0A0501 603000 826432 A76A00 C69550 C77718 DDAD7C E7856A

Amanita muscaria

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 8 February 2012 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Amanita muscaria (NL: Vliegenzwam / EN: Fly agaric, Fly amanita / DE: Fliegenpilz / FR: Amanite tue-mouches, Fausse oronge) - is a cosmopolitan, poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus in the Amanitaceae family. Because this is perhaps the best known mushroomspecies in the entire world, I will not provide a description today.

But have you ever wondered why there is a reference to flies in the common names of this species ? Even the specific epithet in the scientific name derives from the Latin word "musca" meaning "fly". Albertus Magnus wrote in his work "De vegetabilibus" sometime before 1256: vocatur fungus muscarum, eo quod in lacte pulverizatus interficit muscas ("It is called the mushroom of flies, because crushed in milk it kills flies"). This practice has been recorded from Germanic- and Slavic-speaking parts of Europe, as well as the Vosges region and pockets elsewhere in France, and Romania.

Today the red-and-white spotted toadstool is a common image in many aspects of popular culture, especially in children's books, film, garden ornaments, greeting cards, and more recently computer games. Garden ornaments, and children's picture books depicting gnomes and fairies, such as the Smurfs, very often show fly agarics used as seats, or homes. Two of the most famous uses of the mushroom are in the video game series Super Mario Bros., and the dancing mushroom sequence in the 1940 Disney film Fantasia.

But there is no greater delight than finding this species in real nature and I just can't resist to make images of this species at least once every year ... and this image concludes my mushroom-series of the 2011-season.

Image: Schilde (BE) - 04/11/2011

Canon EOS 400D 1/40 second F/5.6 ISO 100 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.

All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)

Please feel free to visit my personal website http://www.diversitasnaturae.be/

Bill Brown from California, United States

Excellent capture! Thanks for the background info.

8 Feb 2012 5:22am

@Bill Brown: You're welcome, Bill.

ursulakatariina from Leixlip, Ireland

Beautiful picture. Great tones.

8 Feb 2012 7:43am

@ursulakatariina: Thanks for your visit and comment.

Rupesh from kudal, India

very good micro.......!!

8 Feb 2012 7:59am

@Rupesh: Thanks for your visit and comment, Rupesh.

Jaytee from Fresno, California, United States

Very nice Johan!

8 Feb 2012 3:23pm

@Jaytee: It is always a nice species to find. Glad you like this one, Jaytee. Greetz !

Francisco Romero from Carbajal de la Legua, Spain


8 Feb 2012 4:53pm

@Francisco Romero: Thank you very much, Francisco.

Olivier from Manage, Belgium

An magical picture!

8 Feb 2012 5:35pm

@Olivier: Suitable for a magical mushroom ... Thanks Olivier.

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice & beautiful!!!!

8 Feb 2012 9:44pm

@omid: Thanks for your comment, Omid.

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal


8 Feb 2012 11:50pm

@Ana Lúcia: Thanks again for your comment, Ana.

Wendy from Canterbury, New Zealand


4 Apr 2012 9:23am

Canon EOS 400D
1/40 second
ISO 100
150 mm