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Hypomyces lactifluorum.   Click a photo to enlarge it.   back to list

synonyms: Lobster Mushroom
Hypomyces lactifluorum 2 Mushroom
Ref No: 8386
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location: North America, Europe
edibility: Edible
fungus colour: Red or redish or pink
normal size: 5-15cm
cap type: Other
stem type: Lateral, rudimentary or absent
flesh: Flesh granular or brittle
spore colour: White, cream or yellowish
habitat: Grows on other fungi

Hypomyces lactifluorum (Schw. ex Fr.) Tul. Lobster Mushroom. This is a mold-like parasitic fungus found only on species of white russula and lactarius mushrooms, e.g., Russula brevipes and Lactarius piperatus. The fungus completely covers its host mushroom with a vivid orange to cinnabar-red coating which has minute pustules when viewed under a lens. Each bump is a flask-like vessel in which the spores are produced (perithecium). The gills of the host mushroom are almost completely aborted by the parasite. Spores spindle-shaped, strongly warted, clear, 35-50 x 4-5; equally divided into 2 cells. Habitat in woods on white lactarius and russula mushrooms. Found throughout North America. Season July-September. Edible. This can be a delicious fungus, greatly improving the flavor of the host mushroom, but caution should be observed since accurate identification of the host is sometimes impossible; it just might parasitize a poisonous species.

Mushroom Recipes
Lobster Mushroom Stirabout with Noodles
Members' images and comments

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Jim Taylor (United States) - 27 August 2015

Isn't this a beautiful lobster?! Found it in sept of 2014 in Kansas City Kansas. I'm hoping they'll be back this year.
Hypomyces lactifluorum 2
Vanessa Tarasuk (United States) - 12 October 2013

Western Mass
Hypomyces lactifluorum 2
Penny Esplin (United States) - 11 October 2013

I saw these coming up in hard, orange clumps, with huge stocks; reminded me of tree trunks! I had to ID them, and was surprised to find out about them being parasites on other mushrooms. They are so big and heavy!
Hypomyces lactifluorum 2
frank bibbo (United States) - 14 September 2013

Catskill Region of New York State: September 14, 2013. Found in Red Pine. Frank Bibbo
Hypomyces lactifluorum 2
Ryan Handeland (United States) - 27 July 2012

Camp Ripley, MN
Hypomyces lactifluorum 2
Ryan Handeland (United States) - 27 July 2012

Camp Ripley, MN
Hypomyces lactifluorum 2
Ryan Handeland (United States) - 27 July 2012

Camp Ripley, MN
Hypomyces lactifluorum 2
Jake Prahar (United States) - 06 August 2009

1.4 pounder!! Had just come up the night before, was rock solid
Hypomyces lactifluorum 2
Trevor Clayton (United States) - 23 December 2008

Olympic Peninsula, Washington found COPIOUS amounts of these in the Elwah river valley.
Hypomyces lactifluorum 2
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