Domain: EukaryaPhoto courtesy of Georg Müller
        Kingdom: Fungi
                Phylum: Basidiomycota
                        Class: Agaricomycetes
                                Order: Agaricales
                                        Family: Amanitaceae
                                                Genus: Amanita
        Species: Amanita muscaria


What characteristics make Amanita muscaria part of each of these taxonomical classifications?
    Eukarya: possesses a cell membrane, membrane-bound organelles, and a nucleus containing
                        the organism's genetic information

    Fungi: possesses a fruiting body, cell walls are made of chitin, heterotrophic, alternation
                  of generations

    Basidiomycota: sexual spores, known as basidia, are produced externally on a club-shaped
                                     structure called a basidium, usually no asexual spores, dominant dikaryon
                                     phase, posses a fruiting body, filamentous

    Agaricomycetes: produce basidiocarp, form gilled-mushrooms, filamentous

    Agaricales: no traits, whether molecular, ecological, or biochemical, link the members of
                            this class

    Amanitaceae: white spores, white to pale colored gills, a universal veil that envelopes the
                                  young mushroom

    Amanita: pale gills, universal veil, white spores, warts on cap

    Amanita muscaria:
white patches on cap, cap color typically red but ranges from red to
                                              white, convex to flattened cap, faintly grooved margin


Courtesy of Erik Christianson

  • The phylogenic tree above is quite broad, but shows a very important point.  Thanks to modern molecular techniques, it has been determined that fungi are more closely related to animals (both within the Unikonta supergroup) than to land plants.  The fact that fungi are heterotrophic and store sugar as glycogen (like animals) and have cell walls made of chitin (unlike cellulose in land plants) further supports this discovery.Courtesy of Erik Christianson

  • The phylogenic tree directly above was based on molecular data and information was provided by and interpreted from the Tree of Life web project.

Now that you know how A. muscaria  is classified, let us take a look at Variation Within the Species.