Should fungi observations be separated by fruiting body in close proximity?

So to elaborate on the title, if I find multiple mushrooms of the same species in a very close proximity to each other, or fairly close, say within less than 1-2ft of each other, should I take multiple photos of the species and then upload all photos as one observation, or should I/can I separate each by the single fruiting body?


When observing fungi or any other organism, it’s possible to err in terms of being too inclusive (the more individuals depicted in a single observation, the greater the risk of accidentally including multiple similar-looking species), but it isn’t possible to err in terms of being too exclusive (e.g. one individual per observation). So if in doubt, it’s better to separate individuals into separate observations.

As a rule of thumb with mushrooms, I’ve been taught that anything within ~2 m (~6 ft) that appears to be the same species is probably the same individual and I would upload them as a single observation. Beyond that distance the risk of multiple species goes up and it’s probably better to create separate observations.


An iNat obeservation is supposed to include ‘an individual’. Pragmatic definitions of a ‘functional individual’ for fungi were introduced for fungal conservation status evaluation doi:10.1016/j.funeco.2010.11.001
They say, “For terrestrial fungi, one may conservatively assume that sporocarps separated by 10m or more represent a functional individual or separate genotype.”
For lignicolous fungi the pragmatic unit is different.


Check previous threads, if there’s a couple of metres between each fruiting body, it’s one organism, if, say, 50 metres, it can be or can be not the same organism, you can’t prove it, so post separately.

1 Like

@anonymous’s advice seems sound. Use your best judgement - fungi like to break just about every “standard” biological concept out there.

Agree with @anonymous. Can’t be too careful, especially if the observer isn’t an expert and isn’t 100% that the two species are different. I generally lump multiple fruiting bodies into one obv if they’re, say, within 6 feet of one another and I am certain they are the same species.

Thanks for your reply and everyone’s above. All make perfect sense and good points.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.