The fungi of the Dermocybe group, commonly known as skin-heads, form a group within the huge genus Cortinarius. They are generally considered to be a subgenus though some authorities consider them to form a genus in their own right.
They can be distinguished from other Cortinarius species by:
- their brilliant colours, especially of the gills,
- their non-hygrophanous dry cap, and
- their dry cylindrical (non-bulbous) stem.
An example with a vivid green colour is Dermocybe austroveneta. Another example is D. semisanguinea (pictured), which from above is an ordinary brown colour, but which shows a striking blood-red sheen when the underside of the cap is viewed. Lethal webcaps one of world's most poisonous mushrooms belongs to the group.
The Austrian Professor Meinhard Moser (1924-2002), whose book is referenced, was one of the authorities who promote Dermocybe to the status of a genus.
- Meinhard Moser: Basidiomycetes II: Röhrlinge und Blätterpilze, Gustav Fischer Verlag Stuttgart (1978). English edition: translated by Simon Plant: Keys to Agarics and Boleti (Roger Phillips 1983) ISBN 0-9508486-0-3
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