Congratulations to iNaturalist user @myco_mama_vt for winning the August 2021 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist. Their photos of several fungi known as Callistosporium purpureomarginatum sprouting out of a decaying oak log received the most faves of any observation in the state during the past month.
Not only are these photos gorgeous, showcasing the stunning purplish-red gills of these fungi, but they also provide all of the necessary features for identification! Many photos of fungi that go unidentified on iNaturalist show only one or two features, leaving out others that may clinch an identification. Making sure your photos show the cap (top view), gills (bottom view), and stem (side view), as well as including any notes about what kind of substrate the fungus is growing on all can help lead to an ID. Thanks to @myco_mama_vt’s superb photos and prior knowledge of fungi identification, this observation was confirmed as Vermont’s first record of Callistosporium purpureomarginatum. Autumn is one of the best times of year in New England to go out looking for a variety of colorful and interesting fungi, so with these photographs as a guide, and this exciting discovery as inspiration, get out there and see what fungal friends you can find and photograph for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist!
Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!