A Note About Naming Conventions

Latin Names

We are in the process of updating the names given in North American Boletes to more current versions. Right now the process is far from complete, with several score of species still known by the older names. Please have patience.

This is also a good time to remind you that the Bolete Filter is an amateur project. We are not in a position to argue the fine points of DNA analysis and mushroom phylogeny that form the academic furor about which species belong where and under what name. If you are an academic embroiled in those matters, please roll your eyes and ignore our collective ignorance and failure to keep current. Indeed, your author is completely out of his depth when it comes to keeping up with the literature and makes no real effort to try. The work to keep current has been largely provided by the kind efforts of Mssrs. Igor Safonov from New Jersey, with assistance and debate by Robert Gergulics of The 3 Foragers in New Jersey. To the extent Igor and Robert fall behind, so will this site. Expect nothing different. Dr. Roy Halling was kind enough to do a quick review of their initial joint effort in November, 2015, for which we all extend generous thanks.

We have also made a point of highlighting the names in North American Boletes even if they are outdated. This is meant to serve as yet another reminder that the Bolete Filter is a key – identification triage – and not an identification tool. ALWAYS GO BACK TO THE BOOKS BEFORE YOU REACH A CONCLUSION ABOUT ANY PARTICULAR I.D.

Common Names

I have taken the liberty of creating several common names (which of course means they aren’t). In basically every case I did this to indicate a key “tell”, like assigning B. sensibilis the name “Curry Bolete,” S. castanellus the names “Netted Suillus” and “Chestnut Suillus,” and B. pallidoroseus the name “Bouillon Bolete.”

Part of the motive came from a conversation with Gary Lincoff, who was laughing about how the Audobon people kept insisting that he needed to make up more and more “common names” for various mushrooms. He used S. americanus (the “Chicken Fat Suillus”) as a particular example … and I realized that this common name was exactly how I’d learned to remember that particular mushroom. The Audobon people were right! Common names work when they convey something useful. I’m following suit.

Please feel free to suggest new common names if you have a particularly good idea, and to let me know of actual common names that are used in your area.