Mushrooms Producing Ibotenic Acid and Muscimol

These toxins, which target the CNS, are mainly found in two Amanita species, A. muscaria and A. pantherina, and to a lesser extent in A. gemmata and some other Amanitas. The fly agaric (A. muscaria) is frequent in coniferous and deciduous forests, growing singly or in groups. With its bright red cap (which, however, may also be orange or yellow) and the white warts, it is one of the most impressive forest mushrooms. A. pantherina has a greyish-brown cap with creamy-white warts and is frequently found under fir trees in autumn (fall). Toxic doses of ibotenic acid (30 to 60 mg) and muscimol (6 mg) can be found in single specimens of A. muscaria; other authors estimated the total amount of the two toxins in dry mushroom tissue of A. muscaria and A. pantherina as 2 and 4 mg/g, respectively. Commonly, two to four mushrooms of A. muscaria are ingested to produce mind-altering effects.

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