Keys for Macrofungi

Over the years the British Mycological Society and it members have published a large number of keys to fungi in its journals and occasionally in the publications of other societies. We felt that it would be useful to make them accessible to everyone by publishing them on the BMS website.

This is very much a work in progress and it is hoped to continue to add keys to the web page as time permits. If you would like to add a comment or have any suggestions or queries relating to this web page then please contact either Archie McAdam or Liz Holden through the BMS office at

Where the journal is not a BMS publication, permission to reproduce the keys involved has been obtained and full acknowledgement is given.

** See below for Category Notes **

Title Author Category Publication Year
Myxomycetes Key to corticolous Pts 1-3 David Mitchell B 1978 Details


Part I: Bull. BMS 12 (1) April 1978. Part II Bull. BMS 12 (2) October 1978. Part III: Bull. BMS 13(1) April 1979 Many species are not included so this key could be misleading. There are however some lovely illustrations, which are worth a look.
Myxomycetes Mouldy Bruce Ing B 1974 Details


Bulletin of BMS 8-1Spring 1974
Naucoria in Britain by Alick Henrici.pdf A Henrici A Details


Pluteus Getting to grips Richard Iliffe A 2010 Details


Psathyrella Species with a Red Gill Edge Penny Cullington A Details


Quick Waxcap Key Patrick Leonard A 2009 Details


Russula - Blackening Species Geoffrey Kibby A 2001 Details


Field Mycology 2(3)
Watling: Identification of the larger fungi A 1973 Details


Xerocomus Alan Hills A 2009 Details


Field Mycology 9(3)


Category A Keys

Category A Keys consists of keys that have been recently published in the journal Field Mycology and other recently published keys. This means that synoptic keys involving colour can now be downloaded and printed on any colour computer printer.

Category B Keys

Category B consists of keys that still offer useful information for the identification of species but need to be used alongside current checklists and more up to date keys.

Category C Keys

It is fully accepted that many of the older keys are now ‘out of date’ and should not be used for identification purposes. They can however, provide a useful service in allowing a better understanding of the species concept involved in some of the older species names recorded on the FRDBI. They can also provide an insight into the development of the taxonomic understanding of particular genera.