Deer truffle (Elaphomyces granulatus)
- Department: Ascomycota (Ascomycetes)
- Subdivision: Pezizomycotina (Pesizomycotins)
- Class: Eurotiomycetes (Eurocyomycetes)
- Subclass: Eurotiomycetidae
- Order: Eurotiales (Eurotia)
- Family: Elaphomycetaceae (Elaphomycetes)
- Genus: Elaphomyces (Elafomitses)
- Species: Elaphomyces granulatus (Deer truffle)
- Other names for the mushroom:
- Elafomyces granular
- Elafomyces granular;
- Elaphomyces cervinus.
Deer truffle (Elaphomyces granulatus) is a mushroom from the Elaphomycetes family, belonging to the Elafomyces genus.
The formation and primary development of the fruiting bodies of the deer truffle occurs shallowly in the soil. That is why they can rarely be found when forest animals dig the ground and dig up these mushrooms. The fruiting bodies located under the surface of the soil are characterized by a spherical irregular shape, and only sometimes they can be wrinkled. Their diameter varies within 2-4 cm, and the surface is covered with a dense white crust, which becomes slightly pinkish with a shade of gray on the cut. The thickness of this crust varies from 1 to 2 mm. the outer part of the fruiting body is covered with small warts densely located on the surface. The color of the fruit bodies ranges from ocher brown to yellowish ocher.
In young mushrooms, the pulp has a whitish color, and as the fruit bodies mature, it becomes gray or darkish. The surface of fungal spores is covered with small spines, characterized by a black color and a spherical shape. the diameter of each such particle is 20-32 μm.
Season and habitat of the mushroom
Reindeer truffle (Elaphomyces granulatus) can be found quite often in summer and autumn. Active fruiting of the species occurs in the period from July to October. The fruit bodies of the tinder fungus prefer to grow in mixed and coniferous (spruce) forests. Occasionally, this type of mushroom also grows in deciduous forests, choosing areas in spruce forests and under coniferous trees.
Not recommended for human consumption. Many mycologists consider deer truffle inedible, but forest animals eat it with great pleasure. Hares, squirrels and deer especially like this type of mushroom.
Similar types and differences from them
Externally, the reindeer truffle is a bit like another inedible mushroom – the mutable truffle (Elaphomyces mutabilis). True, the latter is distinguished by a smaller size of the fruiting body and a smoother surface.