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Page number:491 
Remarks (internal):Both A. vernicoccora and A. calyptroderma are beautiful species, distinguished by a thick, cottony, white velar remnant on the pileus that remains whole into maturity. This feature makes them among the easier amanitas to identify. The edibility of the fall coccora, A. calyptroderma, was extolled by both Peck (1900) and Atkinson (1909a), who made references to its gastronomical virtue. While considered conspecific, A. vernicoccora also was presumed edible and is widely collected for the table. Even though practical experience has shown that both coccora are relatively safe choices as edibles, confusion with other toxic Amanita species do occur and the possibility of dangerous misidentification must be stressed. The standard word of caution is that several reliable taxonomic factors must be evaluated before an Amanita collection is deemed safe for consumption.
The greatest danger posed by the pale spring coccora is misidentification with members of the deadly toxic sect. Phalloideae (Fr.) Quél. -Amanita ocreata Peck and A. phalloides (Fr.) Link, which also associate with oaks throughout California. Amanita ocreata is a native species, while A. phalloides is an import from Europe that has found favorable conditions and spread widely in California (Pringle et al. 2009). Both can have a large patch of universal veil on the cap (Fig. 11). In southern California, A. ocreata develops a much more yellowish pileal coloration, which may further confound field identification. Attention needs to be paid to all features of the basidiocarp, particularly to the almost complete absence of striations on the pileal margin of the Phalloideae species.
Other yellow species that can be mistaken for A. vernicoccora are in the Amanita gemmata (Fr.) Bertill. clade, or gemmatoid amanitas (Fig. 12a), which fruit in both the fall and spring in California. They also are toxic. In the Sierra foothills, A. vernicoccora frequently co-occurs with Amanita aprica J.E. Lindgr. & Tulloss (Fig. 12b). One key feature separating the two species is the manner in which the veil of gemmatoid amanitas breaks into many small patches and warts.
An extensive iconography of A. vernicoccora is available at http://www. mushroomhobby.com.

 
Description type:Original description 
Description:Amanita vernicoccora Bojantchev & R.M. Davis, sp. nov. Figs 4-8
MycoBank MB 561705
Pileus 60-180 mm diam., hemispherical to convex when young, plano-convex to plano-concave with age; margin straight, short striate; color uniform yellow to pale yellow; with a white, monolithic, central velar remnant, cottony thick at first, thinning with age. Lamellae crowded, 10-18 mm broad, white to pale cream, even, seceding to free, lamellulae common. Stipe 50-140 mm long, 15-30 mm wide, cylindrical, white with yellow tints at age, context hollow or stuffed with a cottony or jelly-like substance in buttons. Annulus superior, membranous, pendant, upper surface striate, cottony-thick at first, thinning and collapsing with age, white to pale yellow with age. Volva ample, thick, friable, free, sac-like at first, thinning and collapsing with age, white. Context white to pale yellow. Odor mild at first, pungent with age, frequently interpreted as fishy. Taste mild to pungent. Macrochemical Reactions 5% KOH negative, 10% NH4OH negative, 3% phenol slowly pinkish-lilac on all surfaces, Guaiac negative, 10% FeSO4 negative. Spore Deposit white.
Basidiospores (8.5-)9.2-11.8(-12.5) x (5.7-)6.2-7.1(-7.5) µm (mean 10.5 x 6.5 µm), Q = 1.43-1.77, Qav = 1.61 (N = 183, 5 basidiomata, 4 collections), broadly ellipsoid, with a prominent lateral apiculus, hyaline, inamyloid. Basidia 42-64 x 11-14 µm, 4-spored, clavate, clamped, sterigmata 4-6 µm long. Subhymenial layer composed of several layers of irregular to pyriform cells 10-30 x 8-22 µm, frequently clamped Lamellar trama divergent, composed of filamentous to swollen hyphae 8-24 µm wide, occasionally clamped. Cystidia not observed. Pileipellis an ixocutis to ixotrichoderm, densely interwoven within a gelatinous matrix, 200-320 µm thick, hyphae 2-7 µm wide, branched, clamped, intracellular pigment. Annulus composed of filamentous cells, 2-6 µm wide with clusters of inflated clavate, pyriform or mucronate cells 25-50 x 16-24 µm, mainly on the upper surface. Universal Veil formed of dense filamentous hyphae 1.5-8 µm wide, clamped, interspersed with vesiculose cells - on the inner surface: narrow ellipsoid to elongated, 50-120 x 20-50 µm; on the outer surface: broadly ellipsoid to subglobose, 60-180 x 40-150 µm, slightly gelatinized. Stipe Trama acrophysalidic, composed of filamentous hyphae 2-8 µm wide and inflated hyphae 50-150 x 20-46 µm, occasionally clamped.
Habitat and distribution - Amanita vernicoccora fruits in the late winter and spring and is apparently restricted to California. Along the coast and in the lower elevations of Sierra Nevada (<2000 feet) it fruits in February-March and is known to associate with evergreen oaks such as live oak (Quercus agrifolia Née), interior live oak (Quercus wislizenii A. DC.) and blue oak (Quercus douglasii Hook. & Arn.). Likely associations are also to Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii Pursh) and manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita Parry). Infrequently, A. vernicoccora fruits in the northern coastal areas where it is likely associated with tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus (Hook. & Arn.) Manos et al. This species is far more common in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and Shasta Cascade range in May-June where the primary association in the lower elevations (2000-4000 feet) is with the deciduous black oak (Quercus kelloggii Newb.). At higher elevations A. vernicoccora may switch association to conifers, but we have not seen it outside of the range of the black oak (?6000 feet).
 
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