by Michael W. Beug Email: beugm@evergreen.edu
The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
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Slide 3.
Amanita phalloides, shown here is a frequently eaten deadly member of Class A (Poisindex I). The first symptoms generally appear 10-12 hours after ingestion but can appear as early as 6 hours and as long as 36 hours after consumption. The long latent period is characteristic of a range of deadly toxins found in mushrooms and is one of the first things a doctor should ascertain. Mushrooms with a short latent period before symptoms can cause profound discomfort but are rarely lethal. In contrast, mushrooms with a long latent period before symptoms cause serious, sometimes lethal poisonings. Amanita phalloides contains a mixture of cyclopeptides known as amanitins in potentially lethal levels. Several species of Amanita, Galerina, Lepiota (the smaller ones), and possibly Conocybe contain amanitins. The amanitin containing species account for the majority of mushroom fatalities. Amanita phalloides and the following two Amanitas resemble one popular edible Volvariella species, the Paddy Straw Mushroom, found in many parts of Asia. Amanita phalloides has also frequently been mistaken for the greenish variant of Coccora, an edible Amanita found along the Pacific Coast. Amanita phalloides both "looks good to eat" and tastes good.
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