On fallen, decaying leaves of Quercus. Often found under a carpet of leaves and not visible unless the leaves are removed. Rarely found on other substrates, as Quercus fruits, Fagus leaves, and fallen leaves and twigs of Rubus sp. Many records on fallen, decaying leaves of Salix sp. and fallen Betula leaves in alpine areas differ in a darker cap but hardly in microscopic features. Autumn to late autumn. See the records in The Norwegian Mycological Database.
Pileus 1-4 mm across,
covered with a separable, gelatinous pellicle, conical to broadly campanulate, parabolical to convex, sometimes shallowly depressed centrally, sulcate, translucent-striate, pruinose but often appearing glabrous, at
first pale grey or grey-brown, soon becoming more whitish. Lamellae
5-13 reaching the stipe, ascending, adnate, white. Stipe
2-20 mm long, filiform, terete, equal or somewhat wider at the
base, straight to flexuous, glabrous for the greater part,
pruinose-pubescent towards the base, shiny, watery white
to watery grey, sometimes fairly dark grey below; springing from
a small, whitish, pubescent basal disc. Odour
Basidia 13-20 x 6-10 μm, broadly
clavate to obpyriform, 4-spored. Spores
7-12 x 3-4.5 μm, Q = 1.8-2.5, Qav ≈ 2, elongated pip-shaped to almost cylindrical,
8-30 x 6.5-14 μm, clavate to obpyriform or subglobose,
with fairly few, usually simple, occasionally branched,
curved to flexuous excrescences, 2-18 x 1-2 μm. Pleurocystidia
absent. Lamellar trama dextrinoid. Hyphae
of the pileipellis 1.5-7 μm wide,
diverticulate to smooth, often branched and entwined,
embedded in gelatinous matter, the upper surface of the pileipellis concisting of coarser, diverticulate hyphae 3.5-12.5 μm wide, terminating in clavate to subglobose, diverticulate cells with warts and spiny excrescences 2-10 x0.5-1 μm. Hyphae of the
cortical layer of the stipe 1.5-3 µm wide, smooth. Caulocystidia
9-65(-105) long, usually with an inflated base 3.5-6.5 μm wide, gradually tapering outwards, simple
to branched, flexuous to kinked. Clamp connections present in all tissues.
Mycena mucor is easily identified
on account of the minute size, the pale grey to whitish
pileus, the basal disc, and the occurence on Quercus
leaves. The basal disc is so small that sometimes it can be hard to see, and then it could be mistaken for Mycena polyadelpha (Lasch) Kühner, which occurs in the same habitat. M. mucor usually has more developed lamellae, however, and a more "shiny look", and a microscopic investigation will readily reveal its identity. It is a member of Mycena sect. Basipedes (Fr.) Quél., together with
M. rhenana Maas Geest. & Winterhoff, M.
stylobates (Pers.) P. Kumm. and M. tenuispinosa
M. rhenana differs in having a nitrous
smell and by occurence on decaying knopper galls on Quercus robur acorn cups or on fallen catkins of Alnus glutinosa, or rarely on fallen debris from Castanea sativa and Corylus avellana. It is characterized by lacking cheilocystidia and by a pileipellis with acanthocysts, and broadly conical caulocystidia with acute, sometimes rostrate to needle-like apex. M. tenuispinosa is poorly known. It differs by having broader
spores and pileal surface densely covered with acute spinules. M. stylobates (which
also may be found on fallen oak leaves) is identified by
the cheilocystidia with coarse, inflated excrescences. Besides,
the margin of the basal disc of M.
stylobates is ciliate, while it is velutinous,
not ciliate, in M. mucor.
Maas Geesteranus (1983 a: 410) described the pileus of Mycena mucor as "greyish or pale grey-brown or greyish beige, whitish towards the margin, pallescent with age". Emmett et al. (2008: 363) described it as greyish brown. In my opinion it rather is white, as shown on the photos at this site.
A somewhat darker taxon, which in all other aspects is similar, has been collected on fallen leaves of Salix and Betula in an alpine areas, indicating that the species is not exclusively associated with Quercus leaves. Further investigations, and hopefully molecular studies, are needed to determine whether this taxon represents the same species or should be treated as a species of it's own.
Microphotographs of the cheilocystidia - 1
Microphotographs of the cheilocystidia - 2
Microphotographs of the cheilocystidia - 3
Microphotographs of the pileipellis- 1
Microphotographs of the pileipellis - 2
Microphotographs of the caulocystidia
Further images on the web: