Amanita pantherina

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Amanita pantherina
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Amanitaceae
Genus: Amanita
A. pantherina
Binomial name
Amanita pantherina
(DC.) Krombh. (1846)
Amanita pantherina
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Gills on hymenium
Cap is flat
Hymenium is free
Stipe has a ring and volva
Spore print is white
Ecology is mycorrhizal
Edibility is poisonous or psychoactive

Amanita pantherina, also known as the panther cap, false blusher, and the panther amanita[1] due to its similarity to the true blusher (Amanita rubescens), is a species of fungus found in Europe and Western Asia.


Amanita pantherina compared to closely related species
  • Cap: 5–18 cm wide,[2] hemispheric at first, then convex to plano-convex, deep brown to hazel-brown to pale ochraceous brown, densely distributed warts that are pure white to sordid cream, minutely verruculose, floccose, easily removable. Viscid when wet, with a short striate margin. The flesh is white, unchanging when injured.
  • Gills: adnexed to free,[2] close to crowded, white becoming greyish, truncate.
  • Spores: white in deposit, smooth, broadly ellipsoid to ellipsoid to elongate, inamyloid,[2] infrequently globose. 8–14 x 6–10 µm.[3]
  • Stipe: 5–15 cm long × .6–3 cm wide,[2] subcylindric, somewhat narrowing upward, white, becoming slightly tannish in age, stuffed then hollow, finely floccose becoming smooth above the ring, and with small appressed squamules or creamy floccose material below. The volva is white, becoming grey with age, forming one or sometimes two narrow hoop-like rings just above the bulbous base. The flesh is white, unchanging when injured.
  • Odour: Unpleasant or like raw potatoes

Other than the brownish cap with white warts, distinguishing features of Amanita pantherina include the collar-like roll of volval tissue at the top of the basal bulb, and the elliptical, inamyloid spores. Contrary to the Amanita rubescens the panther cap does not color red/pink ("blush") when the flesh is damaged, hence its name "false blusher". This is a key feature in differentiating both species.

Habitat and distribution[edit]

The panther cap is an uncommon mushroom, found in both deciduous, especially beech and, less frequently, coniferous woodland and rarely meadows throughout Europe, western Asia in late summer and autumn.[4] It has also been recorded from South Africa, where it is thought to have been accidentally introduced with trees imported from Europe and Asia.[5]

It is an ectomycorrhizal fungus, living in root symbiosis with a tree, deriving photosynthesised nutrients from it and providing soil nutrients in return.

Biochemistry and toxicity[edit]

A. pantherina contains the psychoactive compounds ibotenic acid and muscimol,[6] two psychoactive constituents which can cause effects such as hallucinations, synaesthesia, euphoria, dysphoria and retrograde amnesia. The effects of muscimol and ibotenic acid most closely resemble that of a Z drug, like Ambien at high doses, and not a classical psychedelic, e.g. psilocybin.

A. pantherina is also toxic; if consumed fresh, it may not be fatal to humans. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and hyperhidrosis, which can lead to severe dehydration.

A. pantherina is used as an entheogen much less often than its much more distinguishable relative Amanita muscaria, largely due to being less recognizable and far more potent[7][better source needed], containing a higher concentration of ibotenic acid. While ibotenic acid is mostly broken down by the body into muscimol, what remains of the ibotenic acid is believed[according to whom?] to cause the majority of dysphoric effects of consuming psychedelic Amanita species. Ibotenic acid is also a scientifically important neurotoxin used in lab research as a brain-lesioning agent in mice.[8][9]

As with other wild-growing mushrooms, the ratio of ibotenic acid to muscimol depends on countless external factors, including: season, age, and habitat - and percentages will naturally vary from mushroom to mushroom — with dark brown A. pantherina specimens having a greater concentration of ibotenic acid.[10]

A. pantherina var. pantherinoides, the Western panther amanita, is considered inedible and possibly poisonous.[2] Varieties multisquamosa and velatipes are considered poisonous.[11]

Legal status[edit]

A. muscaria and A. pantherina are illegal to buy, sell, or possess in the Netherlands since December 2008. Possession of amounts larger than 0.5 g dried or 5 g fresh lead to a criminal charge.[12]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Standardized Common Names for Wild Species in Canada". National General Status Working Group. 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e Davis, R. Michael; Sommer, Robert; Menge, John A. (2012). Field Guide to Mushrooms of Western North America. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-520-95360-4. OCLC 797915861.
  3. ^ Kuo, M. (2005, March). Amanita pantherina. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site:
  4. ^ Jordan P & Wheeler S (2001). The Ultimate Mushroom Book. Hermes House.
  5. ^ Asef M.R. (2020). Field guide of Mushrooms of Iran. Tehran: Iran-Shanasi Press. p. 360. ISBN 9786008351429.
  6. ^ Barceloux D. G. (2008). "41 (Isoxazole-containing mushrooms and pantherina syndrome)" (PDF). Medical toxicology of natural substances: foods, fungi, medicinal herbs, plants, and venomous animals. Canada: John Wiley and Sons Inc. p. 298. ISBN 978-0-471-72761-3.
  7. ^ "Erowid Psychoactive Amanitas (A. muscaria & A. pantherina) Vault: Basics". Retrieved 2020-12-10.
  8. ^ Becker, A; Grecksch, G; Bernstein, HG; Höllt, V; Bogerts, B (1999). "Social behaviour in rats lesioned with ibotenic acid in the hippocampus: quantitative and qualitative analysis". Psychopharmacology. 144 (4): 333–8. doi:10.1007/s002130051015. PMID 10435405. S2CID 25172395.
  9. ^ Isacson, O; Brundin, P; Kelly, PA; Gage, FH; Björklund, A (1984). "Functional neuronal replacement by grafted striatal neurones in the ibotenic acid-lesioned rat striatum". Nature. 311 (5985): 458–60. Bibcode:1984Natur.311..458I. doi:10.1038/311458a0. PMID 6482962. S2CID 4342937.
  10. ^ Trudell, Steve; Ammirati, Joe (2009). Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest. Timber Press Field Guides. Portland, OR: Timber Press. pp. 85–86. ISBN 978-0-88192-935-5.
  11. ^ Phillips, Roger (2010). Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-1-55407-651-2.
  12. ^ Openbaar Ministerie (12-01-2008). Paddoverbod van kracht Archived 2012-09-05 at Retrieved 5 May 2016.

External links[edit]