Most Common R.G. Fungi/Lichen Obs. by State/Province (U.S.A./Canada)

I anxiously await, i would love to see it.

I’m slowly working on a website for our labs sequencing finds that should, eventually, help serve as a resource for at least Ohio and the surrounding states - but its the lowest priority of my projects and summer is so busy for me that its going to be very slow going for the near future.

Still, eventually I’ll finish it

EDIT: here, in case anyone cares. its very bare bones for now, unfortunately


Lack of identification resources for the powdery mildews or the host plants? If I do a web search for “powdery mildew on ________,” filling in the blank with the host plant, I often (not always) can get to genus or even species.

these are rarely still accurate. probably 70% or more of my identifications on iNaturalist are correcting things like the misapplication of Golovinomyces cichoracearum to just about anything. I would not recommend just doing a web search, which usually picks up out-of-date agricultural extension pages. this is exactly the sort of reason why so many fungus IDs end up being bumped back to a higher level or a different taxon…


Then what would you recommend? This is starting to look like that word I’m not allowed to use on the Forums.

Facebook and other social media function as the black holes of data. Pretty pictures of charismatic organisms go in, someone says “beautiful” then everyone feels good, moves on, and the potential data dies. This is especially true of birds, where the deeper database is eBird.


Agreed. I encourage people to post to iNat when possible, but many only have a passing curiosity and lack the desire to participate. Unfortunately.

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this is why I’m writing a guide – there is nothing currently that one “should” be using. that’s the whole point. there’s a number of things in the primary literature that function as identification aids for specialists, but only using microscopy, and either also out of date (e.g. the Taxonomic Manual of the Erysiphales) or entirely ad hoc (e.g. Bradshaw et al. 2022-2023).
I don’t know what you’re talking about with banned words or whatever is being implied.


I’d honestly kill for a good rust guide too. Luckily, some actually are pretty strictly species-specific (like Puccinia mariae-wilsoniae on spring beauties) but if its not it can be an absolute bear to find good references that arent just halfhearted agriculteral extention PDFs that barely use scientific names and definitely don’t have any good microacopy measurements or pictures.

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rusts are my second love (more overlooked plant parasites!) and would definitely be my next target, if I can pull together resources to make a field guide to them. there’s several things keeping me from that, though: first is that while powdery mildews generally have the same host plant throughout their life cycle and look reasonably similar in both their asexual and sexual phases, rusts frequently alternate host plants and look enormously different at different parts of their life cycle. at the very best, you would have a given species of rust showing up multiple times in the keys based on host family (the approach I’m adopting for powdery mildews). secondly, a rust species at a given part of its life cycle generally looks more similar to another rust at the same part of its life cycle than to its own same species at a different part of the life cycle. you might have two very different rusts reach the aecial stage, and then you can’t tell them apart by gross morphology in the field. thirdly, one often still encounters “form names” in rusts – very confusing, I think, to the novice, as it was initially for me – such as Aecidium “species”, which (in this case) collect all the rusts that form aecia on a certain host plant under an artificial group name. fourthly, if anyone is asking themself why on earth form names are necessary, it’s because the first point (infection of multiple host plants by a single species) and the second point (morphological unidentifiability) combine to make this last point: that on many host plants, at first glance, you have no idea what exactly you’re looking at. if there are multiple species possible on a given host, especially if they use it for the same life stage, good luck figuring out which is which even if you do have a microscope handy (and most likely you won’t in the field).
all that is not to say that it’s impossible, just that it’d be daunting to be able to discriminate between species in many cases, and all this has contributed to my lack of charging toward the goal of a field-usable guide – an order of magnitude harder than for powdery mildews. if you yourself have any expertise in rusts, I’d welcome collaboration (etc.)! I don’t think I’d call myself in any way a seasoned hand with them even now…

I wouldn’t say I have much expertise, but I’ve certainly been trying to document at least some more of them this year, so if you’re looking for photos let me know and I might be able to dig some up - though most of them are probably on my work account so just pop me a message.

I know FunDis in cali has definitely sequenced some rusts, so they may be able to offer a little insight - OMDL has done less, though I’ve been collecting this year and hopefully we can get some more data on them in the future.

Here, have some spring beauty rust teliospores :3

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That also supports my point: mycologists want us to believe that going from old information to zero information is an upgrade. Unfortunately, as soon as you publish your guide, it, too, will be declared out-of-date and we will be told that therefore we shouldn’t use it – that no identification at all is better than an out-of-date identification.

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I don’t know who this mysterious council of mycologists is that will declare my guide out of date, but this doesn’t seem to be reflective of reality. In this particular case, recent advances have made powdery mildew ID more precise, but really most of them are just minor tweaks to the bedrock of the information in Braun & Cook (2012). I don’t feel the need to respond to this broader point of quasi-nostalgia for a time when we knew so much less about the world, or for something like avowedly artificial Linnaean lumping over post-modern-synthesis taxonomy. All I can say is that I don’t share that view.

As for the free identification resource I’m producing, one can take it or leave it. I’m at least trying to make something centralised, simple, and usable in the field – which hasn’t happened before for this group, and isn’t at all comparable to piecemeal web searches that turn up antiquated agricultural infosheets.


Minor tweaks to a 2012 publication sounds like a dream! I’d kill for that for some of these groups - for example, i dont know of a better broad treatment for US Psathyrellaceae than Smith’s 1972 monograph and that thing is pretty cryptic and unusable even with access to a microscope.

The recent Amanita book that came out is, IMHO, pretty great

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My interest in fungi is mostly focused on Amanita, Boletes, jellies, Cladonia (lichen), script lichens, Ophiocordyceps (zombie fungus), Exobasidium (gall), and tiny mushrooms that grow on twigs/leaves/seedpods/cones (in Marasmiineae). I’m still learning. I have some books and a local mycologist I can ask questions of. But it’s going a lot slower than my learning plants.

PS The mycologist I mentioned, who is named David P. Lewis, described a new species of mushroom recently. The type specimen was collected at a nature preserve that I live near. I also use his field guide:

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to make usable field identification materials out of an existing book is still a major headache for something like powdery mildews where the assumption is that anyone reading the book is comfortably able to make tape-mount slides rather than having 30 seconds to put a species name on some infected leaves while hiking miles away from one’s car. but in terms of the taxonomy, I totally agree! I’m grateful the task is doable – again, that sort of thing is why I haven’t even tried yet with certain other groups of fungi, though it’s probably doable for a handful of other distinctive phytopathogens. my impression was that it was usually better historically with the macroscopic basidiomycetes (mushrooms, shelves, etc.) but maybe not in light of that description of Smith (1972)? I do need to get better at macrofungi – maybe I should pick up the Amanita book… who’s the author / what’s it called?

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Amanita’s of North America by Bunyard and Justice; Debbie Viess has a good review of it here. (With a bit of an addendum about some resectioning that came out too late for changes to be added to the book.) It’s not perfect but still pretty good, and combined with Rob Tuloss’s site can really help with Amanita.


It’s just frustrating when no matter what I try to do with fungi, I’m always told that my information is outdated. This doesn’t happen nearly as much with any other taxon.

As many have said, that’s because fungus taxonomy is undergoing rapid change right now. That’s just a reality of things at the moment. Frustrating, yes, but also kind of cool that so much work is being done on fungi.


surprise! we didn’t actually know that much about tiny, hard-to-detect organisms that show a lot of convergent evolution!

in other words, what Tony said. we happen to be living through the time of greatest change (so far) in fungal taxonomy. I consider that a privilege more than a problem.

for this particular case – powdery mildews – it’s also a contingent and specific issue where they pose an agricultural threat, but that the exact identification of a species isn’t so important for garden preventative treatments. thus there’s not a lot of incentive for the aforementioned agricultural infosheets to be updated with the “latest” taxonomy – and by “latest” I mean anything post-2008 in most cases. the fact of the matter is, most of them didn’t even take the hefty 2012 monograph by Braun & Cook into account. again, this is why I don’t recommend you believe whatever you read about powdery mildews on the internet.


Didn’t notice this was updated! Thank you @comradejon ! Super neat that Northern Red Belt is the most observed one here in BC, at the same time I’ve observed it twelve times! I think I tend to see more F. ochracea here in the Lower Mainland.

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