The Family Amanitaceae consists of 2 genera: Amanita and Limacella. Amanita is by far the largest and best known
genus. Amanita muscaria is the 'typical' mushroom featured in children's books - a red cap with white patches on
top. Limacella is a small genus and recent molecular studies have shown that Amanita and Limacella are distinct
but share a common ancestor. Limacella is not a well studied genus and more work is required in this area (see
reference below). A number of Amanita species can cause very serious toxicity and even death if ingested.
Members of the Amanitaceae can easily be recognised by the following characters:
Presence of a volva at the base of stipe (Amanita only),
white to cream coloured gills and white to off white spores (both genera),
gills free - not attached to stipe
divergent gill trama which is typical for both genera.