An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide – maryholland505@gmail.com

Lobster Mushroom

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Lobster mushrooms  are so named because they look a bit like lobsters – red/orange “shells” on the outside with white inside. A lobster mushroom is actually two fungi in one – the parasitic  fungus, Hypomyces lactifluorum (red/orange outer crust), and the mushroom being parasitized by the lobster mushroom (white, inner flesh, usually a Russula or Lactarius mushroom). Hypomyces lactifluorum has only been known to parasitize non-poisonous mushrooms and it has been eaten for hundreds of years without any known problems. Still, it is conceivable that it could parasitize a poisonous mushroom, rendering it harmful to the forager.

7 responses

  1. Kay Shumway

    Great picture of a lobster in the woods!

    August 14, 2012 at 11:52 am

  2. I wonder if a photo is missing? I see the lobster, but then the screen goes black for a period of time as if it were moving to the next slide. Then after a short while, the lobster reappears.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm

  3. Nevermind! Now the lobster “claw” is showing up too!

    August 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm

  4. Susan Holland

    I like that you got the tail and the claw!!!

    August 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm

  5. Pat and Susan, You are both so clever. It never even occurred to me that it does, indeed, look like a claw!

    August 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    • Jean Harrison

      Mary – Did you eat this? They are said to be delicious. I’ve always been too chicken, though the inside of this lobster definitely does not look like an Amanita.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      • No, Jean, I’m with you. Too chicken to risk it!

        August 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm

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