T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Coprinus comatus (Shaggy Inkcap)

Kingdom: Fungi
Subkingdom: Dikarya
Phylum: 
Basidiomycota
Subphylum: Agaricomycotina
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family:
Agaricaceae
Genus:Coprinus
Species: C. comatus
Scientific name: Coprinus comatus
Common names: The shaggy ink cap, lawyer's wig, or shaggy mane

The Shaggy incap is a common fungus often seen growing on lawns, along gravel roads and waste areas. The young mushroom of this species has a tall, cylindrical or oval cap which expands when mature into a bell shape. It is almost white at first, then the colour deepens to blueish grey with a brown apex. The surface is rough with numerous loose, shaggy scales. The cap darkens as the gills change from white through pink to purplish black, and it finally secretes a black liquid filled with spores hence the “ink cap” name and can actually be used as writing ink.