Morganella subincarnata

Scientific name:  Morganella subincarnata (Peck)
Kreisel & Dring
Derivation of nameSub- means "somewhat" or "almost"
and incarnat- means "flesh-colored." Subincarnata, then,
means "somewhat flesh-colored."  
Synonyms:  Lycoperdon subincarnatum Peck
Common name(s):  Ruddy puffball.
Phylum:   Basidiomycota
Order:   Agaricales
Family:  Agaricaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate: Saprobic; scattered or in
groups or clusters on decaying (often moss-covered)
deciduous logs and stumps; August through October.   
Dimensions: Fruit body 1-3 cm wide.    
Description: This puffball is globose to pear-shaped
and attached to the substrate by white mycelial strands
(rhizomorphs). The pale pinkish-brown outer spore case
(exoperidium) is covered with cinnamon-buff to purplish or
reddish-brown tubercles or spines with their tips converging
and touching (connivent) to form groups. These fall away at
maturity, exposing a firm endoperidium pitted like a thimble.
An irregularly-shaped apical pore develops at maturity.
The internal spore producing tissue (gleba) is white and moist
at first and becomes purple-brown in color and powdery at
Compare with Lycoperdon pyriforme which
differs in texture and coloration of the spore case and color
of the mature spore mass.

More information at   

Figure 1. Purplish-brown spore case and white rhizomorphs
of Morganella subincarnata. Photo © William Roody.

Figure 2. Pear-shaped specimens of Morganella
. Photo © John Plischke III.

Figure 3. The spines fall off at maturity, exposing the
exoperidium. Photo © John Plischke III.

Figure 4. Distinct pits and reticulations (like the surface of
a thimble) are left on the spore case after the spines fall
away. Photo © John Plischke III.

Figure 5. Figures 5-7 are are pictures of young specimens
of what may or may not be Morganella subincarnata
growing on a moss-covered log. I was not able to return at
a later date to examine the color of the mature spore mass
or gather spores for microscopic examination. Puffball
identification can be challenging in the absence of all growth
stages. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 6. Traits reminiscent of Morganella
include groups of spines with
convergent tips covering a pinkish-brown spore
case. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 7. Some of the specimens in Figure 5 were dug out
of the rotting wood in order to display the white
rhizomorphs. Photo © Gary Emberger.


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