By Dianna Smith
"Myco-Speak" was the first of a series of six educational workshops offered by the Pioneer Valley Mycological Association in the spring of 2017. Below is a new and improved version for 2018. Its companion presentation is The Meaning of Scientific Names for Fungi. The purpose of these two presentations is to demystify the vocabulary used by taxonomists and field mycologists to describe the characteristic features of individual macro-fungi, fungi we can easily see without having to use a microscope.
I have over 30,000 photos of fungi, a number of which I have been able to name only to genus. Adding detailed information about the observable characteristics of each one photographed (as well as information on taste and smell) has enabled me to determine, through research of original descriptions created by mycologists, the species of several that have been frustrating mysteries to me.
I encourage anyone serious about amateur mycology to view this program frequently and to use the vocabulary mentioned and explained when both taking notes while in the field and when describing unidentified fungi to someone else you hope can assist you with identification. University professors, high school teachers, home-school parents and mycology students are invited to use this program for teaching provided the author is first contacted and is credited. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.