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In nature, there are 25 species of dung beetles. Among them there are snow-white, white, hairy, domestic, woodpecker, shimmering, ordinary. The scattered dung beetle is one of the most inconspicuous species. Now it belongs to the psatirell family. Its second name is common dung beetle. It has an unattractive appearance, dwarf dimensions. Therefore, mushroom pickers bypass them, considering them inedible.
Where the scattered dung grows
The scattered dung beetles got their name from their habitat. Their other name is Coprinellus disseminates. They grow not only on dung heaps, they can be seen as a large gray spot:
- on decaying birch or aspen wood;
- near decaying stumps;
- on rotten, half-decayed foliage;
- near old wooden buildings.
They transform dead plants into organic compounds, that is, they are saprotrophs, settle in whole colonies, justifying their name "scattered", do not grow alone. There are clusters in which several hundred fruiting bodies can be counted. They form real necklaces at the foot of an old tree or stump. They live very little, for 3 days, then turn black, die off and quickly decompose. In the absence of the necessary moisture, dry out. In their place, a new generation of scattered dung beetle grows. Sometimes you can find several generations of these saprotrophs in one place. The first mushrooms appear in early June and grow throughout the summer period. In the rainy season, they come across in October.
What scattered dung beetle looks like
It is the smallest mushroom of the psatirella family. Their height reaches 3 cm, and the diameter of the hat, which is shaped like an egg at an early age, and then a bell, is 0.5 - 1.5 cm. The hat is ribbed, wrinkled, cracking at the edges, with a fleecy, granular surface. The grooves run from the center to the edges. Its color is light cream (at a young age), pale ocher, gray with a pale or bluish tinge. Dark brown or yellowish spots are found at the apex. The plates, at first light, delicate, eventually become dark, and, decaying, turn into an ink mass.
The leg is hollow, thin, translucent, there are thickenings at the base. The color of the leg and cap often coincides and merges into a single whole. Spores are black or brown. This is a very fragile mushroom that crumbles quickly.
Is it possible to eat scattered dung beetle
According to mycological scientists, these are quite harmless mushrooms. But they are considered inedible due to their small size. It takes a lot of time to collect the required amount for cooking a dish. They have practically no pulp, which gives a certain taste, there is no pronounced smell. It is hardly possible to be poisoned by them: poisonousness, if they do, is only when consumed in very large doses, but when combined with alcohol, the mushroom can cause food poisoning.
Scattered dung beetle is rather difficult to confuse due to its scanty size and large colonies with which they appear. But inexperienced mushroom pickers sometimes find it difficult to distinguish them from other mushrooms:
- Small mycenes are similar to them, for example, milk ones. They have the same grayish or slightly bluish color. But the size of mycens is slightly larger. The leg can reach a height of up to 9 cm. And they settle not in colonies, but in small groups, there are also singles. Milk mycenae are edible, unlike some of their other relatives. Cases of poisoning with them are common.
- It can be confused with folded dung beetle, which is also considered inedible due to its small size. But it is slightly taller and has a dark brown, sometimes brownish-gray color. The surface of the cap is lint-free and grain-free. It settles in small groups and singly in fields, orchards, vegetable gardens and forest belts.
- Psatirella dwarf grows in similar large groups and settles on rotting trees. It is also found in deciduous and mixed temperate forests. The color also matches: light cream, beige. Both saprotrophs are small in size. The only difference is that her cap is not hairy, without grains, less ribbed and more open, more like an umbrella in shape.
- There is some similarity with negniyuchkami, particularly gentle. But they are larger and do not settle in large groups. The most delicate hat of a non-nipper reaches 7 cm.
Scattered dung is not eaten, there is no data on any beneficial properties. Although some professionals suggest that dung beetles are rich in antioxidants that prevent cell aging. Certain types were previously used to make ink. The properties of the scattered dung beetle remain to be studied. But one thing is clear: it is a very useful organism of our ecological system of the planet.