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A bolete is a type of mushroom, or fungal fruiting body. It can be identified thanks to a unique mushroom cap. The cap is clearly different from the stem. On the underside of the cap there is a spongy surface with pores. Many mushrooms have gills on the underside. There are some boletes however, that are gilled, such as varieties of Chroogomphus, Gomphidius, Paxillus, Phylloporus and the Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca.
"Bolete" is the English common name for fungus species whose mushroom caps have this appearance.
The boletes are classified in the Boletales family. Not all members of the Boletales family are boletes. The micromorphology and molecular phylogeny of the Boletales family have established that it also contains many gilled, puffball, and other fruit body shapes. A similar pore surface is found in polypores, but these species generally have a different physical structure from boletes, and don't have the same microscopic characteristics as boletes. Many polypores have much firmer, often woody, flesh.
Boletes are susceptible to infection by the fungus Hypomyces chrysospermus, also known as the Bolete eater.