Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The visible part of any fungus, the mushroom or toadstool, is called the fruiting body, and is the means by which the fungus releases its spores. Except in tropical climates, the fungus itself cannot live in the open air, and it lives underground or within the body of another organism such as a tree or other plant. Fungi are not plants. They belong to a kingdom of their own and cannot manufacture their own food through photosynthesis. They spread by way of mycelia, fine root-like threads which are difficult to find and almost impossible to distinguish as individual species. These mycelia enable the fungus to obtain nourishment by dissolving the tissue of plants, living or dead. Some can even dissolve metal and plastic. Many fungi including the Boletaceae, grow around the roots of living plants including trees. This has the effect of extending the plant's root system over a wide area, enhancing the plant's uptake of water and minerals. The fungus benefits by absorbing organic compounds from around the plant's roots. These fungi are often essential for the plant's survival. The Devil's bolete appears in late summer and early autumn. It is a colourful species, which carries more than one surprise. If cut in half, the creamy flesh turns sky-blue. Its discoverer, an Austrian, claimed to be ill for days after he had first smelled it. This, together with its reputation for deadliness, convinced him that the fungus must have been the work of the devil himself.
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Description

The Devil's bolete (or boletus) appears as a large toadstool, usually around the base of beech and oak trees. It shares the characteristics of the bolete family in having a greatly swollen stem, and the whole toadstool looks as if it has been inflated like a badly-made dumpling. The cap is domed and rather bun-shaped. It is coloured a dirty chalky-white, and the stem is tinged with pink. The shape of this stem has been compared to a Chianti bottle. The underside of the cap has pores rather than the gills which most other fungi use to distribute their spores. The whole fungus smells of spice, but under no circumstances should it be tasted, as it is poisonous. WARNING: many species of fungus are poisonous or contain chemicals that can cause sickness. Never pick and eat any species of fungus that you cannot positively recognise or are unsure about. Some species are deadly poisonous and can cause death within a few hours if swallowed.
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Distribution

Range

This fungus is found mainly in southern Europe. Britain is in the northern-most limit of its range. In the UK it is rare, having been recorded from some 40 different places since 1970, but its appearances are usually unpredictable.
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Ecology

Habitat

The Devil's bolete seems to prefer calcareous soils and is often found in association with beech or oak trees. Being a southern species it also likes warmth, and in the hot and muggy summer of 1997 it enjoyed a good season with more recorded than in many preceding years.
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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Boletus satanas is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Helianthemum nummularium
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Boletus satanas is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Quercus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Boletus satanas is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Fagus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Boletus satanas is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Fagus sylvatica

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Conservation

Conservation Status

Status

Classified as Rare in the UK.
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Threats

Fungi, for reasons not fully understood, are unpredictable in their appearance. As they are only visible when they produce their fruiting bodies, it can be impossible to tell whether a fungus is widespread or rare. The Devil's bolete does not appear to be common in the UK, and surveys are continuing to establish its true status.
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Management

Conservation

The Devil's bolete is a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) and included in English Nature's Species Recovery Programme (SRP). With a species as difficult to find as this fungus, it is important to establish, first of all, just how rare it is. The conservation body, Plantlife, have added the Devil's bolete to their 'Back from the Brink' project. Over the last few years, surveys have been carried out by a number of people to find examples of this fungus, and produce a clearer picture of its true range. While it is known to be rare in many of the European countries within its range, the Devil's bolete is not legally protected in any of them. However, many of the sites in the UK where it is recorded are now Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), or listed for protection in the future.
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Wikipedia

Boletus satanas

Boletus satanas
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
pores on hymenium
cap is convex
hymenium is adnate
stipe is bare
spore print is olive
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: poisonous

Boletus satanas, commonly known as the Devil's bolete or Satan's mushroom, is a basidiomycete fungus of the bolete family. Found on chalky soil in mixed woodlands in the southern, warmer regions of Europe and North America, it is generally regarded as a poisonous mushroom, with predominantly gastrointestinal symptoms of nausea and violent vomiting occurring if eaten raw or fried. However, reports of poisoning are rare due to its odd appearance and at times putrid smell minimising casual experimentation. There are reports of its traditional consumption in the former Czechoslovakia, Italy and San Francisco Bay Area after thorough cooking (frying does not remove the toxin).

The squat, brightly coloured fruiting bodies are large and imposing, with a pale dull-coloured velvety cap up to 30 cm (12 in) wide, blood red pores and bulbous red-patterned stalk. The flesh turns blue when cut or bruised. There is a smell of carrion, more noticeable with age. It is the largest bolete growing in Europe.

Taxonomy[edit]

Boletus satanas was described by German mycologist Harald Othmar Lenz in 1831, who gave it its sinister name, σατανᾶς satanas 'of Satan', derived from Hebrew via Ancient Greek,[1] after he felt ill from its "emanations" while describing it. He also knew of several reports of diarrhoea and sickness from those who had eaten it.[2] American mycologist Harry D. Thiers concluded that material from North America matches the species description, although some authorities have questioned this.[3]

Genetic analysis published in 2013 shows that B. satanas and many (but not all) red-pored boletes are part of a dupainii clade (named for Boletus dupainii), well-removed from the core group of Boletus edulis and relatives within the Boletineae. This indicates that it will most likely be placed in a new genus.[4]

Both it and Suillellus luridus are known as ayimantari 'bear mushroom' in Eastern Turkey.[5]

Description[edit]

The compact cap can be up to 30 cm (12 in) in diameter. At first it is hemispheric with an inrolled margin, later flattening in the shape of a pad, and in older specimens it is bent irregularly. When young, the pileus is greyish white, when older it tends more to a greenish ochre or leather colour.

View of stipe and pore surface

The surface of the cap is finely tomentose, becomes smooth later and often slightly sticky in wet weather. It does not peel. The free to slightly adnate tubes are up to 3 mm (⅛ in) long. At first they are pale yellow or greenish yellow before soon reddening and are already entirely purplish red or carmine before full maturity. The spore print is olive green and spores are spindle-shaped and 10-16 μm long when viewed under a microscope.[6] The stipe is 5–15 cm (2–6 in) long and is often very bulbous (4–12 cm/1½–5 inches); usually it is wider than it is long and when young it is even almost spherical. It has a yellow background covered with a hexagonal close-meshed net that starts bright red and turns dark blood-red and which sometimes reaches to the yellowish base layer.[6]

The flesh is whitish, though may be yellow to pale ochre when young. It slowly turns a faded blue colour when broken or bruised, although the stem bruises red. The smell is weak when the mushroom is young, but becomes putrid in older specimens, reminiscent of carrion. Young specimens reportedly have a pleasant nutty taste.[6]

Similar species[edit]

The Devil's bolete can be confused with other boletes such as:

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Devil's bolete is found in the entire temperate zone, but in Europe it definitely occurs more in southern regions. It is only found in the south of England.[1] It is rare in Scandinavia, occurring primarily on a few islands in the Baltic Sea where the conditions are perfect, with highly calcareous (chalky) soil.[1] It has been recorded in the Black Sea and eastern Anatolia regions of Turkey.[5][7] as well as the Bar'am Forest in the Upper Galilee in northern Israel.[8] Also, it has been recorded from Iran.[9] It has been recorded from coastal areas of California, with a possible record from the southeastern US, and could feasibly occur in the Pacific Northwest.[10] It grows in hardwood forests, mainly under beech (Fagus) in Europe, and oak (Quercus) in North America. It appears in summer and the beginning of the autumn in the southernmost areas. It is rather rare in the north, as it grows only in hot and sunny periods. It fruits in autumn.[10]

Toxicity[edit]

Illustration by artist Albin Schmalfuß, 1897

The Devil's bolete is poisonous, especially when eaten raw, but also when cooked. The symptoms, which are predominantly gastrointestinal in nature, include violent vomiting, which can last up to six hours. However, English mycologist John Ramsbottom reported in 1953 that it is consumed in parts of Italy and the former Czechoslovakia.[2] Furthermore, some in the San Francisco Bay Area report having eaten it regularly without ill effects.[3] However, all agree it must always be cooked. Ramsbottom speculated that there may be a regional variation in the toxicity, and concedes it may not be as poisonous as widely reported.[2] This has been echoed by some contemporary mycologists; Boletus satanas is rarely sampled casually due to its putrid smell and blue bruising.[11]

Muscarine has been isolated from fruiting bodies, but the quantities are believed to be far too small to account for its toxic effects.[11] More recently, the glycoprotein bolesatine has been isolated.[12] Bolesatine is a protein synthesis inhibitor, and, when given to mice, causes hepatic blood stasis and thrombosis.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Nilson S, Persson O (1977). Fungi of Northern Europe 1: Larger Fungi (Excluding Gill-Fungi). Penguin. p. 104. ISBN 0-14-063005-8. 
  2. ^ a b c Ramsbottom J (1953). Mushrooms & Toadstools. Collins. pp. 53–54. ISBN 1-870630-09-2. 
  3. ^ a b Thiers HD (1975). California Mushrooms -- A Field Guide to the Boletes. New York: Hafner Press. p. 58. ISBN 0-02-853410-7. 
  4. ^ Nuhn ME, Binder M, Taylor AFS, Halling RE, Hibbett DS.; Binder; Taylor; Halling; Hibbett (2013). "Phylogenetic overview of the Boletineae". Fungal Biology 117 (7–8): 479–511. doi:10.1016/j.funbio.2013.04.008. PMID 23931115. 
  5. ^ a b Demirel K, Uzun Y, Kaya A (2004). "Some Poisonous Fungi of East Anatolia" (PDF). Turk J Bot 28: 215–19. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  6. ^ a b c Zeitlmayr L (1976). Wild Mushrooms:An Illustrated Handbook. Garden City Press, Hertfordshire. p. 102. ISBN 0-584-10324-7. 
  7. ^ Sesli E (2007). "Preliminary checklist of macromycetes of the East and Middle Black Sea Regions of Turkey". Mycotaxon 99: 71–74. 
  8. ^ Avizohar-Hershenzon Z, Binyamini N. (1972). "Boletaceae of Israel: I. Boletus sect. Luridi". Transactions of the British Mycological Society 59 (1): 25–30. doi:10.1016/s0007-1536(72)80037-8. 
  9. ^ Asef Shayan, M.R. (2010). قارچهای سمی ایران (Qarch-ha-ye Sammi-ye Iran) [Poisonous mushrooms of Iran] (in Persian). Iran shenasi. p. 214. ISBN 978-964-2725-29-8. 
  10. ^ a b Ammirati JA, Traquair JA, Horgen PA (1985). Poisonous Mushrooms of the Northern United States and Canada. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 241–42. ISBN 0-8166-1407-5. 
  11. ^ a b Benjamin, Denis R. (1995). Mushrooms: poisons and panaceas — a handbook for naturalists, mycologists and physicians. New York: WH Freeman and Company. p. 359. ISBN 0-7167-2600-9. 
  12. ^ Kretz O, Creppy EE, Dirheimer G (1991). "Characterization of bolesatine, a toxic protein from the mushroom Boletus satanas Lenz and its effects on kidney cells". Toxicology 66 (2): 213–24. doi:10.1016/0300-483X(91)90220-U. PMID 1707561. 
  13. ^ Ennamany R, Bingen A, Creppy EE, Kretz O, Gut JP, Dubuisson L, Balabaud C, Sage PB, Kirn A., R.; Bingen, A.; Creppy, E.E.; Kretz, O.; Gut, J.P.; Dubuisson, L.; Balabaud, C.; Sage, P.B.; Kirn, A. (1998). "Aspirin (R) and heparin prevent hepatic blood stasis and thrombosis induced by the toxic glycoprotein Bolesatine in mice". Human & Experimental Toxicology 17 (11): 620–624. doi:10.1191/096032798678908017. 
  • North, Pamela (1967). Poisonous Plants and Fungi in colour. Blandford Press & Pharmacological Society of Great Britain. 
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