|David Catcheside, Creative Commons CC-BY-SA. Amanita phalloides.|
How to Recognise the deadly Amanita phalloides:
|Atlas of Living Australia, Distribution of Amanita phalloides as of April 26 2013.|
Amanita phalloides usually grows on its own or in sparse groups below oak trees (Quercus spp.), but has on rare occasionas also been spotted in large groups. It is found in southern Australian states from southern Western Australia through to New South Wales, but its territory may be expanding. A map of known sightings is above.
It has a white spore print. To take a spore print, place the the cap (or a piece of cap) gills down on a black piece of paper and leave it for two to three hours. The gills will drop enough spores to give you a coloured print, and if it shows up white against the black paper that is a good indication - taken together with the other characteristics - that it is a Death Cap.
Look-alikes: The similar-looking Smooth White Parasol Leucoagaricus leucothites has no green colour in the cap and no volva. Common Rosegill Volvariella speciosa has no green colour in the cap, no ring and a pink-brown spore print.
Further excellent information on how to identify the Death Cap can be found on the Australian Botanic Gardens website here: http://www.anbg.gov.au/fungi/deathcap.html .
Even if you don't suspect it to be a Death Cap, note that there are many other poisonous mushrooms in Australia!
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