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Amanita xanthocephala (Berk.) D.A. Reid & R.N. Hilton

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Scientific name
Amanita xanthocephala
(Berk.) D.A. Reid & R.N. Hilton
Common names
Vermilion Grisette
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
May, T.
Dahlberg, A.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/154842883/154842943


Amanita xanthocephala is a highly distinctive, common and widespread ectomycorrhizal fungus endemic to Australia growing in a variety of vegetation types, dominated by a wide range of species of Eucalyptus, and thus presumed to have a wide host range as far as the tree partner. Currently the population seems to be more or less stable. Therefore the species is assessed as Least Concern.

Taxonomic notes

Amanita xanthocephala is a long-known species, that has been described under several names (such as Amanitopsis pulchella) but has a stable taxonomy and no issues around species delimitation. There have been suggestions that populations in Western Australia might represent a different species, but there is no morphological support for this, and in the absence of molecular data, it is reasonable to accept a single species, especially since there are other species of agarics that are known from eastern and western Australia (with confirmation from DNA sequence data).

Geographic range

Amanita xanthocephala is endemic to Australia. It occurs in south-west Western Australia, and in eastern Australia, from the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia to southern Queensland, extending inland to areas such as the Flinders Ranges (SA) and Orange district (NSW), and in Tasmania.

Population and Trends

Amanita xanthocephala is one of the most common species of ectomycorrhizal fungi in temperate forests of southern Australia. It is a small but distinctive and colourful fungus that has been one of the target species of the Fungimap scheme since the 1990s. It is one of the most commonly recorded Fungimap target species. There are more than 2,200 records (herbarium and sight records) compiled in the Atlas of Living Australia. At a local scale, during surveys on Kangaroo Island (South Australia) it was the most frequently recorded species of Amanita, present in 21 of the 47 sites and in 5 of the 8 Environmental Provinces (Julia Haska pers. comm.). At any given site, in the surrounding area of the scale of 1-10 hectares, if one group of sporing bodies was observed and the surrounding area was thoroughly searched, several other scatters of sporing bodies would be expected. There is no indication of population decline.

Population Trend: stable

Habitat and Ecology

Amanita xanthocephala is an ectomycorrhizal fungus growing in vegetation dominated by a wide range of species of Eucalyptus, and thus presumed to have a wide host range as far as the tree partner. It is widespread in forests and woodlands, extending to relatively dry locations such as Mallee Woodland on the south coast of Western Australia (to the east of Albany) and on Kangaroo Island. It persists in small urban bushland remnants, such as in eastern Melbourne, and even grows in the Royal Botanic Gardens in central Melbourne.


Habitat loss is the main threat. Over the whole range there is continued slow reduction in the extent and condition of woodland and forest. Nevertheless, currently the population seems to be more or less stable.

Use and Trade

No utilisation of this species is known.

Source and Citation

May, T. 2019. Amanita xanthocephala. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T154842883A154842943. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T154842883A154842943.en .Accessed on 10 February 2024

Country occurrence