I didn't label any poisonous ones as edible.

I REALLY hope no one treats my IDs as gospel!

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Damn skippy! Nicely worded Ladyfish. Although I've not contributed much lately, I check this board on a regular basis. Over the years I've come up with a list of mushrooms I'm "comfortable" with and unfortunately haven't had the time to play around with i.d.'s lately. This is something I enjoyed doing and have had memorable conversations with Dufferinshroomer over what we agreed/disagreed on being good edibles. The one mushroom that peaks, in my mind, as being a web i.d. is lepista irina, cousin to the blewit. It took three years of 99% certainty until Dave, Calvert, and Rex gave me the confidence to try it. With spore prints and pics of all stages of development these experienced individuals helped to confirm an i.d. At all times I felt the eat/don't eat decision was mine and mine alone. I'm now certain of my i.d. on this specific species, but still sift through my collections and discard any that don't seem "quite right".

As a further note, Duff has gone through a similar process, including having i.d.'s done by a local club and finds his specimans distasteful.

Moreover many people seem to think one pic can discern species, edibility and what have you. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Only in a few circumstances can a mushroom be easily confirmed from one photo. In my personal opinion any mushroom pics posted, are reviewed, and only those with a 100% positive are confirmed as such.

Ladyfish has done an oustanding job of detailing the how and why of online i.d. I hope everyone contributes their opinions in an opinion only basis unless absolute certainty is confirmed.

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I think it is probably a good idea to say this, as well. I think it's great for members to SUGGEST an ID, but for a number of mushrooms, I don't think even an expert could be positive of an ID but I think it's quite helpful to get ID suggestions. The bottom line is that positive ID is really up to the person collecting the mushroom. I don't even believe that an "expert" can be or would be right 100% of the time, particularly from photos alone.

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Please understand that a lot of us in the digital cyberspace may have no other option then to ask for the
indentification of a mushroom by ASKING on a forum,


Most of us do the search on the net to
get the basics and with no one to pick it up and inspect it we MUST
turn to the net and sites like this nice forum.


Yes,,, we know you cannot give 100% ,
BUT,,, your 90 something percent on whether a mushroom is editable or
not, means a much lower risk of killing ourselves from looking at a
picture in a book or on the net for a judgment call, because we do
not have a personal contact to show us what we need to know.



Thanks



Otterbob

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There are some that are so close to foolproof, I'd be pretty comfortable giving an ID online, but for many I wouldn't, particularly any gilled mushrooms that vaguely resemble amanitas, but for things like chantarelles, fairy ring mushrooms, hedgehog mushrooms, shaggy manes, morels and such, ID is pretty easy. With mushrooms like russulas and boletes.... it can be damned near impossible.

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Hey everyone...thanks so much for the input. Yes, there are some mushrooms to those of us who've been around the block a few times, that are foolproof such as chanterelles and morels as you said, wurdmeister but believe it or not, what prompted me to write these posts and pin them to every forum here was based on an incorrect ID of a chanterelle. It was not anything dangerous, but was misidentifying a regular golden chanterelle Cantharellus cibarius type for a craterellus species when it was 100% clear it was not and was stated so matter of factly, it concerned me. I fear that person who responded with that ID has now taken offence to my reaction and may not come back, but that is a small price to pay if someone were to take an ID as pure gospel and eat it and then have either violent health issues later or even end up needing a liver transplant or even worse yet, die. I can't let that happen, so at the cost of possibly losing a new member, it is most important that we all take extreme caution with what we hand out as ID's and that ultimately you are the final decision maker and it is up to you to make sure you are absolutely positive what it is you have and even then, if it is a new mushroom to you that you've never eaten before, only eat a small amount the first time and see how it goes before you go cooking the whole enchilada for you and your family. Always lean toward caution and if it is old and looks less than appetizing, don't eat it. I need you all to be around for a long long time and to support me in my old age. :eyebrow: Ha! Ok...you know what I mean. I don't want carelessness and I don't often see it here so by all means, carry on. This group of members we have here are top knotch and I couldn't be happier to have you all here. And for my new friend who may or may not read this, I will say once again, I did not mean to offend you, but needed you to understand why I said what I said and want you to feel free to be here and post photos and make comments and add your opinions on ID's...that's how you learn. Just make sure you don't speak with 100% certainty unless you can back it up.

Thanks to all of you for being here and helping support this forum.

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Otterbob, That is partly what we are here for and how you learn. Of course, by all means send us your photos and give us as complete info as you can. Everyone should have in their profiles where you are from since that has a good deal to do with making a positive ID. There are mushrooms that exist in CA that don't exist on the east coast and vice versa. Some names are different depending on where in the country you live or even if you live in Europe. We have lots of members who live in other countries who post here. So the more info you can give us such as where you were geographically, what trees were associated with where you found your specimen, if elevation is a factor, top view, underside view, gills or pores, etc. When you want to show the entire specimen on its side, make sure you take your knife or a stick or something to pry the entire mushroom all the way down into the ground in case it is an Amanita and we need to see the vulva or if it has a sac etc., try not to touch the mushroom by the stipe in case it has a partial veil, see if the mushroom bruises when scratched or cut, cut it in half after you take photos, smell it, describe the smell, taste a tiny bit on your tongue and tell us if it is bitter or acrid, or sweet tasting, does it stain a color and if so what color, how big is it...we can't tell from a photo. Maybe put something in the photo for scale. These are all helpful things to state when asking for an ID. And of course there is nothing like a good field guide to teach you proper terminology. We are here to help and all learn together.

Thanks!! Peace!

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