Melanoleuca verrucipes

Melanoleuca verrucipes

I love the walk I take to get to campus. Every day there is something new: progress on one of the nearby construction sites, a fresh hatch of a metallic orange fly, or a host of mushrooms that popped up in the flower beds overnight.

One such mushroom is Melanoleuca verrucipes (which means “with warty stem”). I used a program called MatchMaker to key it out, a program that I highly recommend to anyone interested in fungi. This little fellow likes to live on leaf mulch, and isn’t known to be edible.

For the illustration, I wanted to practice my stippling. In my high school biology classes, we were taught that all observational drawings had to be stippled or cross-hatched. This makes sense from an archaic technological perspective; printing presses need crisp lines in order to replicate an image accurately. Of course this isn’t a restriction now, but stippling can still look striking.



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