This page takes you through each level of classification, and explains the characteristics of each category. When classifying organisms, the Domain, of which there are three, is the largest level. Each Domain is broken down into several Kingdoms. A Kingdom is then split into separate Phyla and so on until we reach the most exclusive category which is known as the specific epithet, or species. 



Eukarya: organisms within the Domain Eukarya contain a membrane-bound nucleus as well as membrane-bound organelles. Eukaryotes include organisms such as plants, animals, fungi, and protists.





Fungi: The Fungi Kingdom includes a vast array of organisms that all share one characteristic in particular that deals with acquiring nutrients. Unlike animals, which first ingest and then digest, all fungi digest their food before they even ingest it!     They accomplish this  by secreting exoenzymes into their environment and into their food source that are able to breakdown a wide variety of organic compounds. Simply put, this unique method of food acquisition has expanded the fungi's 'menu', if you will, to where they can now consume almost anything aside from certain synthetic materials such as plastics. Cyathus striatus is another example of an organism within the Fungi Kingdom. Follow the link to read up on this organism that is also on!


Basidiomycota: Also known as the 'club fungus,' members of the Basidiomycota display the club-like fruiting body that most people associate with mushrooms. Interestingly, this structure is literally only the 'tip of the ice berg' when considering the entire fungal organism itself because the majority of the fungus lies underneath the surface where branching structures known as hyphae extend throughout the surrounding area and harness nutrients for the fungus. In a way, this would be comparable to the roots of a plant. Lentinula edodes is another organism within the basidiomycota. Follow the link to read up on this organism that is also a webpage on


Basidiomycetes: The class of fungi in which compatible nuclei fuse in a club-structure called a basidium with the resulting diploid nucleus undergoing meiosis. The four haploid products of meiosis move through stalks (sterigmata) to the outside of the basidium where they enter developing spores (meiospores known as basidiospores). The gill, pore, tooth, and some cup mushrooms are Basidiomycetes (Chang et al.).


Agaricales: Species from this order are characterized as having the gilled undersides of the fruiting body. These gills play a crucial role in reproduction because they bear the basidiospores that will eventually be dispersed into the environment. The Agaricales order is one of the most common and easily distinguishable orders within the fungi kingdom. Also found in the Agaricales order is Schizophyllum commune, which is an organism that has anti-microbial properties. Follow the link provided to read about this organism!


Strophariaceae: Members of this family are characterized as being brown-gilled mushrooms. Fittingly, P. cubensis was previously known as Stropharia cubensis.


Psilocybe: Mushrooms within the Psilocybe genus are set apart as having hallucinogenic and psychedelic effects.






Next is a phylogenetic breakdown of P. cubensis.

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