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versión On-line ISSN 1852-5962

Kurtziana vol.36 no.2 Córdoba dic. 2011



Leucopaxillus gracillimus (Tricholomataceae, Basidiomycota): new record from Northeast Brazil and notes on its distribution


João P. M. Araújo 1, Victor R. M. Coimbra 2 & Felipe Wartchow 3, 4

1 Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Departamento de Biologia, Av. General Rodrigo Octávio Jordão Ramos, 3000, Campus Universitário, Coroado I, CEP 69077-900, Manaus, AM, BRAZIL.
2 Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Departamento de Micologia/CCB, Av. Prof. Nelson Chaves, s/nº, CEP 50670-901, Recife, PE, BRAZIL.
3 Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Departamento de Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia, CEP: 58051-970, João Pessoa, PB, BRAZIL.
4 Author for correspondence:



Leucopaxilus gracillimus is described for the first time from the Northeastern State of Pernambuco, and again from the Southeastern Brazilian State of Minas Gerais. Description, line drawings, photographs of the basidiomes and comments on the geographical distribution of the species are provided.

Key words: Agaricales; Agaricomycetes; Neotropics; Taxonomy.


Leucopaxillus gracillimus (Tricholomataceae, Basidiomycota): nuevo registro para el Nordeste de Brasil y notas sobre su distribución geográfica.
Leucopaxilus gracillimus es descripta por primer vez para el Nordeste Brasilero en el Estado de Pernambuco, y nuevamente para el Sudeste Brasilero en el Estado de Minas Gerais. Se provee descripción, ilustraciones, fotografías de los basidiomas y comentarios sobre la distribución geográfica de la especie.

Palabras clave: Agaricales; Agaricomycetes; Neotrópicos; Taxonomía.



The genus Leucopaxillus Boursier belongs to order Agaricales Clemens and is represented in Brazil by three species: L. brasiliensis (Rick) Singer & A.H. Sm., L. gracillimus Singer & A.H. Sm. and L. rickii Singer (Putzke 1994). This genus is easily recognized in the family Tricholomataceae R. Heim ex Pouzar (order Agaricales) by the clitocyboid to somewhat tricholomatoid habit, extremely crowded lamellae, which are adnate, sinuate, adnexed to more or less decurrent, hyaline and amyloid basidiospores with ornamented wall (although smooth walled taxa also are known) and regular hymenophoral trama (Boursier 1925, Singer 1986).
From the State of Minas Gerais recent studies by Rosa et al. (2003) reported microbial activities in some basidiomycetes, including species of Agaricales; and Albuquerque et al. (2007) referred for first time from Brazil Chromocyphella muscicola (Fr.) Donk, a reduced series fungus of Crepidotaceae Singer (Singer 1986). More recently, Rosa & Capelari (2009) listed 109 species of Agaricales, including L. gracillimus. From the State of Pernambuco, several Agaricales were recently reported, but not L. gracillimus (Wartchow 2006, 2009, Wartchow & Maia 2007, Wartchow et al. 2007a, 2007b, 2007c, 2007d, 2008a, 2008b, 2009, 2010a, 2010b, Wartchow & Cavalcanti 2010).
Here we describe a new collection of Leucopaxillus gracillimus from the State of Minas Gerais, Southeast Brazil, and for first time from Northeast Brazil, expanding the distribution in the Americas.

Material and methods

The specimens were collected and photographed, then macroscopically analyzed following Pereira & Putzke (1990). Microscopical observations were made from material mounted in 5% KOH and Melzer's reagent. The specimens are deposited at the URM herbarium (Department of Mycology, 'Universidade Federal de Pernambuco', Recife).

Result and discussion

Leucopaxillus gracillimus Singer & A.H. Sm. in Smith & Singer, Pap. Mich. Acad. Sci., Arts & Lett. 28: 131. 1944. TYPE: Brazil. Rio Grande do Sul (holotype FH). Figures 1-6.

Figs.1-2. Leucopaxillus gracillimus. 1. Basidia. 2. Basidiospores. Scaly bar is 10 μm.

Figs. 3-6. Leucopaxillus gracillimus. Several aspects of the basidiome URM 79232. Scale bar is 10 mm. Photo by. Felipe X. Couto.

Pileus 57-90 mm in diam., plano-umbonate slightly umbonate, blood red to reddish brown at centre, palling to red-orange toward margin, smooth, glabrous, dry, subgregarious, scattered; margin smooth, entire, incurved; context fleshy, white, unchanging, 14 mm thick. Lamellae adnate but somewhat short decurrent, narrow up to 3 mm wide, extensively crowded, edge smooth, concolorous; lamellulae very common, alternate among lamellae, attenuate to more or less truncate, with diverse lengths. Stipe 30-47 x 11-14 mm, narrowing downwards, white, with occasional yellowish spots; context, white, unchanging, solid. Odor farinaceous.

Basidiospores 3,5-5 (5,5) × (2,7) 3-4 μm, amyloid, hyaline, broadly ellipsoid to ellipsoid, thin walled, with small echinulate warts; hilar appendix small, sublateral to subapical. Basidia 20-22 × 5,5-6 μm, clavate, bearing four sterigmata, up to 2 μm. Pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia not observed. Pileipellis a cutis of radially oriented, hyaline hyphae, 5-12 μm diam., somewhat slightly thick walled. Hymenophoral trama regular, with hyphae frequently septate, 4-11 μm diam. Clamp connections present in all tissues examined.

Habitat: subgregarious on soil among litter arising from dense mycelium in Atlantic Rain Forest.

Materials examined: BRAZIL. Minas Gerais: Juiz de Fora: Museu Mariano Procópio, F.X. Costa s.n., 24-IV-2008 (URM 79232); Pernambuco: São Vicente Férrer: Mata do Estado, V.R.M. Coimbra et al. s.n., 26-VI-2008 (URM 82773).

Remarks: Among the taxa of Leucopaxillus with verrucose basidiospores, L. gracillimus is easily recognized in field by the deep red pileus contrasting with pure white lamellae (Pegler 1983). In comparison to other Brazilian taxa, the basidiospore size and other microscopic features are not relevant for species segregation, but the color of pileus and stipe is very important, as follow:

- L. brasiliensis from South Brazil and Martinique differs in having russet brown to dark vinaceous brown pileus and stipe and bright yellow-orange lamellae (Pegler 1983).

- L. rickii from the State of Rio Grande do Sul differs mainly in the pure white pileus (Singer 1953).

Leucopaxillus gracillimus was described for the first time from the Southern Brazilian States of Rio Grande do Sul (Smith & Singer 1943, Singer 1944, 1953) and Santa Catarina (Singer & Digilio 1952). The northern limit of this species is near Gainesville, Florida, U.S.A. (Singer 1944, Singer & Smith 1947). The vegetation predominant in this region is called the southern mixed Forest of North-central Florida with a deciduous-evergreen nature imparted by dicotyledonous tree species (Monk 1965).
In tropical America, first this taxon is reported from the Caribbean, on the ground in plantations, in Trinidad Island (Dennis 1952, 1970), and more recently in Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico (Basidiomycetes of Greater Antilles web site This species was also cited from the Lesser Antillean Island of Martinique, as one of the characteristic species in a xero-mesophytic to mesophytic forest at sea level (Pegler 1983).
In South America, Wright & Wright (2005) reported this species from the Iguazú National Park, in the Province of Misiones, Northeastern of Argentina, while de Meijer (2001, 2006) discovered this taxon in dense ombrofilous and seasonal semi-deciduous submontane/montane forests from the State of Paraná, South Brazil. The most recent collection of L. gracillimus was identified by Rosa & Capelari (2009), in Atlantic Forest reserves in neighboring Belo Horizonte, State of Minas Gerais. Our study confirms the occurrence of L. gracillimus from Minas Gerais and we also report for the first time from Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil. Both collections analyzed by us were collected from Atlantic Forest, one of the hotspots for biodiversity conservation (Myers et al. 2000).
Summarizing, the South American records of L. gracillimus have an Atlantic Forest distribution (sensu Giraudo 2003, Tabarelli et al. 2005, Ribeiro et al. 2009, Morelatto & Haddad 2000) (Fig. 7). Morelatto & Haddad (2000) divided this biome in two well distinct vegetational types: the Atlantic Rain forest, which covers mostly low to medium elevations and runs along the coastline from southern and northeastern Brazil; and the Atlantic Semideciduous Forest, extending across the plateau in the centre and southeastern interior of this biome. The main forest type which this species occurs is the semi-deciduous in the States of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná and Minas Gerais in Brazil, and Province of Misiones in Argentina.
Regarding to the putative ectomycorrhizal status of two lowland taxa, L. gracillimus and L. rickii, Singer et al. (1983) briefly discussed that, in contrast to some temperate species (see Marx 1972, Molina et al. 1993, Agerer 2006, Rinaldi et al. 2009), there is no evidence that these two species are ectomycorrhizal. This overview was recently corroborated by Tedersoo et al. (2010) in the genus as a whole.

Fig. 7. Map representing the distribution of Leu­copaxillus gracillimus (black points) through South to North America. Modified from <>


We thank Felipe X. Couto, Juliano M. Baltazar and Larissa Trierveiler-Pereira for help during the collections of the basidiomes, Dr. Leonor C. Maia, Dr. M. Auxiliadora Q. Cavalcanti and Dr. Tatiana B. Gibertoni for technical support, and Dr. Gerardo Robledo for kindly pre-submission review and making useful suggestions. F. Wartchow is gratefully to PROTAX/CNPq/MCT (Proc. 563969/05-9) for PhD. scholarship during 2006- 2010 and to FACEPE (Proc. BFP 0100-2.03/09) for post-doctoral grant.


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Original recibido el 3 de Mayo de 2011;
primera decisión: 25 de Julio de 2011;
aceptado el 2 de Agosto de 2011.

Editor responsable: Carlos Urcelay.

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