Dung beetle gray

Mushroom, cap 3-7 cm in diameter, first ovoid, then wide-ringed, gray-brown, darker in the center, with small brown scales. The pulp is white, quickly darkening, after ripening spreading. The plates are frequent, white, black at maturity. Leg – 8-16 x 2-2.5 cm in size, hollow, even or evenly expanded, finely scaly, with a rapidly disappearing ring. Spores are lemon-shaped, smooth, black, 7-10×5-6 microns in size.

Edible when young, until the tissues turn black. Occurs in gardens, orchards and pastures in autumn.

In Russia, it is distributed in the European part, the Caucasus, Eastern Siberia and the Far East.

Dung beetle gray has the original property to cause poisoning in persons who are in a state of intoxication, while remaining harmless to non-drinkers. The fungus acts like the drug Antabuse used to develop an aversion to vodka; this gave grounds to propose it as an anti-alcohol agent.

Other dung fungi that are not eaten are also interesting; dung beetle and brittle dung beetle are antibiotically active – in culture they form the antibiotic pleuromutilin, which inhibits all kinds of bacteria and the influenza virus; paneolum campanulate contains a hallucinogenic substance.

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