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synopsis of the species


Recent phylogenetic studies have shown that the non-hallucinogenic members of the genus Deconica are only distantly related to the hallucinogenic ones. Some authors even put them in different families. See for more information the interesting web page on this subject on mycoweb.

For that reason, I will from now on use the genus name Deconica for the species formerly classified in Psilocybe sections Deconica and Coprophila.

This page gives an overview of the species of Deconica. They grow on organic matter: herbaceous of woody debris, and as far as sect. Coprophilae is concerned, on dung of herbivores. It also includes two species formerly placed in the genus Melanotus. Experimental studies have proved that these are closely related to Deconica, and must be considered pleurotoid members of that genus only.


1. Surface of pileus. Many species have a sticky, viscid surface. It is very important to know whether the cuticle can be lifted of entirely as a thin, transparent pellicle.
2. Presence or absence of veil which is visible in mature fruitbodies as fibrillose patches on the surface of the pileus, sometimes adhering as flocks along the margin of the pileus, and of a ring or ring-like zone on the stipe. Sometimes veil is present as a fine dusty layer on the entire surface of the pileus (D. castanella)
3. The color of the mature lamellae. sect. Deconica is divided in two subsections on account of the color of the lamellae and spores. The group of D. inquilina has thinwalled spores which are pale brown in mass. The lamellae in this group are generally pale when mature. The second group of D. montana has thick-walled spores and accordingly dark purple brown lamellae when mature.
4. Spores: apart from the size, the shape of the spores is very important. Many species have spores that are flattened: the side-view is much narrower than the frontal view. The more this difference, the stronger the spores are flattened. In those cases you will find many spores lying on the broadest side in a microscopic preparation In D. phyllogena this can be more than 90 % of the spores.



1. Habit crepidotoid


1. Habit Mycenoid or collybioid


2. Pileus leather-like, dry, not translucently striate, reviving after dry periods; on various substrates, such as wood, old newspaper, mats, etc.

D. horizontalis

2. Pileus soft, not leather-like, viscid, translucently striate; on culms of grasses, sedges, somtimes on herbaceous stems, etc.

D. philipsii

3. Spores small: 5.5-7.0 µm long


3. Spores larger


4. Spores without of with very small germ-pore; veil absent

D. micropora

4. Spores with distinct germ-pore; margin of pileus and often also stipe with remnants of veil

D. xeroderma

5. On dung; spores always longer than 10 µm


5. On grasses, herbaceous plants or wood; not or very rarely on dung, then spores shorter than 10 µm


6. Veil present as a small ring or annuliform zone on stipe, sometimes also as flocks at margin of pileus


6. Veil absent


7. Spores in frontal view ovate, not angular

D. merdicola

7. Spores in frontal view angular


8. Ringzone fibrillose, often on lower part of stipe; spores 11.0-12.5 x 7.5-9.0 x 7.0-8.0 µm

D. merdaria

8. Ringzone membranaceous, rarely fibrillose, usually in uper part of stipe; spores 13-17 x 8.5-11 x 7.5-9.5 µm

D. moelleri

9. Spores six-angled in frontal view, 10-14 µm long

D. coprophila

9. Spores ellipsoid in frontal view, 15-19 µm long

D. subcoprophila

10. Spores in average 7 - 9 µm long


10. Spores more than 9 µm long


11. Pleurocystidia numerous; pileus and stipe finely floccose; spores strongly flattened, rhomboid

D. flocculosa

11. Pleurocystidia absent


12. Spores with thin or slightly thickened walls, lamellae pale


12. Spores with distinctly thickened wall, lamellae dark purple-brown to blackish brown when mature


13. Pileipellis entirely peeling off as a thin, hyaline membrane; spores mitriform to rhomboid in frontal view


13. Pileipellis not peeling off; spores ovoid to ellipsoid in frontal view


14. On grasses and sedges; veil poor, usually only few fibrils at margin of pileus in mature specimens; spores in average 7.8-8.6 µm long

D. inquilina

14. On dead woody sticks and small branches; veil abundant; spores in average 6.0-7.6 µm long

D. crobula

15. Veil very distinct as a fibrillose to almost membranous cortina, later visible as flocks along margin of pileus and a ring or ring-like zone on stipe; spores often papillate; among Carex in subalpine marshes

D. velifera

15. Veil, if present, less pronounced; in other habitats


16. Veil practically absent; on dead parts of grasses in nutrient, nitrophilous places; spores distinctly flattened

D. subviscida var. subviscida

16. Pileus dry; veil abundant as pruinose covering the entire pileus, later on also as flocks along the margin of pileus, especially in young and fresh specimens; in grasland; spores indistinctly flattened

D. castanella

17. Spores in majority mitriform to rhomboid in frontal view


17. Spores ovoid, or in less than 50% mitriform or rhomboid


18. Pileus viscid, glabrous except for some veil at margin

D. phyllogena

18. Pileus dry; fibrillose to flocculose with veil


19. Pleurocystidia absent

D. rhomboidospora

19. Pleurocystidia present

D. flocculosa

20. Pileus with veil in form of flocks along and adhering to margin


20. Pileus without veil


21. Among moss on poor, sandy, acid soil

D. montana

21. Parasitic on Polytrichum in alpine zone

D. chionophila

22. On nitrogene rich places, often on herbaceous remnants, straw or very old dung; cheilocystiden attenuate

D. subviscida var. velata (= D. bullacea

22. Among mosses in moist grasslands on acid soil; cheilocystiden (sub)capitate

D. magica.

23.Pileus dry

D. montana var. macrospora

23. Pileus viscid with peeling pellicle


24. Spores 8.5-11 x 4.5-6.5 µm, with moderately thick walls; on wood of (Picea)

D. tenax

24. Spores 8.5-12 x 6.0-7.5 x 5.5-6.5 µm, with very thick walls; among Elymus arenarius in coastal sand dunes

D. pratense

Synopsis of the accepted species in sections Deconica and Coprophilae

section Deconica

D. inquilina
D. crobula
D. castanella
D. subviscida var. subviscida
D. subviscida var. velata
D. velifera
D. montana var. montana
D. montana var. macrospora
D. chionophila
D. micropora
D. xeroderma
D. magica
D. phyllogena
D. rhomboidospora
D. flocculosa
D. pratensis
D. tenax
D. philipsii
D. horizontalis

section Coprophilae

D. coprophila
D. moelleri
D. merdaria
D. merdicola
D. subcoprophila


Noordeloos, M.E. 1999. Strophariaceae. In Bas & al., (ed.) Flora agaricina neerlandica, vol. 4. Balkema.
Noordeloos, M.E. 2001. Studies in Psilocybe sect. Psilocybe. Österreichische Zeitschrift f. Pilzkunde 10: 115-181. Noordeloos, M.E. 2009. The genus Deconica in Europe: new combinations. Österreichische Zeitschrift f. Pilzkunde 18: 207-211.