Lobster Mushroom

(Hypomyces lactifluorum)

Conservation Status
Lobster Mushroom
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

 
  NatureServe

not listed

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Lobster Mushroom is a parasitic, mold-like sac fungus. In North America it grows on Peppery Milkcap (Lactarius piperatus), Short-stemmed Russula (Russula brevipes), and possibly other white Lactarius and Russula species. It appears as a bright orange coating on a deformed gill mushroom. When view under a hand lens, the surface appears pimply due to minute, flask-shaped, fruiting bodies. Eventually, it completely covers the stalk (stipe), gills, and cap.

The underground, vegetative part (mycelium) of this fungus grows on the mycelium of the host fungus and fruits at the same time. The bright orange to orangish-red tissue covers the fruiting body of the host before it emerges from the duff. The host mushroom is deformed and often is pitted with debris slightly embedded in the cap. The gills are reduced to blunt, chanterelle-like ridges.

Edible when growing on an edible host. However, the deformed host may be impossible to positively identify.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat and Hosts
 
 

Wherever its host species are found

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

July to September

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

4, 7, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.

 
  10/15/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Phylum Ascomycota (sac fungi)  
  Subphylum Pezizomycotina  
  Class Sordariomycetes  
  Subclass Hypocreomycetidae  
 

Order

Hypocreales  
 

Family

Hypocreaceae  
 

Genus

Hypomyces  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Lobster Mushroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Mycelium

The vegetative part of a fungus; consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae, through which a fungus absorbs nutrients from its environment; and excluding the fruiting, reproductive structure.

 

Stipe

A supporting stalk-like structure lacking vascular tissue: in fungi, the stalk supporting the mushroom cap; in ferns, the stalk connecting the blade to the rhizome; in flowering plants, the stalk connecting the flower’s ovary to the receptacle; in orchids; the band connecting the pollina with the viscidium.

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Luciearl

 
    Lobster Mushroom   Lobster Mushroom  
           
    Lobster Mushroom      
 

Amy Chapman

 
    Lobster Mushroom   Lobster Mushroom  
 

Matt Pariseau

 
    Lobster Mushroom      
 

Sally Shea

 
    Lobster Mushroom      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

On Cap

 
    Lobster Mushroom   Lobster Mushroom  
           
    Lobster Mushroom      
           
 

On Aborted Gills

 
    Lobster Mushroom   Lobster Mushroom  

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
 
     
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  Lobster of the Woods Mushrooms ( Hypomyces lactifluorum) at Trout Creek Campground
Robin Ackeret
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 21, 2012

Lobster mushrooms, I found around a gallon in just a few minutes. I don't recommend picking mushrooms around campsites or roads though because they tend to absorb pollutants. Peace my friends

   
  Mushroom Joe discovers a Lobster Mushroom
mushroomjoecom
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Oct 6, 2011

In this video I discuss this absolute beauty, Hypomyces lactifluorum and how it grows

   
  HOW TO CATCH LOBSTER MUSHROOMS ON VANCOUVER ISLAND BC
cetuspa
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Nov 5, 2010

I CATCH MY LOBSTERS WITH MY OWN HANDS, DON'T EVEN USE A TRAP.

LOBSTER MUSHROOMS ARE MY ALL ROUND FAVORITE TO EAT. NOT ONLY IS THE COLOR RIGHT BUT THE FLAVOR IS GENUINELY THAT OF A BUTTERY LOBSTER. NO JOKE THEY DO TASTE LIKE SEAFOOD. HYPOMYCES LACTIFLUORUM

   
  Lobster Mushrooms 2013
Alan Bergo
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 4, 2013

The first lobster mushroom of 2013 Ive found, hopefully a start to a nice season.

   
  Different colorings in lobster mushrooms
Alan Bergo
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 12, 2013

This is a brief rundown of lobster mushrooms, sometimes they can vary a bit.

   

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this fungus.

 
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Be sure to include a location.
 
  Luciearl
10/14/2021

Location: Fairview Twp, Cass County

Lobster Mushroom  
  Amy Chapman
9/122019

Location: Cambridge, MN

Lobster Mushroom  
  Luciearl
8/28/2019

Location: Cass County

Lobster Mushroom  
  Matt Pariseau
9/10/2016

Location: North Branch, MN

Lobster Mushroom  
  Sally Shea
9/10/2016

Location: St. Louis County

Lobster Mushroom  
  Chad Anderson
8/15/2016

Location: Big Woods State Park, Nerstrand

 
  Bob
10/10/2015

Location: Superior National Forest, MN

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


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