CONOCYBE CYANOPUS

Pholiotina cyanopus, syn. Galerula cyanopus

Pholiotina cyanopus was originally described as a Galerula in 1918 where it was found in the Northeastern region of the Unites States (Ithaca, New York State). In 1935, with enhanced knowledge of microcharacters and their use for generic criteria, the specie was transferred to the Conocybe genus to be finally placed in Pholiotina genus in 1950.
Today it is nonetheless referred to as Conocybe cyanopus by many mycologists. This unsettled genus situation is most likely to change again in the future. It is yet another example of the complexity and ongoing exploration of the vast terrain of mycology.

Similar in appearance to Conocybe (Pholiotina) smithii and in potency to Psilocybe semilanceata, this rare midget psychedelic mushroom is of remarkable potency for its size. Psychedelic mushroom hunters must beware of its resemblance to some Galerinas, which are highly poisonous!

Conocybe cyanopus is said to contain trace amounts of the rare compound aeruscinagin. It is amongst the rare strains to form sclerotia, the dormant form of the fruiting body commonly named truffles”, or “psilocybin stones”, which can also be consumed for their psychoactive properties.

Reported from North America, temperate Asia and Central and Northern Europe, this discrete cone-headed hallucinogenic mushroom is probably widely distributed across the temperate regions of the world but often passes under the radar because of its petite stature.

Visual Description

• Cap: 0.7-1.2 cm broad. Nearly hemispheric to convex, broadly convex in age. Translucent striate margin when wet, decorated with minute partial veil remnants. Reddish cinnamon brown to dark brown. Surface smooth overall to slightly wrinkled towards the disk at maturity. • Gills: attachment adnexed, close. Dull rusty brown with whitish on edges. • Stem: 20-40 mm long by 1-1.4 mm thick. Equal, slightly curved at base, fragile. Whitish in young age, grayish brownish in age, towards apex. Base often with whitish mycelium, that bruises bluish. Stem sometimes leaves an annular zone, no ring. • Spore print: rusty brown • Microscopic features: 6.5 x 7.5 micrometres.

Potency Description

Similar to Psilocybe semilanceata, which is considered to be the strongest of the European strains growing naturally. 0.93% psilocybin, no psilocin (Beug and Bigwood 1982) 0.33%- 0.55% psilocybin, 0.004-0.007% psilocin (Christiansen et al. 1984) 0.78-1.01% psilocybin, no psilocin, 0.12-0.20% baeocystin (Gartz 1992) Sclerotia: 0.25% psilocybin when dry, no additional alkaloids were detected. Chemical composition and alkaloid content of the Conocybe species from warm countries have not yet been analyzed and might bring remarkable results.

Habitat Origin

Scattered in small groups, less often solitary or in large groups, in grassy areas (lawns and fields) or moss, in the summer and the fall. North America, Central and Northern Europe and temperate Asia. It can be found temperate regions of Central and Northern Europe such as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine . Identified in Washington and Colorado (USA) and Vancouver, B.C. (Canada) It has also been reported from the United-Kingdom but these reports are doubtful.

Strain Effects

Often reported as accidental intoxications and described having effects of: hallucinations, nausea, dilated pupils and euphoria.

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