Hare’s Foot Inkcap

(Coprinopsis lagopus)

Conservation Status
Hare’s Foot Inkcap
Photo by Bobbi Johnson
  IUCN Red List

not listed

 
  NatureServe

not listed

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

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

 
     
     
 
Habitat and Hosts
 
 

Forests, woodlands

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Spring through fall

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

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

 
  10/8/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common and widespread

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Division Basidiomycota (club fungi)  
  Subdivision Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)  
  Class Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)  
  Subclass Agaricomycetidae  
  Order Agaricales (common gilled mushrooms and allies)  
  Suborder Agaricineae  
  Family Psathyrellaceae  
  Genus Coprinopsis (inkcaps)  
  Section Lanatulae  
       
 

Hare’s Foot Inkcap 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.

The Coprinopsis lagopus group is a complex of closely related species that can be distinguished only 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.

 
       
 

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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Bobbi Johnson

 
 

Here's a close up of a mushroom from this morning.

 
    Hare’s Foot Inkcap      
 

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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Report a sighting of this fungus.

 
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  Bobbi Johnson
10/7/2021

Location: Silver Bay, MN

Hare’s Foot Inkcap  
  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  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 9/9/2019

Last Updated:

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