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Pileus 15–55 mm diam., hemispherical to broadly conical or campanulate, initially with incurved margin, becoming applanate, often retaining broad umbo and irregular, lobed outline with indentations, folds and pleats, sometimes becoming radially furrowed, or split and flared, margin faintly to strongly translucently striate to half-way and becoming reflexed to highly revolute, viscid with gelatinous pellicle, sometimes with minutely rugose texture, at first usually dull violet purple (vinaceous grey to purple) with areas of pink, darker red or red-brown tones (rose, blood red to rusty tawny), sometimes more brownish (purplish date to dark brick), becoming paler and pinkish especially around margin which can also develop yellow (luteous) or yellow-brown (fulvous) tints, hygrophanous, dried pilei characteristically pale orange (saffron) flushed pink (rose). Lamellae ventricose, mostly narrowly adnate with some free, sinuate or broadly adnate elements, intervenose, concolorous with pileus near pileal attachment, becoming paler towards free edge, sometimes with yellow (luteous) or orange (saffron) tints. Stipe 15–70 × 5–15 mm, relatively stout, sometimes tapering upwards from the clavate base, hollow, often flexuose or tortuous, compressed or grooved, viscid but usually slightly less so than pileus, white often apically tinged with pileal colour and basally yellow (luteous) to pale orange (saffron) or becoming so, sometimes with purplish (vinaceous grey) blotches if frosted. Outer tissues of context concolorous with adjacent external surfaces, inner tissues paler. Dried lamellar trama (lens) often conspicuously dark pink (coral), contrasting with paler subhymenium and lamellar surfaces. Green pigments entirely absent. Without distinctive taste or smell. Spores [120, K(M)181126*, K(M)181127*, K(M)181128*, K(M)181129*] 6.0–8.5(-9.0) × 4.0–5.5(–6.0) µm, per-basidioma mean values 7.0–7.5 × 5.0 µm, Q=1.2–2.0, mean 1.5, short-ellipsoidal to ellipsoidal, not constricted. Basidia predominantly 4-spored, clavate, relatively long and slender with long attenuated base, (37–)40–63(–67) × 6–10 µm excluding sterigmatal length (4.0–8.0 µm). Clamp connections on basidia, within lamellar trama and pileipellis often with conspicuously looped hook cells (medallion clamps). Lamellar trama subregular with some interwoven elements, compartments 24–183 × 4–24 µm. Stipitipellis and pileipellis are ixotrichoderms.
Known from a cemetery in West Wales (Pembrokeshire) and fields in central England (Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire). The earliest known collection was made by C. Lovatt in Staffordshire in 1996 who noted that she had recorded similar specimens in 1994. It has fruited on private land at Willow Bank (Worcestershire) almost every year from 2000 onwards and recorded there in five discrete fruiting patches in a single field of ca. 0.8 ha.
In unimproved short (grazed or mown) acid-neutral rough pasture or other grassland. This species is often a relatively late fruiter and can continue producing basidiomata in January, long after other waxcaps have finished.
Latin reginae meaning “of a queen”, named for the royal purple colour of the basidiomata and to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 and the 60th anniversary of her coronation in 2013.
Collectors noted that although basidiomata of this species resembled Gliophorus psittacinus, some characters such as pileal colour and radial splitting, were more characteristic of Hygrocybe calyptriformis. Furthermore, dried collections of the latter and Gliophorus reginae often attained a similar reddish-coral tint in the fungarium that was distinct from the pale saffron of Gliophorus psittacinus. This similarity facilitated a rapid search of the British Gliophorus psittacinus collections at Kew, but no additional Gliophorus reginae specimens were discovered. This suggests that it is genuinely rare in Britain and Endangered (EN D, <250 mature individuals) might be the current regional conservation assessment following IUCN guidelines, categories and criteria (IUCN 2012a, b, 2013). However, we think that this species is so poorly known at present that it should be assessed as Data Deficient pending further survey work.
Other specimens examined
United Kingdom. England. Derbyshire (vice county 57): Edale, Lower Hollins Farm, 53°21.84'N, 1°47.96'W (Nat. Grid Ref. SK134852), 5 Oct 2010, R.D.Foster WCS8 WX108 (K(M)181114). Ibid. 17 Oct 2010, R.D.Foster WCS15 WX115 (K(M)181115*). Woodlands Valley, Rowlee Bridge Fields, 53°23.99'N, 1°46.60'W (Nat. Grid Ref. SK149892), 9 Nov 2010, R.D.Foster WCS26 WX126 (K(M)181116*). Staffordshire (vice county 39): Danebridge (near), 53°10.25'N, 2°3.99'W (Nat. Grid Ref. SJ956637), 22 Oct 1996, C.Lovatt (K(M)41524*, sub Hygrocybe psittacina). Worcestershire (vice county 37): Bewdley, Bowcastle Farm cherry orchard, 52°22.38'N, 2°20.40'W (Nat. Grid Ref. SO769750), 3 Nov 2004, R.Winnall WX461 (K(M)181227*). Bewdley, Willow Bank, 52°21.46'N, 2°22.42'W (Nat. Grid Ref. SO746733), 4 Nov 2001, R.Winnall (K(M)92058, sub Hygrocybe cf. psittacina). Ibid. 11 Nov 2004, R.Winnall WX459 (K(M)181117*). Ibid. 15 Dec 2004, R.Winnall WX460 (K(M)181123). Ibid. 18 Oct 2012, R.Winnall WX673 (K(M)181126*). Ibid. 15 Jan 2013, R.Winnall & A.M.Ainsworth WX694 (K(M)181127*), WX695 (K(M)181128*), WX696 (K(M)181129*). Wales. Pembrokeshire (vice county 45): Fishguard Cemetery, 51°59.30'N, 4°57.64'W (Nat. Grid Ref. SM96803634), 11 Nov 2011, J.E.Hodges DJH055 WX535 (K(M)181124*).
- Ainsworth, A; Cannon, P; Dentinger, B; 2013: DNA barcoding and morphological studies reveal two new species of waxcap mushrooms (Hygrophoraceae) in Britain MycoKeys, 7: 45-62. doi
- IUCN (2012a) IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria ver. 3.1 2nd edn. IUCN, Gland, 1–32.
- IUCN (2012b) Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels ver. 4.0. IUCN, Gland, 1–41.
- IUCN (2013) Guidelines for using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria ver. 10. http://jr.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf
- Shorthouse D (2010) SimpleMappr, an online tool to produce publication-quality point maps. http://www.simplemappr.net [accessed 27 Feb. 2013]