Hare’s Foot Inkcap

(Coprinopsis lagopus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Hare’s Foot Inkcap

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common and widespread

Season

Spring through fall

Habitat/Hosts

Forests, woodlands

 

 

   
   
 

 

    Photo by Jill Jacobson
 
Identification

Hare’s Foot Inkcap is a small, common, and widespread gill mushroom. It has a worldwide distribution, occurring on every continent except Greenland and Antarctica. In North America it is most common on the West coast and in the east. It obtains its nutrients from already decaying wood (saprobic). It appears singly, scattered, or in groups, sometimes dense groups, in forests and woodlands. It is occasionally found in urban areas. It grows on woody debris. It sometimes appears to be growing on the ground but only when the soil is rich in decaying wood.

When it first appears, the cap is oval, cylindrical, or acorn-shaped. The upper surface is dark gray to black, flecked with brown in the middle, and densely covered with silvery hairs. This hairy surface is a remnant of an egg-like structure (universal veil) that protected the newly emerging mushroom. As the cap ages it spreads out becoming nearly flat and the silvery covering breaks up into patches. The mature cap is ¾ to 2 in diameter. In dry conditions, the margins split and curl up and back. In wet conditions the margins dissolve progressively inward into black ink at that drips to the ground.

The gills are pale at first, narrow, and crowded. They are more or less unattached to the stalk (free). As they mature they turn gray then black. As they release their spores they self-digest, turning into black ink at that drips to the ground.

The stalk is white, hollow, very fragile, 1½ to 8 long, and 1 16 to 3 16 thick. When young, it is densely covered with minute white hairs. These wear away as it ages but long, white, woolly hairs persist at the base.

The flesh is thin and soft. It may be edible but it is flavorless and insubstantial.

The spore print is blackish.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.

 
Comments

Taxonomy
This species was previously classified as Coprinus lagopus in the family Agaricaceae. A molecular DNA study published in 2001 showed that most of the species in the genus Coprinus were only distantly related to the type species Coprinus comatus. All but three species were moved to the new family Psathyrellaceae and assigned new genera.

Species Complex
The Coprinopsis lagopus group is is a complex of closely related species that can only be distinguished by examining their spores under a microscope. All of these species decompose woody debris in forests. However, the nominate species, Coprinopsis lagopus, is the most common species within the group. Similar look-alike species decompose other substrates.

 
Taxonomy

Division:

Basidiomycota (club fungi)

 

Subdivision:

Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)

 

Class:

Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)

 

Subclass:

Agaricomycetidae

 

Order:

Agaricales (gill mushrooms)

 

Family:

Psathyrellaceae

 
Synonyms

Agaricus lagopus

Coprinus lagopus

 
Common
Names

Hare’s Foot

Hare’s Foot Inkcap

Woolly Inkcap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Saprobic

Obtaining nutrients from non-living organic matter, such as decaying plant or animal matter.

 

Universal veil

An egg-like structure that envelopes all or most of a developing gill mushroom. Remnants of the universal veil sometimes visible on a mature mushroom are patchy warts on the cap, a ring on the stem, and a volva at the base of the stem.

       
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Jill Jacobson
       

...a dead old tree with a hole in it and it had some mushrooms growing in there.

  Hare’s Foot Inkcap   Hare’s Foot Inkcap
       
  Hare’s Foot Inkcap    
       
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Other Videos
 
  Coprinopsis lagopus
Cyanescentinel
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 18, 2010

Coprinopsis lagopus being munched by Deroceras sp. Found at Shorecrest High School, 9-17-2010.

   
       
  Coprinopsis lagopus aka Hare'sFoot Inkcap
HCSeelig
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 6, 2016

Caught this one, already at maximum fruiting, then it goes away. Shown at 100 x actual speed.

   
       
  Slugs munch coprinopsis lagopus timelapse
Cap and Stem
 
   
 
About

Published on May 29, 2019

Not my usual content but I have been working on capturing some time lapse videos

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
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Jill Jacobson
8/24/2019

Location: Detroit Lakes, MN

...a dead old tree with a hole in it and it had some mushrooms growing in there.

Hare’s Foot Inkcap


     
     
 
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Created: 9/9/2019

Last Updated:

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