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Lactarius cordovaensis Hesler & A.H. Sm.

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Scientific name
Lactarius cordovaensis
Hesler & A.H. Sm.
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
Siegel, N.
Dahlberg, A.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/95384525/95385504


The milk-cap Lactarius cordovaensis is a characteristic ectomycorrhizal fungus associating with conifers. Currently it is only known from two locations, less than three miles apart in Alaska, USA. First found in 1964, recollected from the same location in 1967, and then not collected again until 2014 at a new site. Considering the potential areas with similar habitat in subarctic Alaska, Canada and Russia, it is difficult to state something about the distribution of the species. It is, however, obviously a rare fungus, as it only has been encountered few times. Glacier reduction and loss in this area could lead to changes in the habitat, and loss of this species. Based on the limited surveying, poor understanding of the preferred habitat and its potential large distribution, it is assessed as Data Deficient.

Taxonomic notes

Collected by V. Wells & P. Kempton in the 1964 and 1967 from the same site, and described in Lactarius of North America, by Hesler & Smith, 1979. The large size, smooth, slightly viscid buff to gray cap that is occasionally subzonate, cream to buff coloured gills, a scrobiculate (spotted or pockmarked) stipe, and thick creamy white latex that stains tissue violet. The violet staining is one of the more distinctive features. Other violet staining Lactarius in the area include L. uvidus.

Geographic range

Currently only known from two locations, within three miles of each other in Cordova, Alaska. USA.

Population and Trends

Apparently a very rare species as it only has been recorded at two locations in Alaska during the last 60 years. In 2015, it was abundant in a very localized area at the same place it was found in 2014, but was absent from similar habitat in all other areas surveyed (Noah Siegel, personal observations). The few records does not enable much to be stated about the distribution and status of L. cordovaensi as potential areas with similar habitats are several in Alaska, Canada and north-eastern Russia.

Population Trend: unknown

Habitat and Ecology

An ectomycorrhizal fungus associated with Tsugae and Picea growing in wet forest with thick moss under. The area where it is found is a cold and wet habitat near a glacier.


Threats include habitat loss, as it is only known from a small area; and climate change, as it seems to prefer cold, wet microcosms.

Conservation Actions

The species should be surveyed for in potential areas to get a clearer picture of its distribution and also to be able to assess for its status.

Source and Citation

Siegel, N. 2019. Lactarius cordovaensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T95384525A95385504. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-1.RLTS.T95384525A95385504.en .Accessed on 3 February 2024

Country occurrence