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Pluteus mammillatus (Longyear) Minnis, Sundb. & Methven

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Scientific name
Pluteus mammillatus
(Longyear) Minnis, Sundb. & Methven
Common names
The Mingo Jewel
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Preliminary Category
VU C2ai
Proposed by
Christian Schwarz
Christian Schwarz
Comments etc.
Louis Mielke
Anders Dahlberg

Assessment Notes

QUESTIONS: Include reference to its description. When was it last recorded in Michigan? About how many locations are known? include such estimate in documentation (also justification).
CHECK edited text


Pluteus mammillatus with the nickname “The Mingo Jewel” is a rare endemic saprotrophic fungus in south-esternUSA. It is recorded in I is a relatively large, brightly colored, charismatic species with some notoriety as a target for mycologists. The fact that the species is conspicuous, specifically sought out by mycologists, is not at all difficult to identify and restricted to bottomland hardwood forest which are under threat and decline. The documented changing hydrology of wetlands, including bottomland hardwood forest, and urbanization/land conversion of the same habitats suggests that the geographic extent and/or quality of appropriate habitats for this species are declining.

The rareness by which this habitat specialized species is encountered, despite being particularly looked, implies it to rare and not much overlooked. The number of known locations is XXXX and the total number of locations is estimated not to exceed 1000 and the number of mature individuals not to exceed 10 000. It is assessed as Vulnerable based small declining population.

Taxonomic notes

Due to the presence of a partial veil, formerly treated as Chamaeota sphaerospora (Peck) Kauffman, Annularia sphaerospora Peck, and Chamaeota mammillata (Longyear) Peck. Minnis (2006) combined and synonymized these names into Pluteus.

A European species, P. fenzlii, is morphologically similar but apparently can be distinguished by yellow-marginate gill edges.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

This species was initially targeted for assessment because of its apparent rarity – despite being a relatively large, brightly colored, charismatic species with some notoriety as a target for mycologists, only two locations are known where it can be somewhat reliably found. Mingo National Wildlife Refuge appears to have the most robust population, and even there it is considered a special find that must be specifically targeted to encounter.

Geographic range

Confined to south-eastern parts of USA. The Mingo National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri is the best known location to find this species (P. mammillatus has been given the nickname “The Mingo Jewel” for this reason, and the forays held here specifically search for it). Recent well-documented records from a small area in the vicinity of Gainesville, FL suggest that it has a foothold there, and there are scattered records elsewhere in Florida, Missouri, and Virginia. The type locations from Greenville, Michigan are likely reflective of a former northern outpost of the species, but the habitat, although vaguely similar to those further south, is not likely to support this species anymore, since the general area is quite well surveyed and no modern records have been made.

Population and Trends

Appears to be a very rare species confined to bottomland hardwood forests in south-eastern USA that are considered to be under threat according to a Forest Stewards Guilt report (2016). Pluteus mammillatus is rarely recorded, despite being a relatively large, brightly colored, well known and charismatic species target by many mycologists. The rareness by which is is encountered, despite being particularly searched for, implies it to very rare and not much overlooked. The number of known locations is XXXX and the total number of locations, given the potential distribution of appropriate habitats,  is estimated not to exceed 1000 and the number of mature individuals not to exceed 10 000 (cf Dahlberg & Mueller, 2011).

Population Trend: Uncertain

Habitat and Ecology

Pluteus mammillatus is a woodinhabiting fungus growing on decaying wood of hardwoods, primarily in bottomland hardwood or habitat. Substrate perhaps typically too decayed for easy identification, but most likely on Quercus spp., Carya spp., Acer spp., Tilia americana, and perhaps Nyssa aquatica. The degree to which this species is tied to bottomland hardwoods is uncertain. It may be that seasonal flooding/alluvial inundation is necessary for suitable habitat for this species, or it may be that a certain age class or host species (or both) is more important.

Temperate Forest


Specific threats to the species are unknown, but given that it may be associated with (broadly interpreted) bottomland hardwood forests, the well known general threats to that habitat can be considered.According to a 2016 Forest Stewards Guild report; bottomland hardwood habitat is “exceptionally threatened by land conversion, altered hydrology, invasive species, more frequent intense storms, and shifting economic drivers.”

Housing & urban areasAbstraction of surface water (unknown use)Unspecified species

Conservation Actions

Conservation of bottomland hardwood habitats, especially those with older age classes of trees, and maintenance/restoration of the hydrologic processes that seasonally replenish such forests with alluvial deposits.

Resource & habitat protectionAwareness & communications

Research needed

Increased awareness of the species and targeted surveys to establish extent of occupancy of this habitat. Close natural history study to determine specific biotic and abiotic factors that constitute suitable habitat. Population monitoring to determine whether fruitbody production is relatively consistent from year to year, and/or whether subpopulations appear stable.

Population size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecology

Use and Trade



Mahaffey, Amanda, and Alexander Evans. (2016). Ecological Forestry Practices for Bottomland Hardwood Forests of the Southeastern U.S. Forest Stewards Guild Report.

Minnis, Andrew M; Sundberg, Walter J.; Methven, Andrew S.;  Sipes, Sedonia D.; Nickrent, Daniel L. (2006). Annulate Pluteus species, a study of the genus Chamaeota in the United States. Mycotaxon 96, 31–39.

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted