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 **


The Keyword search matches files with the entered phrase in the title or the detailed description. The Advanced Search allow searching for the Author or Category.

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Title Date Posted Category
Xerocomus 24/04/2018 A Details


Field Mycology 9(3)
Russula - Blackening Species 24/04/2018 A Details


Field Mycology 2(3)
Quick Waxcap Key 24/04/2018 A Details


Psathyrella Species with a Red Gill Edge 24/04/2018 A Details


Pluteus Getting to grips 24/04/2018 A Details


Pluteus - This is a careful attempt to clarify the confusing literarture available for identification of Pluteus species with keys to the British species 30/06/2019 A Details


Published in Field Mycology 11(3) A discussion of the problems that arise when mycologists differ about species concepts in this genus with keys to separate the problem species
Naucoria in Britain by Alick Henrici.pdf 24/04/2018 A Details


Myxomycetes Mouldy 24/04/2018 B Details


Bulletin of BMS 8-1Spring 1974
Myxomycetes Key to corticolous Pts 1-3 24/04/2018 B 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.
Mycena - making a start 24/04/2018 A Details


This paper, based on a paper prepared for the Leicestershire Fungus Recording Group, is a good introduction to this genus which contains many beautiful species. It allows the beginner to do exactly what the title implies. The reader is led gently into more and more detail till the species characteristics become clear. Species are grouped together in useful groupings for study and identification as far as it is possible in the field. Helpful micro characters are added together with a section on how to prepare material and how to study it with the microscope.


Category A Keys

Category A Keys consists of keys that have been recently published in the journal Field Mycology and other recently published keys. Synoptic keys involving colour can now be downloaded and printed.

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.